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Why You Need to Make a Positive Mindset Your #1 Goal in 2017

Positive Mindset The Key To Success In 2017

Positive thinking written in cursive pinned on a cork board

Since the year’s end will be here before you know it, most people will begin to consider making a new year’s resolution. Personally, I never make any. I think they’re a waste of time and effort. In fact I think resolutions, like many of the parties that typically happen on New Year’s Eve, are for amateurs. It’s estimated that only 8% people who make resolutions are successful at achieving them. Think about it. Millions of resolutions are made at the start of each new year with the same thought given to a bad habit. We know it exists, but we never do anything about it.

There are those who set goals instead of resolutions. These are over achievers. You know who you are. You are likely an entrepreneur or successful business person. You recognize the importance of setting goals and laying out a plan for success. You use the plan to your advantage, like a roadmap takes you to your destination. To you, life isn’t a game. It’s a calculated adventure that more often than not, works in your favor. But even those with the best of intentions are at risk of failing to achieve that which they have set out to do.

Then are also the “in between” people. They are those who may have the grandest of intentions. They may make a declaration to their friends, or on Facebook, or perhaps just to their family or friends that this will be the year they “get that promotion” or “start that business” or perhaps “get back in shape.” Most times, these people (you know who you are) have a goal in mind. They may have a date to reach their goal. They could even have a plan to execute it. But sadly, most of these people will fail in their effort to achieve the goal.

There is of course, one more group of people. They scoff at resolutions. They think of them as water cooler talk and want no part of them. These are people who set and achieve goals with the seaming ease of taking a breath. They set lofty goals that seem unattainable to mere mortals. They hit every goal with the accuracy of an expert sharpshooter.

This begs the question, “How?”

How can you achieve at the same rate as these high performers?

Some may think that these people are different. That they have something within them that no one else possesses. The fact is, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s the easy answer. It’s an answer that takes any responsibility off of us and blames it on circumstance or maybe even genetics.

The problem is that you are looking at it in the wrong direction. You are linking your results to who you are as a person, rather than just the results and then decide you are a failure. Tony Robbins said, “There is no failure, there are only results.”

Wow, this is great news! The problem isn’t you, it’s only your mindset.

Wait a second Bearj, isn’t my mindset part of me?

Well…yes, but it’s not a permanent part of you, because it can be changed. Your mindset is the sum all of your experiences and inputs from birth until now. Your experiences, challenges, and reactions have shaped you into you.

Changing your mindset means you have to change your reaction to the events that take place around you.

For example, while driving, you run out of gas. Your reaction to this determines your mindset and how you feel about the event.

Choice 1: I’m stupid. These things always happen to me. This is a huge inconvenience. How could I let this happen?

Choice 2: I’ll walk to get gas, it will be good exercise. Maybe I’ll have the chance to meet someone new. I’m glad this happened to me and not one of my kids or my wife. What a beautiful day to be outside.

New Mindset New Results

If you think of your mindset as a radio transmitter and a radio receiver, you will understand the importance of mindset and its role in achieving success.

A transmitter sends out a signal in the form of a vibration and whatever is tuned in at the same wavelength will receive that signal. And the reverse is also true. If you are tuned in to a specific wavelength, your will receive any signal that transmits on that wavelength. So if you are tuned into a “woe is me, I can never do anything right” wavelength, then that is what you will receive. However, if you are tuned into a more positive wavelength that will be the signal you receive.

Setting a goal is important, but the real key to achieving your goal is having a rock solid positive mindset that will give you the strength to overcome any obstacle.

The concept is simple to understand, but a little more difficult to achieve.

So, next month, I’ll talk about how you can retrain your mind to begin receiving and sending the right vibrations so you can get what you want and make every goal seem attainable.

Bearj Jehanian is a Maximum Performance Speaker and Trainer. He teaches corporations, sales teams, colleges, universities and networking groups, how get past mindset roadblocks and hurdles and Break Down The Wall to Their Success Zone. You can find him at www.BreakDowntheWall.com/Bearj

Time Management Tips: 9 Ways To Make Meetings Better

Time Management Tips: 9 Ways to Make Meetings Better

Traditionally, meetings have come to be thought of as the bane of every employee’s existence. After all, there’s no “real work” being done in them, right? Meetings can be a Time vortex and a time management disaster.

picture of small group business meeting

Who is responsible for making the meeting effective? You might say the leader – but I would say you!

How do you improve time management? If meetings are a waste of time in your workplace, you may need to revamp the way you hold meetings and how you show up for other people’s meetings. If they aren’t going to do something about it, you should. After all this is your time they are wasting too.

Meetings do have a purpose and can make your organization more productive, when done right. The elements of managing effective meetings are important time management skills. Meetings keeping teams organized and on top of solving problems, create innovation and more. How, then, do you make your gatherings more interesting and less of a burden on your team?

Be Prepared

What are you doing to prepare for a meeting your invited to? Do you review the agenda and see what contribution is necessary. What input do you have if any? If you don’t have any input, ask you self are you really necessary at this meeting? Would the minutes and conclusions be enough information? Part of your preparation is ensuring you are needed at this meeting. A lack of preparation is wasting more of your time in the long run by sitting in useless meetings.

If there is no agenda, ask for one, it is your right. Don’t attend unless someone sends you one. You can change a culture by setting the standard.

Dedicate your attention

I was texting a friend and she texted back she was in a meeting. I was amazed that she wrote back to me to tell me that. Avoid this impulse to respond to people immediately (that is another blog all together) and challenge yourself to attend the meeting with no phone. This will be a big challenge, I know. You will have all kinds of excuses, I know. Allowing yourself to be distracted is part of the meetings problem. Bring a toy to keep you paying attention. Toys actually increase attention by 25%.

