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6 Ways to Increase Efficiency and Focus

by: Ken Sundheim

Business moves at supersonic speed. While technology has facilitated easier communication and information gathering, it has also ushered in a new economy in which the common worker can be more readily replaced by technological advancements than ever before.

The option to utilize advanced algorithms, data visualization and robotics as opposed to human assistance has become increasingly more alluring to organizations. In turn, the burden to prove themselves necessary has fallen upon the common worker.

Competency no longer does the trick. More so than ever, it is crucial for professionals to not only be able to complete tasks, but to be able to complete them with the utmost efficiency, accuracy and creativity.

Performing at a consistently high level requires sustained focus. Luckily, there are ways to train yourself in order to become the type of individual who not only produces results, but produces the type of results that make you an all-star in your respective area.

1. Define your goals and prioritize tasks accordingly.

The first step in concentration is to form a mental picture of what you wish to accomplish. Understanding why you are engaging in an activity and clearly stating what you hope to achieve from completing the task adds clarity to your thought process. It’s important to write down your objectives and pinpoint how that job assists you in meeting those overarching goals.

2. Slow down.

When you work with a deliberate slowness, it allows you to more effectively pay attention to the task at hand. When it comes to engaging in mindful work activities, it is important to gain the discipline to keep things simple and moving at a pace conducive to improved focus.

3. Conquer negativity.

Negative thoughts greatly drain mental capacity, as an unhealthy thought process overly stimulates the brain, increasing mental pressure and tension. When your mind is overloaded with threats, demands and counterproductive thoughts, cognitive impairment (a big hindrance to productivity) is the result.

Such tricks as remembering your core values, defining aspects of yourself that you are grateful for, breathing to relieve bodily tension and getting up and moving will lessen thoughts of doom and gloom and heighten your ability to think efficiently and produce at optimal levels.

4. Practice intense focus.

Whenever you fix your mind on a certain thought and hold your mind on it at successive intervals, you develop concentration. Understand that the human brain has limited capacity for attention. When you allocate anything less than 100 percent focus to a task, you weaken your ability to produce at a level consistent with your capabilities. If you wish to enhance the quality of your work, it is imperative to set aside any other activities that require effort for the time being.

When distractions such as emails, co-worker interactions and consistent client inquiries compete for your attention level, they dispose of a limited budget of mental capacity. Therefore, they must be put off until completion of that task or you risk a lesser output.

5. Confront procrastination.

Researchers estimate that nearly 15 percent of adults are chronic procrastinators. Putting off tasks is problematic on several fronts. First, when a job remains incomplete, it creates undue mental pressure straining your ability to focus on any other project. Additionally, failure to jump right in and see a project through to its end eventually becomes a habit and in time leads to low self-esteem.

Practices such as creating self-imposed deadlines, engaging in advanced planning and breaking a project into smaller steps will help combat procrastination.

6. Focus on the final product.

Knowing where a project is going is paramount to you being able to focus intently on that task. Understand what you expect out of the work will help you get down to work and provide you with the resiliency to finish the task.

As the working world evolves and many professionals find themselves ever closer to competing with efficient technologies in some aspect of their work, it is those who maintain the focus and good practices that lead to heightened effectiveness who will rise to the top, regardless of industry of position.

by Carrie Greene

Networking doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you find it awkward, try these seven strategies to make networking more enjoyable and profitable. 

We’ve all heard that going to events and networking is very important.
Meeting someone in person is generally a much faster and effective way to get to know him or her than through online methods.

There are some people who are born networkers. I’m not one of them. I didn’t like networking until I found a few strategies that helped me feel more comfortable and make them more fun and yes…rewarding.

Here are the top 7 strategies that I use myself, AND of course share with my clients, for enjoying (and getting the most out of) networking events.

1. Smile.

Before you step out of your car or hotel room, take a deep breath and smile. Purposefully ‘turn it on’. Bring that smile into the room with you and keep it there.

2. Rescue someone.

You’re not the only one who doesn’t enjoy going to networking events. There is almost always someone standing off to the side or alone. Go over to them and make them feel comfortable. They will appreciate being rescued and you will have someone who wants to talk with you. Then, if you see other people just standing around invite them to join your new group. You’ll be looked upon as a connector.

3. Don’t worry about what you’re going to say.

Learn about your new friend. You can start the conversation by complimenting a piece of jewelry, mentioning the artwork in the room or asking them why they came.

Let them talk. When the time is right the conversation will naturally turn to you and you’ll be able to share.

4. Relax.

Remember that this is nothing more than a conversation. Don’t try to sell. Don’t try to impress, just get to know each other and be yourself. People buy from people they know, like and trust. Establish a relationship. Get to know each other.

5. Don’t try to meet everyone.

It’s not a competition. Personally, I prefer to get to know a few people well than to have superficial conversations with everyone.

6. Follow up.

It’s more important for you to get his or her contact information than for you to give your card to everyone you meet. The truth is that very few people follow up after networking events. Tell your new friend how and when you’ll be in touch after the event so that they expect it.

7. Attend the same networking group regularly.

The more often you go the better you will know the people, the easier it will be and the more business you will get from it.

Carrie Greene is a speaker, trainer, coach and author of Chaos to Cash. She helps entrepreneurs cut through the confusion and chaos surrounding them so they make decisions, stop spinning and procrastinating and make more money. 

by Sue Clement

Networking is one marketing idea that is well worth the time and effort. If it’s not working well for you, you could be making one of these five networking mistakes.

