Taking control is key!
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HOW TO SURVIVE SUCCESSFULLY IN TODAY’S CRAZY BUSINESS WORLD!
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Last Reply: 5 Oct 2018 at 13:24 by: Neda
(My personal “ 3 Key-Habits” to survive the never-ending “rush-rush” business days”)
Does this situation seem familiar to you? You’ve just started an important presentation in front of your main key-customer. You are in the mood of “born-ready”. You have worked hard all weekend to ensure, that today’s presentation will simply put into second place everything you have done so far.
After a couple of minutes, you see on your mobile phone an email from your boss showing up “Top Urgent – Please call me back immediately”. While you are still thinking about when during your presentation you will get a window to call your boss, your calendar shows up that you have just missed an important school meeting for your son. Well at this point you start to sweat a little bit! But never mind, it is not the first family meeting you have missed because of your job. “The show must go on” is what you think now with your distinctive winner attitude that everyone admires you for.
Suddenly another Key customer is calling you on your mobile. As you don’t answer the call he sends you a text message, then a couple WhatsApp notes and finally a message on Linkedin. While presenting your masterpiece, you have no chance to answer any of this…. In the meantime, your secretary has texted you 3 times that you have to call back that customer immediately. By the end, you see on your tablet, that the same customer has just sent you a friend request on Facebook! Probably his last hope to get in contact with you immediately. You believe you’ve seen it all? You are wrong! Now you realize that your mobile phone battery is running out and you start to seriously struggle with your presentation…
You believe this example is exaggerated? No, it isn’t! It is the reality of the crazy business world that we are living in today. Multitasking with a mobile phone(s), a tablet and laptop, customers and suppliers which are expecting that you are reachable 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Everything is “rush-rush” and as soon as you do not answer anyone immediately, they start to think that you are on leave, sick or that your company is probably going out of business pretty soon. Today you are expected to be here and there and everywhere at the same time.
You spend your day answering emails, messages, phone calls like Cowboys in the far west did pull out bullets of their guns!
The following few words are my tears and sweat for years. I wrote it all down so that your own journey can be faster and more efficient than mine was. During all those years, I figured out that there are 3 key-habits that really helped me to manage better this crazy business world, and finally got me a much better life quality
Focus on one task at the time
Without a doubt, the most important habit of surviving in today's business world is to be able to fully focus on one task at the time! Research in the field of project management from the past 20 years clearly shows that people who have the habit to focus on a single task are much more successful and efficient than those who try the “multitasking – please everyone” way.
Going back to my example from the introduction. If you really want to pull out your best performance of your life, it is part of the deal, that you put your mobile phone, tablet and laptop on airplane mode before you start your presentation. Honestly, it took me a while to realize that if I’m not reachable for two hours, the world will not stop to spin around!
You have decided to spend your Saturday with your kids? Then please spend your Saturday with your kids! Give them the attention they need and deserve, and do not use any “Time-Out” to answer emails, messages and other things. Your Saturday's focus is on the kids! The rest can wait for Monday!
Realizing that, I started to plan my days into segments and my weeks into segments of work, family and time for myself. As an example here is a simple plan for a half day of office work:
06h00 – 06h30 : Breakfast and read the newspaper or online news (time for myself!)
07h00 – 07h30 : Answer emails from the day before
07h30 – 08h30 : Travel organization/planning for the next week
08h30 – 09h30 : Call customers for offer and project follow up
09h30 – 10h00 : Agents follow up
10h00 – 10h15 : Coffee with the office team (without your mobile phone please!)
10h15 – 10h30 : Check your emails, answer directly or plan actions
10h30 – 11h15 : Resolve the important & urgent task yourself
11h15 – 11h30 : Call back people who are waiting for your call
11h30 – 12h00 : Meeting with the sales team
12h15 – 13h00 : Lunch with my daughter (without your mobile phone please!)
The key of success here is not to make the plan, but to stick to it! So if you have planned half an hour for offer follow-up, during this time you are fully dedicated to this task! You do not check emails, and you don’t check and answer any messages or phone calls. There are other times in your daily shedule to accomplish these tasks.
If you are a sales guy and you have to travel a lot, this is also an interesting aspect, how you plan your travel day. I travel a lot around Europe with the car. For example, I planned that for 1 hour of driving I will always stop 15 minutes to check my emails and make important phone calls. So if you travel 4 hours, you will invest one additional hour achieve those tasks, but at the end of the day when you arrive at the hotel, you are quite “up-to-date” and you might have some time for yourself.
