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Lessons on Marketing from our Forefathers

2 Jul

Monday, July 2, 2012

In light of celebrating our nation’s independence, I thought it would be pertinent to look back at what our forefathers had to say. I think we can still learn a lot from their timeless quotes. Here are a few of my favorites. 

“A spoonful of sugar will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar.” Benjamin Franklin    Customer service is one of the hallmarks of marketing. If you have terrible customer service, you’re going to lose sales. There is an appropriate way to respond to criticism and complaints and it doesn’t involve name-calling and going in the defensive. Instead, own up to the mistake — if applicable — and put a positive spin on it. You’ll end up catching – and keeping – more “flies” that way.  

“Have you something to do to-morrow; do it to-day.” -Benjamin Franklin     Plan ahead! For example: Write your editorial calendar and content months in advance so that you’re not stuck scrambling when it’s time to put it in motion. Arrange your activities and materials for the next day before leaving the night before. 

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” -Abraham Lincoln       All departments within a company must work together towards the same goal. That means that they should maintain regular communication. For example: Sales should share with marketing their new leads to analyze demographics. Marketing should make sales aware of current initiatives and goals for an accurate picture of the audience.

“Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” -Benjamin Franklin    Science proves that people are most productive in the morning after a good night’s sleep. In addition, decisions are best made in the morning. “…[O]ur ability to make any type of difficult decisions is adversely affected by fatigue.” So get up early and start spreading your message.

“Disciple is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.” -George Washington    A brand is only as strong as its weakest attribute. The soul of a brand is its ability to be disciplined, consistent throughout…from internal operations to customer perceptions. Without them, a brand will surely fail. 

“Genius is sorrow’s child.” -John Adams    Out of a need, creativity is born. Embrace the challenge to come up with a spectacular campaign. Be open to conflict because often that’s where the best ideas come from. 

Happy Independence Day!

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Relationship Building in the Digital Age

18 Jun

Monday, June 18, 2012

To follow up with the series “It’s All About Relationships”, I wanted to offer some tips on forming relationships in the digital age. As you know, networking is vastly different than it was even 5 years ago. With the explosion in popularity and efficiency of social media, most networking is done via these platforms. You have the opportunity to build relationships every day on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Are you taking advantage of these interactions? What follows are a few tips for each of the popular social media platforms to making connections and building relationships that last. 

LinkedIn
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful networking tools online. It has a more professional environment than Facebook and Twitter.

  • Join groups that are applicable to your industry and/or interests.
  • Within those groups, post relevant and original content.
  • See who is connected to your the people in your network and ask for an introduction if you think it would benefit both of you.
  • Comment regularly on articles with intelligent responses or arguments.

Facebook
Though you can be more relaxed on Facebook than on LinkedIn, it’s still an opportunity to impress. 

  • Post regularly. That means something different to every company or individual so research the best days and times to do so.
  • Photos and videos draw people in more than words.
  • Dare to have a little fun by offering anecdotes, polls, trivia, etc.
  • Don’t oversell. Use it as a platform for a message.

Twitter

  • If you’re not using @ in your tweets, you’re probably missing opportunities to connect. Even just a ‘thank you for following, @…’ can go a long way.
  • Consistency is the key. Create a queue with tools like Tweue or Timely to make your program more efficient.

Pinterest

  • Post pictures that stir an emotional response.
  • Categorize pictures so they’re easier to look through and repin.

Blogging

  • Consider asking a guest blogger to write an article or series. You’ll automatically have a wider network.
  • A good headline to a post will get 5 times more readership than the article itself!
  • Comment regularly — and strategically — on other blog’s posts. (Follow the link for some really great tips.)

The Bottom Line:[Relationships are]… a collaborative bond, fostered via meaningful and well-timed communications and recognition.” 

Your turn: How do you network online? Which platform do you find most effective?

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It’s All About Relationships Part 4 – Marriage

4 Jun

Monday, June 4, 2012

You’ve met Mr. right. You’ve dated. You’ve proposed. Now, how do you sustain the relationship through til the ‘Golden Years’? In the same way a marriage takes a lot of work, so does a business relationship. It requires patience, understanding and compassion. (For this, I can claim extensive experience! Though I’ve only been married 6 years, I’ve learned a lot.)

