Archives for October 2017

Routine Makes You More Productive

You know this intuitively. If each day you have to do the same task(s), figuring out the best time of day, time frame and way to do those tasks will help you be more productive. The more you get done, likely the less stress you will have, which is good for you and everyone you deal with.

For instance, when I first get into my office each morning I address my email inbox to determine who I need to respond to, what projects I need to work on and go about adding these items to my to do list. I do this before starting any project and before getting on the phone because if I wait until later in the day, my email tends to get out of hand and matters I should be dealing with may roll into the next day. When that happens, I am not as responsive as I want to be and reflects badly on me and my firm. That clearly is not something I want happening.

Of course you have to be able to bend your routine at times. Sometimes I have something on my calendar or an emergency situation for a client and I have to alter my routine. In doing so, I always know that I am going to have to deal with it later, which can mean, in my case, continuing to work through email that evening or early the next morning while still at home. I highly value work-life balance, but I also value my sanity upon arriving at the office in the morning…

You may not deal with a high level of email in your business, but there are other tasks that certainly can be put into the category or routine or repetitive. Think about how you deal with these. Is it the same each day? If not, be honest with yourself about whether the way you deal with it wastes time and makes you less productive.

I suggest picking one task to turn into a routine. Try for four weeks and see how it goes. This will take discipline and focus. If you can create a routine for and stick with it for even one repetitive task, it will help you and your business.

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Show Appreciation

We previously established that your success rests on the shoulders of all who have lifted you up through your journey. This includes all who assisted you, taught you, mentored you, the person who told you how to navigate the corporate bureaucracy, told who you needed to know, who introduced you to who you needed to know. You get the idea. People like this exist throughout your career. The names and faces change, but without them you do not go as far or experience as much success.

Remember to thank these people. Maybe you did. Maybe you didn’t. Maybe you did sometimes. It never is too late. Never. Most people are not helping you seeking your thanks and appreciation. But showing appreciation is abut you and who you are. Make sure those who were there for you know how you feel, that you appreciate what they have done for you. I know one woman who still thanks a mentor from years and years ago in writing once a year and every time they speak. That is how its done!

It is up to you to choose how to show appreciation. Know your audience. Some people will appreciate a handwritten note or letter. Others will appreciate a text or email, though these really are too informal for the types of people and assistance I am talking about. I think you should err on the side of caution and make your thanks take a form more formal than you think it needs to be. You can never go wrong when you do so.

Sometimes you will want to include a gift. If you think you might need to, you need to. Make it something thoughtful. A book you like (and think the person will too). A bottle of wine. Flowers. If you are not sure, ask someone who knows the person’s interests. If you don’t know someone who does, again err on the side of caution and use what you know about them to make the best choice you can. But try not to over do it. It is not about the cost, but the thought.

The one thing you don’t want to do is forgot to thank those you should. When you do, they will remember. They will mention it to others, which in turn will enhance your reputation as one who cares and appreciates others, thereby continuing to lift you higher on their shoulders. And while you are being lifted on their shoulders, they are being lifted by those who have helped them, completing the circle that results in a pyramid of people lifting each other up continuously through time. This kind of appreciation and courtesy is what helps make your world the type of environment in which you want to live.


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Helping others succeed is in your own best interest

Successful people want others to succeed while unsuccessful people secretly hope others fail. I read something like this a while back and it stuck with me. The point is we are all in it together. Rarely does someone succeed alone and even when it appears they did, they probably had someone (or a number of people) helping them along the way.

Athletes have coaches. And so do many business people and professionals. Musicians rarely are self-taught. The same is true for business people and professionals. Most of us were students who had teachers, whether in school, an apprenticeship, etc. You get the idea; it is rough going on your own and makes it much more likely you will make serious mistakes teachers and mentors can help you avoid.

I have been lucky enough to have formal and informal mentors along my road. Without them it would have taken me much longer to achieve many things I have personally and professionally. Or maybe I would have missed opportunities because I didn’t even know they were there, or not made it as far as I have.

So leave your ego at the door and help people in your life succeed. Not only will it probably end up benefiting you at some point (but you can’t count on that and it’s not the reason to do it), but it will make you feel good helping others. Plus, success really is contagious. Try it and see.

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