Are you networking to grow your business? Are you constantly looking for more prospects? If you’re wearing yourself out attending scores of networking events and still have very little to show for it, it’s time to try something else. A good way to get started is by learning from your mistakes…

How many of these five mistakes are YOU committing on your quest for more sales leads?

  • You go to networking events ‘expecting’ to find clients.
  • You try to pass out as many business cards as possible at every opportunity.
  • You don’t like to waste time with ‘chit chat’ and instead tell people about what you have to offer as soon as possible.
  • You try to close the sale right then and there — after all, you may not have another opportunity.
  • You follow up with everyone, making them an enticing offer they can’t refuse — and are puzzled that they decline anyway.

So what should you do instead?

1. If you’re going to networking events focusing on getting clients, you’ll miss out on what you COULD find: connections.

Focus on getting to know people instead. They may not buy your product today, or ever, but in time they may send numerous people your way who could – but not unless you develop a relationship with them.

2. If you think passing out business cards is a numbers game, you’re sadly mistaken. Instead, focus on getting to know people — and get their cards as well.

Quality is far more important than quantity. Make sure that you have made enough of a connection that people actually remember you when you call later or see them next time — and remember you in a positive light.

3. Don’t jump in with your offer.

Instead focus on the other person, get to know more about them and their business. Start by building rapport and connections. Try and find ways that you can be of service or help them, make introductions and refer them if you can. Ultimately, just get to know them.

4. The hard sell is dead.

If you want to chase away prospects, this is exactly how to do it. It’s ok to talk about what you do or offer, the problems you solve and outcomes your clients get. Where you cross the line is when you assume what you do is what they need and start selling and pushing your product or service on them.If the person you’re talking to is interested in your services – schedule a sales appointment. You’ll be much more likely to make the sale once you’ve established a relationship.

5. When you follow up with people after networking events, don’t start selling them.

Again, develop the relationship by finding out more about them, seek to be of service and continue to build that relationship. If your follow-up is by email – don’t send a sales pitch. Instead reference a point in your conversation and offer them something of value – an informational article, resource link or introduction.Keep thinking about ways to build ‘relationships’ and be of service.

You’ll find your networking will start yielding more connections, friends, referrals and opportunities!

  1. June is the month with the longest daylight hours of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
  2. June’s birthstone is the pearl, the Moonstone and the Alexandrite.
  3. The June birth flower is the Rose (Rosa) and the Honeysuckle (Lonicera).
  4. In 2009 June was the 662 most popular name for girls in the USA.
  5. Anglo-Saxons gave the June the name Sera monath (Dry month)
  6. June is derived from either Juno goddess of marriage or from iumiores (young people)
  7. In both common and leap years, no other month begins on the same day of the week as June.
  8. June is international men’s month.
  9. June has the shortest daylight hours of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.
  10. June is my favorite month….:)

Provided by Pam Bingham, President of the Sherman Oaks Business Builders Chapter of TEAM Referral Network

As one of the leading accounting practices in the area. By combining our expertise, experience and the energy, each client receives close personal and professional attention. Our high standards, service and specialized expertise spell the difference between our outstanding performance, and other accounting practices. We make sure that every client is served by the expertise of our whole practice.

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♦ 87 percent of a Facebook page’s interactions happen on photo & video posts. No other content type receives more than 4 percent of interactions.

♦ Facebook is the most addicting of the social networks

♦ 23% of Facebook’s users check their account five or more times EVERY DAY. The mean number of daily look-ins by Facebook users is 4. Are we really so interesting that we have to keep up with our friends’ inanities every 90 minutes? Evidently, yes.

♦ GET THE MOST ENGAGEMENT WITH YOUR BUSINESS PAGE BY RUNNING CONTEST: Contests can drive significant engagement on Facebook.

♦ THESE TOPICS GET THE MOST ENGAGEMENT ON THE SPECIFIC DAY. 22,000,000 posts were analyzed to see what trending topics got the most engagement on a given day and here is what the study showed.

Provided by Craig Rice, President of the Redlands Power Partner Chapter of TEAM Referral Network

Craig provides Free Social media marketing classes and workshops, to help other businesses and individuals market their name, brands, and products. He believes in working together with other professionals as a team in order to grow and develop together.

I recently read an article where 40 successful businesses owners were asked, “what’s your best piece of advice for success”?  Below are some of their responses:

Leverage tools an software to free up time to focus on growing the business

By Mitch Nubki Guerra, Long Beach Chapter of TEAM President

Contuitiv Consulting

1. Don’t take yourself too seriously. – It should be obvious, but social marketing is about being social, and that means you need a good personality to make your brand likable.

2. Inbound is not enough. – Never underestimate what a bit of paid promotion can do for your business.

3. You must have good content and solid offers – Without well-produced, engaging content, any and all tactics you employ will most likely fail.

4. You will need a strong call to action. – The tried-and-true, strong call to action is just as important in social media as it is anywhere else. Be clear about what you want your audience to do after consuming your content or engaging with your brand.

5. Always add value – At the end of the day, if you are not providing some sort of value to your prospects and customers, you are not doing your job and social media will never work for you.

6. Never forget that social is a two-way street. – No one likes being talked at. Yes, broadcast your message, but remember to keep the lines of communication open in both directions. When contacted, always respond quickly and sincerely. Be sure to mix up your messaging and use a combination of content and offers.

Provided by Craig Rice, President of the Redlands Power Partner Chapter of TEAM Referral Network

Craig is a Farmers Insurance Agent who also provides Free Social media marketing classes and workshops, to help other businesses and individuals market their name, brands, and products. He believes in working together with other professionals as a team in order to grow and develop together.