Numerous external influences (i.e. children, in-laws, friends, etc. = competitors) will be at work throughout the lifetime of the relationship. So how do you ensure that you’lk keep your constituency? It comes down to maintaining customer loyalty.

Maintaining Customer Loyalty Through Customer Experience Management
One of my favorite college professors used to talk incessantly about what is now called Customer Experience Management or CEM. He totally believed in the power that relationships provide to the success of any enterprise. The more time I spend in public relations, I absolutely agree.

Non-profits especially carry a large burden because of their very nature. They survive on the generosity of individuals, charitable businesses and philanthropic organizations. Ensuring that their experiences at every touch point are positive — and rewarding — should be THE top priority.

Today’s business experiences happen not only in the office or storefront, but in the virtual world. According to Bain & Company’s report ‘Putting social media to work’, “customers who engage with companies over social media spend 20 percent to 40 percent more money with those companies than other customers.”


What does that mean for a non-profit organization? It means that to meet and interact with potential donors you have to have a presence in the social media-sphere. Not just a presence, but a personality, a purpose and a plan. According to the research, your donor are going to meet you online. So…

  • Create fangelists
  • Make social media platforms places where people feel comfortable coming and sharing
  • Run exciting campaigns to attract to constituents – contests, initiatives for donations, fundraising competitions
Customer Experience Management Also Means Customer Service
Also included in Customer Experience Management is customer service. It is 5 times more expensive to attract new clients than it is to retain the ones you already have. I know that in the non-profit world things don’t work the same as for-profit business, but the same principles apply. Every person who walks through your door or comes to an event or visits your website should receive the utmost customer service. If they feel unimpressed in the least, that’s it – you’ve probably lost them forever. People may approach you with an interest in the organization and not necessarily want to give yet. Have patience and offer them the same service you would a business sponsor or major gifts donor. I talk about customer service all the time with my clients because I realize its benefits on a regular basis.
 
***How do you know if you’re being successful? By completing regular SWOT analyses of touch points to see where you’ve excelled and what aspects you might have to re-evaluate. Always make sure what you’re doing is measurable so you can look back at trends and missed opportunities.***
Tracking Customer Experience Through Customer Relationships Management
It’s not only important to be on social media recruiting, but you have to track customer touch points through a Customer Relationship Management system. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a method of tracking customers and interactions with them for future reference. CRM systems for marketing purposes are used for things like:
  • Identify potential donors or influential fundraisers
  • Segmenting mailing lists by demographics, giving history, etc.
  • Recording all interactions whether phone calls, face-to-face meetings, social media, etc.
  • Analyzing customer data like giving history, fundraising dollars, participation, etc.
CRM platforms can be anything from Excel spreadsheets, databases, existing CRM platforms and any proprietary systems. By tracking the data, you sill be able to see and analyze trends.

Your turn: Do you use a CRM system to track interactions? If so, what do you use? What successful campaigns have you run on social media?

More from this series:

It’s All About Relationships – Meeting Mr./Miss Right
It’s All About Relationships – Courtship
It’s All About Relationships – The Proposal

Other related posts:

Customer Service and Its Place in the Public Relations Mix
Good Customer Service = Customer Loyalty

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It’s All About Relationships Part 3 – The Proposal

22 May

Monday, May 21, 2012

In the same way that most people wouldn’t accept marriage proposal on the first date, most people will be turned off if you propose a request for a sponsorship or donation without first getting to know your potential donor. We’ve already talked about aligning yourself with the right type of donor and from there nurturing the relationship. Now it’s time to propose. “The ask”, I would venture to say, takes the most tact of all. Not only does it have to be well-timed, but it needs to be carefully crafted and impeccably precise.

Before the Proposal
There’s still a little more prep work to be done before you can ask. Now that you understand that people get involved with organizations because of some emotional need and since you’ve identified this purpose, you need to write your pitch. Why not pitch with a great story? Mark Rovner, of Sea Change Strategies, says that

“[t]here is no more sure fire way to engage someone emotionally than through dramatic stories.”

Want to write a really great story? Here are 4 steps from Katya Andresen – an awesome non-profit bloogger/expert and author of Robin Hood Marketing – to ensure you do just that:

    1. Include a relatable character, someone that your potential donor can identify with. “What unites us all are the trials and tribulations of being human.”
    2. Don’t be afraid to use conflict; in fact, it’s encouraged and will express the humanity
    3. Who/what is your villain? There is always an antagonist in every great story. Maybe it’s poverty or lack of funding for arthritis research. Whatever it is, bring it out into thd open.
    4. Tap into emotional responses by using detail words that conjure a response from one of the sense.
“…the best stories are the ones in which we see ourselves: ‘It is our ability to imagine ourselves in story’s circumstances that makes stories work.'”

