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Having Trouble Staying Focused? Five Steps to Improve Your Time Management and Avoid Distractions.

Staying Focused Is Time Management for the Important Things in Your Life

staying focusedMost everyone is aware of how difficult it can be staying focused these days with all of the distractions around us, whether it’s the numerous interruptions caused by advances in technology, your family’s needs, or your finances, not to mention your health, relationships and all other areas of your life that can distract you or require your immediate attention. Needless to say, staying focused on time management is even more critical to your success today.

Below are 5 Steps you can focus on today to begin mastering life management skills on your personal development path to the desired quality of your life.

Staying Focused Tools:

    The 80/20 rule applies to this. What I see, over and over again with clients, is that 80% of you having what you want is to be very clear on what you want and why you want it. Be sure to begin with the end in mind. It’s critical to be clear and focused on this first step. Write it down, post it up on your bathroom mirror, car dash, desktop – visualize it – feel what it feels like when you achieve that outcome.
    Then begin to capture your actions – and this is only 20% of achieving your outcome. If the action is not something you enjoy, or is uncomfortable, don’t focus on the action, focus on the outcome. When you keep your focus on the 80%, your desired outcome, the 20% will appear to fall into place. Prioritize your actions and leverage and/or delegate anything you don’t need to spend your own time on. Then schedule these actions into your calendar and make them a MUST.
    Your body has a natural ultradium rhythm every 90 minutes. This natural rhythm allows you to focus for a specific period of time [90 minutes], and then it is time to take a break. This means you can set yourself up to work optimally by scheduling actions into 90 minute cycles on your calendar, with a break in between. These breaks or rests, allow you to refresh yourself and begin again renewed with a feeling of vitality and motivation. They can be 20 minute breaks to get up and walk around, handle other priorities, or when you are on deadline and don’t have the 20 minutes available, then drinking water, deep calming breaths or stretching can quickly support you towards a renewed feeling of energy and focus.
    Establish times and spaces that give you the opportunity to disconnect from work in order to create more balance in your life. By disengaging for short time periods, you will increase your energy and focus. What creates more balance in YOUR life? Running? Working out at the gym? Hanging out with your family or friends? Contributing to your community? Reading? Yardwork? Even 10 – 15 minutes is very rejuvenating.
    By far, one of the greatest time management issues is when you allow other people to distract you from your predetermined Musts. When you’re focused, you create a boundary and simply do not allow this to happen. You may need courage, clarity or motivation to communicate your boundaries to others, not denying an interaction, simply delaying it so you can stay focused on what’s most important in the moment.

So there are your 5 strategies to staying focused. Be sure to develop a basic time management or life management system that makes it easy for you to follow through with your commitment. You will be amazed at how sharp your focus can be.

Begin today. Remember it takes practice and time to make this change automatic. The effort is absolutely worth it in staying focused.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Building Rapport

Building Rapport with Others by Influencing Them So They Feel Comfortable in Your Presence

Rapport Building Audio

building rapportRemember the old saying, “A first impression is a lasting impression.” It’s true. Rapport is about making the other person feel important or at least liked and understood. It may take extra focus and time initially, and successful people will agree that it’s time well spent. If you cannot communicate effectively, then you won’t be able to sell yourself to others or build rapport.

Often building rapport is something that is left to chance and to happen naturally over time, and if you want to create it instantly, you’ll want to follow the ideas below.

Match and mirror the person you are trying to build rapport with. Matching and mirroring basically means copying the other person’s way of being; from the way they talk and the length of their gait, to their body posture and breathing speed and even their speaking mannerisms.  When we like someone we unconsciously copy his movements and characteristic behaviors, this happens naturally in nature.The first time you experiment on someone, you will be surprised at how effective it is. Like anything else new that you learn, you’ll want to practice rapport building skills until they become more natural or automatic. Here are some specific ways to build rapport by matching and mirroring, to get you started:

Tools for Building Rapport:

  1. Physiology. Their posture, significant gestures, facial expression, eye blink, and breathing – which is the deepest form of rapport. Match what the other person is doing with their physiology. If they’re leaning in, you lean in, if they have big gestures then you make big gestures. This may seem like mimicking someone else, and you really are, yet when you do it in a natural way the other person actually feels more connected to you.
  2. Tonality. Voice, tone, tempo, vibration, volume, pitch and pauses. If they speak softly, you speak softly, if they speak fast, you speak fast, if their voice is loud, you be loud. You don’t need to over exaggerate any of this. Even copying them slightly will unconsciously make them feel as though they are more connected to you and that you care.
  3. Words. Key words and phrases, common experiences and associations, big picture or details. Find common interests quickly. Keep changing subjects until a common interest is found. Match their vocabulary level. Some people find it more important to show their superiority and mastery of language rather than to communicate effectively. Sales people who use jargon that I am not familiar with will not get the sale. Do your best to match the vocabulary level of those with whom you speak.

By learning the art of building rapport and making it a part of your everyday life, you will become a person who makes friends, influences colleagues, and rises to the top.

Business Symbiotic Relationships

3 Areas to Establishing Business Symbiotic Relationships

Business Symbiotic Relationships Audio

Many leadership teams today are focusing on team building, be it vendors, employees, customers or other companies, who have the greatest potential for symbiotic relationships. The term ‘competitors’ can certainly be a hot topic out there, and in reality you can look for the complex symbiosis between two groups: meaning mutually beneficial relationships between different organisms in the universe that allows them to flourish or, bottom line, they need each other.

Here are three examples of business symbiotic relationships:

  1. Referral Marketing The cycle self-perpetuates with more satisfied customers referring others to your company. You both flourish in this type of relationship.  We are definitely living in the ‘recommendation age’ more so than the ‘information age’.  We all have so much access to information these days, that it’s highly desirable when recommendations or referrals are made.  That initial trust factor is more apparent, and you’re one degree closer to your goal.
  2. Branding and ROI Campaigns Some of the best online campaigns in recent times have used advertising to drive metrics for both branding and ROI. Specifically targeting your ads to engage your customers in a series of focused communications will most likely result in maximizing the long term value of your investment.
  3. Large Companies and Small Businesses The corporate world’s glass towers, large conference rooms and grey suits may be intimidating, and it’s imperative that small businesses place a high value on their viable business and negotiate accordingly. Large companies may assume roles as business partners, product distributors, or customers for small businesses. Good communication practices are essential to all business relationships, both internal and external, and team building with large companies is no exception.

Keep in mind that a symbiotic relationship has the potential to turn parasitic when you’re not paying attention.  Work smart by building relationships in these three areas, and reinforcing that with strong leadership, team building and follow up.  Your business symbiotic relationships will be worth it.