Another interesting thing to plan while you are traveling is to make phone calls. Instead of listening to radio or your favorite music, you can use your time very efficiently calling customers, suppliers or event your office staff.
As you plan your business day, you also want to plan your private/family life! Personally I travel 80% of my time, and believe me this is not always easy to handle with my family. A couple years ago I made a deal with my wife, and this was probably the best decision in my life to have a happy family life besides the crazy “working-world”.
From Saturday lunchtime to Monday morning I’m only dedicated to the family! My full focus is on the family. I do not check my emails & messages, do not even read newspapers and do not answer any professional phone calls. The only thing that counts during this time is the family. I’m there 150%! If we decide to go for the day to the beach, I leave my phone at home or on airplane mode…. Try it out! You won’t believe how happy this makes your family and yourself.
Being able to focus fully on a single task, completely changed my work quality and life.
Yes, there were some people around me, especially some of my previous bosses and also friends that needed to get used to my system…. But as said earlier, the world did not stop to spin around!
Plan your tasks
Sometimes I have a full travel day. Let’s say from Switzerland to Brazil. I leave my home at 05AM and arrive in the Hotel at 08PM local time in Brazil. At this time I look at my phone, my emails and messages and what a disaster. I do not exaggerate! 150 emails, 25 messages, and 15 mailbox messages. Enough to get desperate or to end up with a “Burnout”!
Luckily a couple of years ago a friend offered me a great book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” written by Stephen Covey. This book completely changed my life, and especially the Eisenhower (34th President of the United States) Matrix. In today’s business life we have so many tasks to handle. Eisenhower found a very simple principle to handle tasks in an incredibly efficient way:
1) Important and Urgent : Do it yourself immediately!
2) Important and not Urgent : Plan it and do it yourself
3) Not Important and Urgent : Delegate it or plan to a later date
4) Not Important and not Urgent : Forget about it! It is a complete waste of time….
I used this system now for years, and believe me it completely changed my life! Being aware of what is important and/or urgent makes your journey so much easier. I stopped losing time taking care of absolutely unimportant things and focused on the tasks that really had an impact on the future and results of my company or my private life.
Balance your life!
Living in a world of “Sharks”, everyone expecting from you great performance & results. Did you ever think that having a certain balance in your life will also improve your professional performance?
What seems to be at the first stage some kind of difficult to understand, completely changed my life in the last couple of years.
Unfortunately, I’m in a very unlucky position! I love my work in the industrial valve business more than everything. Every day brings up new challenges and projects that drive my energy up to the top! But beside my work, I’m an absolute passionate and “freak” for my family life, our children, volleyball, card magic and writing (books or articles). Besides this, I love to spend time with a good friend around an exceptional “grand-cru” of red wine and fine food.
It took me a long time to understand that besides my professional/business life I also need also to plan things/events for myself. Everyone needs in his life some time for his passions and convictions. For sure this is difficult to plan into our crazy business schedule, but we must do it!
Never mind what are your passions and what give you energy in your life, you must also reserve some time for those. Sports, weightlifting, reading inspiring stuff, doing Yoga or just read a good book, just plan into your schedule that extra piece of life quality.
No one can live only for work! This is a complete illusion, and one day you will end up with a heart attack or a burnout! I’m truly aware that this is hard stuff, but we have to be realistic that this can happen if we do not have a certain balance in our lifes.
So the key habit here is to find and reserve some time for your life passions. I personally choose a couple of years ago the method that after 10PM and until 11PM I reserved one hour for myself! No matter if I’m at home (my family is aware of this), or if I’m on a business trip, I stick up to that rule. Taking one hour a day, you would be surprised how much you will be able to take out of your personal passion in that short time!.
Do you remember the film “Pretty Women”? Do you remember the scene when Richard Gere walked barefoot on the grass? This is exactly what I'm suggesting here. Take time for yourself!
If you are traveling a lot like me, spending hours and hours in airplanes. Why not once pull away from your laptop and instead of working, take a couple of hours just for yourself? Again, believe me the world will not stop spinning around! And the next day you will probably perform better than ever…
Maybe you will have to read this article 2-3 times to understand it the right way!
It took me years to understand all of this, and honestly, it took me even more years to apply it into my crazy life.
But believe me that today I have a much better life quality than ever before!
Take control of your life now, and you will see that you perform better at any level! Business – Family and for yourself.
I'm open for any discussion about this subject.
With best regards
Michel F. Bolle
(Author of the Amazon bestselling books – “The Art of Successful Leadership” & “100 Inspirational Quotes”)
#valve #leadership #management #successstory #business #champion #valves #michebolle
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