The Proposal
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting and rehearsing for. The ask is all about connecting on a real, human level. While planning on how you’re going to propose, always consider the emotional impact of their donation whether it be money, time or in-kind. You’ll also need to determine when the best time is to propose. The setting will determine when to ask. If you’re hosting a fundraising event, consider doing your program with the ask before the meal. If it’s a one-on-one meeting, wait for cues in the conversation or from the person. But whatever the setting, be strategic about when you are going to pop the question.

A few more things to keep in mind:

  • Keep it short and to the point, but don’t sacrifice impact. (30 seconds is all you really need.)
  • Remember your audience and their higher purpose and speak to that end.
  • Rehearse your story so it sounds real and uncontrived.
  • Always speak from the heart to convey your passion.
  • A genuine ‘thank you’ goes a long way. 
Your turn: What do you feel is the best time to make “the ask” during a fundraising dinner? How do you propose to a potential business sponsor? Please share some of your experiences in the “Comments” section below. Thanks!

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[For more on amazing storytelling, check out Katya’s blog.] 

It’s All About Relationships Part 2: Courtship

10 May

Thursday, May 10, 2012   

Business connections, as in all relationships, require a great deal of effort. Once you’ve found Mr. Right, it’s time to follow up and nurture the budding relationship. A relationship that is not tended to will definitely become a missed opportunity. 

The First Date

Now it’s time to go on your first date with your ideal mate (read: donor/constituent/customer). This can be done over the phone, but ideally it will be in person for a more intimate approach. It’s all about the donor; the only information you should give about your organization is in response to their questions. You will use your “first date” as a get-to-know-you session:

  • What are their likes and interests?
  • What about them makes them a perfect fit for your organization?  
  • Where are they in the involvement funnel (i.e. What is their availability? In what ways are they interested in participating?)
  • What are their needs are expectations from this involvement? 
  • How does your organization’s mission fulfill a need that they have?

Courtship

If all goes well, your first date will blossom into a beautiful courtship. But first you have to follow up after the first date. It doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking experience. Instead use it as an opportunity to demonstrate another dimension of your organization’s brand. (Every orgnization has a brand promise to fulfill. This goes for non-profits as well.) The first follow up should simply be a personal phone call or note expressing gratitude and appreciation for their time and interest. 

Continue to nurture the relationship with regular communication. Get them on your mailing list(s) and/or send a personalized e-mail here and there to check in. [Caveat: Always, always ask permission before including someone new on your mailing list.]  There’s no need to be pushy. At this point, you’re still getting to know the person and introducing your organization. Consider the following ideas:

  • E-newsletters
  • Social media engagement
  • Blog follows and responses
  • Invitations to signature events

Things to remember about this stage: a) maintain regular communication and b) do not ask…yet!!
Up next week is “The Proposal” and there will be lots of good stuff about “the ask” so stay tuned. 

Your turn: How do you court potential donors/constituents? Do you find that when you follow up, you get a better rate of participation/response? I’d love to hear your comments.

Please let me know what you thought of this article. Thanks!

 

Related Posts:
It’s All About Relationships Part 1 – Meeting Mr./Miss Right

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It’s All About Relationships Part 1 – Meeting Mr./Miss Right

2 May

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 

The foundation for any successful business is relationships, whether we’re talking about a for-profit company or a not-for-profit organization. Lets think of it this way: You wouldn’t say yes to a marriage proposal on a blind date, would you? (Ok, I understand that there are some…er…adventurous?…people who might. But the general population would at least consider a second date first.) Maybe that example is a bit of a stretch, but it gives you a good idea of how to approach business relationships. For the purposes of this series, I’m going to use the premise of a non-profit organization. I’ll take you through the courtship of potential donors. Today we’ll start with ‘The Search’.

