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Turning into a Lean and Mean “Money Machine”

By : Ziad K. Abdelnour| 5 August 2013
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I crack up when I see people always complaining about how little time they have and how overwhelmed they are. They whine about all the interruptions and communication overload. They spend all sorts of time reading books and searching for ways to improve their time management and personal productivity…..And then they complain why they are not making enough money to fulfill their needs.

Well folks, get this. Most of your productivity drain is your own doing. You give in to social media distraction because you crave a quick fix for attention. You spend too much time in your inbox because it makes you feel important. You waste ridiculous amounts of time doing things that don’t really matter because you choose to do them.

I am often asked how I juggle so many social and business agendas at once and stay always on top of things 24/7.

Here are some real productive tips that should help you stay ahead of the curve. Use this as your “bible” in terms of time management. You will thank me for it for a long time.

1. Wake up early, sleep early and avoid the rat race:
When you wake up in the morning, give yourself some time to meditate so you can make choices. Life is not a sprint catching the next subway. Success is a string of well calculated choices and you need your own time and space to strategize.

2. Prioritize:
Too much to do and not enough time to do it all? Big deal. Prioritize and do what is most important first; the rest will come. The Earth will still turn and the sun will still rise in the morning. Besides, there is virtue to doing less. In many cases, less is more.

3. Focus:
Avoid spending your day doing things like making phone calls, holding meetings and brainstorming or considering options.  God forbid that you look back at the end of the day and have to acknowledge that you spent hours checking your email or surfing the Internet. Keep a schedule.  Use checklists so that you can force yourself to record honestly how you spent your time.  Put together a chart so that you can maintain focus on the big picture and see how what you do each day impacts it.

4. Choose carefully the people you want to work with:
Some of your employees/colleagues drive you nuts. Some of your customers are obnoxious. Some of your friends are selfish, all-about-me jerks. You chose them. If the people around you make you unhappy it’s not their fault. It’s your fault. They’re in your professional or personal life because you drew them to you–and you let them remain.

5. Learn how to delegate:
If you are running a company, don’t always try to sit in the driver’s seat yourself. Give your most trusted people your title and see how they handle it. Best time to test them is to give them some power….. Then you can keep your eye on the ball/your ultimate goal.

6. Learn to say no and never say maybe.
I like getting attention. I like helping people. It’s always been a big motivator for me. When I realized that saying no was a bigger disappointment for me than it was for whoever was asking me to do something, it got easier to say. Bottom Line: If it’s not a goal, a priority, important, or fun, say no. And never say maybe. That’s just being controlling and self-important.

7. Stop wasting your time with irrelevant meetings:
Meetings for me are a total waste of time unless you are closing a deal. There are so many ways to communicate in real time or asynchronously that any meeting you actually sit for should have a duration and set outcome before you agree to go.

8. If you have to have a meeting, follow up with it:
It is a fact that the productiveness of any meeting depends on the advance thought given the agenda, and you should never leave a meeting without writing a follow-up list with each item assigned to one person. After all, the most creative ideas are usually on the outside.

9. Stop Obsessive Social Media Networking:
The more people you know – really know – the more likely you are to make the important connection you need to take your career, company, or venture to the next level. All the rest is a waste of time. Networking should not be about meeting as many people as possible in as short amount of time or sharing what you ate today or how your puppy looks like. I work hard to figure out what I can do for someone else when I meet them. Who can I connect them to? What can I do for them (outside of selling them my stuff?) What resource or information can I share that will help them out? True connection is a two-way street.

Now that you know the basics….go use these tools to make a killing and never turn back.

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