Meeting Mr./Miss Right = Cultivation

Before you can court someone, you have to find the right person, make connections, which is called cultivation. During the cultivation stage you are simply putting forth information out into the world and letting your “wing man” (to borrow a phrase) talk you up. How is this done? I’m glad you asked…

Fangelism
I believe that the foundation of cultivation should be this amazing principle called fangelismthe idea that existing volunteers and constituents, who already have a passion for the cause, engage people, initiate conversation and, ultimately, ignite excitement and promote action. All the other pieces should then fall into place. Consider this: If given a choice between a self-serving advertisement or an amazing recommendation from a third-party, which are you likely to trust more? Create fangelists to be the voices of the organization and help build relationships. Those people will then come and form relationships within your organization in an organic and personal way. They participate because they don’t feel pressured or conned. 

Social Media 

 People listen to each other more than us, so we need to stop viewing social media as another form of getting our message out…Its primary value is that it allows other people to get the message out, for us. – Katya Andersen   

This is particularly pertinent for those in the non-profit realm. After all, your ultimate goal is to promote your cause. The best way to do that is to support relationship building. Relationships are formed every day on social media. Donors don’t need another organization telling them why they should donate. Instead, give them a platform to share with you and other donors about their experiences — their stories, their souls — which will foster the support you need. Now, social media is just one platform non-profits have for cultivation, but it’s hugely relevant in our digital world and probably a good place to start. Use it to inform potential the community, promote events, stimulate thought, ignite movements, etc.

Ideas for Success
The key is to make people feel welcome to share on your social media pages and keep that momentum going. 

  • Make your Facebook timeline look and feel like a safe haven for story sharing. Timeline gives you ample opportunities for creativity. For ideas, check out other non-profit pages.
  • Have a current fangelist initiate discussion threads, themed posts or polls.
  • Invite a guest blogger to write about their experiences, which encourages others to share. 
  • Use Twitter hashtags (#) to initiate a collection of short stories.
  • Sign up for Pinterest and post relevant pictures that will cause people to dig a little deeper.
I would love to hear your ideas. Please share them in the comments section below so that others can benefit from your amazing creativity. Check back next week for the next installment in the series. 
Thanks for stopping by.
~Laura~ 
 
Other related blog posts:
Fangelism

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Rainy Day Motivation

27 Feb

Monday, February 27, 2012

Some days it’s all I can do just to get a few things done. Rainy days just have a way of zapping my motivation. (Mondays aren’t any easier, are they?) Here are 8 ways to fight through the rainy day ruts…and thoses “cases of the Mondays” too. Hopefully, you’re not facing both today where you are. Thank you to my Facebook followers for contributing your ideas.

1. Allow yourself scheduled mini-breaks/rewards.

2. If it helps, put something on your to-do list that’s already been done just for the satisfaction. (Awesome idea, Ginny.)

3. Coffee – any caffeine for that matter – always gies me the burst of energy I need.

4. Make a playlist. Put on your favorite “pump me up music”and rock out.

5. Don’t take your jeans off. (Thank you, Shannon, for that one!) This one might require some explaining: When you get home from running errands or whatever, never put on your comfy pants, because it’s all over from there. You’ll definitely not get anything done.

6. Post positive affirmations in high-traffic areas around the office/house. They’re sure to boost your resolve with their encouragement.

7. If you’re able to, head to a local internet cafe where others are likely motivated and working. Perhaps just being surrounded by others will help!

8. Eat a variety if nutritious and energizing foods – fruits and veggies are sure to help!  Avoid sweets which will only give you a temporary energy boost.

Your turn: In the “Comments” section below, share some ideas of what motivates you on a rainy day.

Thanks!
~Laura~ 

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Reflections

31 Dec

Saturday, December 31, 2011

I learned a lot about myself personally and as a business owner in 2011, things that I will take with me into the new year and beyond. I learned that you have to anticipate problems and plan for unexpected changes. It’s all about being flexible. Not everything is going to go as planned, but having a contingency plan in place can save a lot of time and headaches. I was also reminded that public relations is a 24-hour business. It’s not something that ends when the business day is over. Instead, it takes constant strategy to maintain a brand. A brand’s character can be destroyed in a second…and it’s difficult to recover from. There’s a lot left to be learned on this journey of owning a business and I am so thrilled to be on it. I can’t wait to see where the next year takes me. Thank you to all of my wonderful clients – and friends and family – for believing in me!

I can’t believe this year has come to an end already, but I am so excited for what’s in store for 2012. Happy New Year to you. See you in 2012 (by now, only a few hours away).

All the best,
-Laura

MVCs: Most Valuable Customers

7 Dec

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Is customer service just designed for external customers? I don’t believe so. My theory is that it starts from within the organization. Keep reading!

Who is the Most Valuable Customer?
I was reminded recently of the incredible value of employees because of some firsthand experiences. Not only do they complete the day-to-day activities that make a business run, but they have the potential to be your most loyal and committed cheerleaders. So why is it that when creating customer service strategies, we simply forget about them? I know a company that has an incredible customer service philosophy…I mean absolutely incredible. Everything they do is customer-centered. It’s amazing; truly. However, in carrying it out, they often inconvenience or frustrate employees with ridiculous and frequent policy changes, lack of communication between departments and different standards for all levels of employment.

The trend for employees these days is to put in some time (a year or two) in one position and then move onto another company and do the same. However, this is costly to employers for a number of reasons:

  1. the hiring process alone
  2. training of the new employee
  3. prospect search
So, how do you keep employees satisfied?

Employee-Centric Management
Here’s an idea: Employee-centric management. Herbert D Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines told Fortune in 2001 that “[y]ou have to treat your employees like customers…When you treat them right, then they will treat your outside customers right. That has been a powerful competitive weapon for us.” It starts from within the company and works its way out. When your employees are happy, they will translate that into their work. To reinforce this idea:

“There isn’t any customer satisfaction without employee satisfaction…He recognized that good employee relations would affect the bottom line. He knew that having employees who wanted to do a good job would drive revenue and lower costs.”Gordon Bethune, former CEO of Continental Airlines, longtime friend of Kelleher’s

“When an employee is delighted, he will delight the customer.”

Internal Marketing Plan
Consider instituting an internal marketing plan. Since we’ve established that employees are indeed another form of customer, they should also be marketed to. According to a spot-on research paper on the subject, “the establishment of internal marketing implies that the business must have positive relationships with employees.” Create and implement a marketing plan that specifically targets this very integral ‘market’.  Your plan should include items from the list below. A good plan will also require continuous research and evaluation of employee empowerment platforms and skills and training programs.

How do you convert an ‘employee’ into a lifelong ‘fangelist’? Here is a very brief list of ideas:

  1. Earn their respect by being competent, the best you can be at your job.
  2. Integrity – the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Enough said.
  3. Trust them. And then, go out of your way to let them know that you trust them.
  4. Value and utilize employee opinions. Give them an outlet to share their opinions. Actively consult this resource.
  5. If your company is going to be charitable, don’t force it upon your employees.
  6. If you are the CEO, be visible and accessible. We all know the CEO has responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean he/she can’t be accessible. Let your face be known in the workplace. An interesting idea: a two-way blogging platform where the CEO sets aside several hours per week to address employee questions or concerns and interacts with employees.
  7. Career advancement pathways. Hiring from within is a great motivator.
  8. Employee recognition programs.
  9. Be flexible/fun. Modern businesses have game rooms and cafes for employee enjoyment/relaxation.
  10. Communication, communication, communication. Set expectations and continually follow up so that no employee has a question.
  11. Treat them like people, not cogs in a machine. They have hearts, have feelings, etc….
  12. Employee loyalty programs like those offered to external customers.

“The internal market of a business encompasses its employees. This market is continuously being influenced by the ability of the employees to work together as a unit to reach and maintain the objectives of the business.” 

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Recap: Beating the Time Suck

29 Jul

Friday, July 29, 2011

If you subscribe to or have been following my Twitter and Facebook feeds this week, you will have seen that I’ve been posting valuable tips for saving time in order to ultimately be more efficient. These tips can cross over from your personal life into your business life and beyond. Below is a recap and elaboration of each tip. 

Tip #1: Set attainable tasks.
If you are like me, you set a task list every day/week. A lot of times, I don’t get to check items off the list. Sometimes, that’s because I’ve set myself up for failure by setting tasks that aren’t attainable. How can I help myself? Break down large or difficult tasks into more bearable, smaller ones. That way you can tackle the project as a whole more efficiently. 

Tip #2: Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks, but be reasonable.
Delegating can be really useful. Maybe you’re someone who likes to do things themselves (ahem…a.k.a. “likes to be in control”) or just feels uncomfortable asking for help. Either way, you might find that by delegating, because you’re in a supervisor role, or asking for help from a colleague can help you check tasks off your ever-expanding list. 

Tip #3: Set aside a few minutes every day to get organized.
It can be first thing in the morning or right before your leave work for the day, but make a conscious effort to get organized. Or get organized as you go. Papers have a way of disappearing and things don’t always get back to the place where they came from. Specifically committing to organization will prevent these things from happening…or at least keep them to a minimum. No one’s perfect, right?

Tip #4: Multitasking = chaos.
I always used to say that I was a great multitasker. I think my husband would disagree, and I may have to agree with him. Instead of doing a really great and accurate job on one project, instead I’ve created chaos and accomplished very little, very poorly of numerous tasks. That doesn’t sound streamlined, does it? Instead, I’ve really started to prioritize my work and concentrate on one project at a time, giving it my full, undivided attention. And you know what I’ve found? The quality of my work increases! 

Tip #5: Resist the urge to check Facebook/Twitter/Linked In/Google/e-mail, etc. constantly.
I heard someone say ,”Make a social media budget.” I love it! Set aside a specific block of time in the morning and in the afternoon to do your social media scouring…unless of course, this is your job description! It’s important to stay within your allotted time so that you aren’t falling back into your endless routine. I know social media can suck you in – we’re curious. We want to know what everyone else is up to. However, by wasting mindless hours being nosy, we’re losing valuable time and efficiency on work that really matters. 

“Time is more valuable than money, you can get more money,
but you can not get more time.” – Jim Rohn.

Tip #6: It’s ok to say “no”.
This is self-explanatory. You’re a good person; you want to help out. But by always helping someone else, you may be neglecting important things that you have to do. Sometimes, you just have to apologize graciously and decline. It’s perfectly acceptable and the other person will likely understand your time constraints.   

Tip #7: Before leaving your desk for the day, prepare it for the next morning.
I love this idea. Wouldn’t it be awesome to walk into your office/cubicle [insert appropriate office space here] in the morning and find everything in order and ready to go? Well, if you take 5 or 10 minutes the night before to organize your work and tasks for the next day, you can make that dream come true! Set aside your important work for the following day coordinating with your task list. Put away projects that are on hold. You can even leave yourself a little treat to start the day off right. Chocolate anyone? Leave your work space in a way that is calming and inviting for the following day and see how much less stressed you feel the next morning. 

Tip #8: Commit to doing difficult tasks during your most productive time.
Maybe you’re a morning person and your peak time is in the morning. Set aside an hour or two in the morning to do the tasks that maybe aren’t your favorite or that will require a great deal of concentration so that when the afternoon slump hits, you will feel accomplished. On the other hand, maybe by 11:00 (or even later for some people) you’ve started feeling human again. After your 10 cups of super-caffeinated, dark roast breakfast blend coffee, start in on your least favorite assignments. Because you’ve (most likely) hit your peak time, you’ll be able to fulfill more of your responsibilities and with higher quality.

Tip #9: It sounds counterintuitive, but schedule time for rest.
Have you ever realized how much more productive you are after you’ve taken even a 10 minute break to relax or refresh? Taking your mind off a stressful task (or any long task) for a short period of time gives your brain and body a well-deserved rest. Leave your desk and stop thinking about work altogether. Maybe you have time for a quick walk around the office park. Take a few minutes for you, for your mental health. You’ll come back to your desk feeling refreshed. Note: Don’t take any longer than 10 minutes or you’ll probably lose all energy for work!

Tip #10: Instead of doing several small trips, combine them into one large trip.
Not only does this save time, but money as well, in terms of the sky-rocketing gas prices. If it helps, map it out the details of your route ahead of time. This way you’ll stick to your plan and maybe even have some time to spare.

Tip #11: When scheduling meetings, ask yourself if they are truly necessary or if you can get done what you need to with an e-mail.
Think about how much time is wasted waiting for everyone to show up for the meeting, getting coffee, then doing your greeting, answering questions, etc. Could you have just asked your questions in an e-mail or a quick drop-by your colleague’s office? If you indeed must hold a meeting, make a precise and clear agenda and stick to it! Make sure by the end you have made a clear decision to prevent you from having to schedule additional meetings. 

—-

“An average interruption time of 5 minutes – equates to about 4 hours – or 50% of your productive time being wasted by interruptions.”
“Once interrupted, it can take 20 minutes to get back to the level of concentration you were at prior to the disruption.”   results.com

Have a wonderful weekend!

~Laura~

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