The meeting and the team deserve your attention. If you and all the other multi-taskers, dedicated your attention it will keep the meeting focused and short.

Keep it Small

Does the entire company really need to attend? Are all of these people directly involved in the issues being discussed? If not, don’t invite them. The more people you have, the longer our meeting will probably be, and the more distractions the attendees will have. Also, if they don’t need to be there, don’t waste time that they could have spent working on something more important.

Question your role in the meeting and make sure you are really needed.

Be patient

Acknowledge that everyone needs to participate in some shape or form. This will create a greater connection and sense of belonging amongst the team. Don’t cut people off, talk over them or disregard their ideas. Help the facilitator to do this in an efficient and effective way if it isn’t working.

Be Supportive

Encourage everyone to participate. Be positive and focus on their strengths instead of weakness. Welcome new ideas with a “yes, and…” approach rather than a “no, but…”. This will help all feel team members feel like they belong. Team performance increases significantly when all participate and feel a sense of trust and belonging.

Hands holding support in block letters

Stand Up

If your meeting can be as short as 15 minutes, have it standing up. Stand up meetings have risen in popularity due to their efficacy and energizing qualities. If it isn’t official who said you cant stand up. Let people know you are going to stand for a bit and encourage others to stand or take a short standing break to breath energy back into a lifeless meeting.

Don’t let them eat cake

Don’t bring sweets and don’t let others eat sweets and snacks at the meeting. You don’t want people setting up camp and you don’t want them crashing after a sugar high in your meeting either.

Be Militant about Time

Do not be late and do not tolerate lateness from others. Even if you aren’t the boss, you can speak up when someone else is late. If Red Flag with Dont Be Latethey feel too comfortable being late they will continue to waste your time.

Make it fun

Take it upon yourself to inject some life into these meetings. Approach the meeting facilitator and discuss ways to start them off with some sort of fun engagement. If you grab people’s attention in the first 5 minutes you are already going to have a more productive meeting.

Breathe new life into business meetings by trying some new techniques and improve time management!

Penny Zenker is a strategic business coach and trainer, boosting productivity for business leaders and entrepreneurs. She leverages her personal experiences of building up and later selling a multi-million dollar business, as a senior executive at one of the worlds largest market research companies and working with business leaders all over the world as a Tony Robbins Business Coach. Penny proven and practical approach help people to get results quickly.

Can Efficiency Compromise Your Results

Can efficiency compromise your results?

towwt_wineryA good friend of mine, Jill, went on this amazing wine tour in Napa Valley. What does that have to do with time management and productivity, wait for it. Her good friend, Steve, is a high-end buyer of wines and organized wine tasting at the most exclusive wineries closed to the public. He had a planned a fantastic weekend for a group of 8 friends.

Steve is a very successful businessman. How else could he afford all that wine, right? He is a big-shot in his company and he prides himself on doing things efficiently. Speed is of the essence in his business and private life. He prides himself on tools and gadgets that help to complete jobs faster. He makes decisions fast – which Malcolm Gladwell pointed out was a hallmark trait of successful leaders. Not surprising, this behavior also shows up in his wine purchasing.

During each tasting he quickly identified which wines he wanted to purchase for his collection. Without hesitation and stealth like, he would then quickly place the order and be ready to go to the next location. Although efficiently handled, unfortunately this was not the most effective strategy for his wine purchasing.

You see, there were seven other people tasting as part of his group. What Steve failed to take into account is that others might want to purchase some wine as well. Could there have been additional benefits if others purchased together?

An entrepreneur knows right away that there is an opportunity to be more effective collaborating together as a group. We will give Steve a break here as he works for a big company and not might see the opportunity as quickly. Steve failed to take into account is that others might want to purchase some wine, He didn’t ask just did his thing. Sometimes individual efficiency can be at the cost of the group. (In case you didn’t connect the dots yet, I am not just talking about wine purchasing, wink, wink).

Chalkboard with efficiency written

Jill is an entrepreneur, so when she went to place her order, she asked the owner about discounts being offered for large purchases. He told her that when one case or more is ordered, the bottles will be discounted at 20% for all that order. That’s a decent savings, or more wine to take home. Without their collaboration as a group they would not be able to take advantage of the savings. Before she went to ask the group, my friend asked the proprietor if anyone else already purchased. Steve already made his purchase, and the owner of the winery was now no longer able to cancel and re-ring his order. Steve was not able to take advantage of the discount. Even though she missed the opportunity to collaborate with Steve, my friend is persuasive, the owner did offer my friend a free bottle of high-end wine with her order. The quality of questions you ask, will determine the quality of your result. In other words, your questions have the power to make you more effective.

The moral of the story is being fast and efficient at completing something, doesn’t necessarily make it effective.

Even if Steve didn’t care about a discount or more wine (but come on, I am sure he would say yes to more wine, wouldn’t you?), he could have helped the others. If he chose to coordinate with his group, he would have been efficient and effective. He would have received an extra bottle of wine, his group would be happy because they also would receive that discount too. In addition, collaborating together often create and enhances the experience.

Many people view productivity has efficiency. There are some flaws in definition of productivity as you can relate from Steve’s example and the business example provided below.

In my book the Productivity Zone, I define productivity as where efficient and effective meet. When you are efficient but not effectiveproductivity_zone you are under performing. When you are effective but not efficient you are over performing.

What does efficient decision making look like? What do efficient internal or sales meeting look like? Compare the definition with the definition of an effective decision, an effective internal or sales meeting. They are different yet compliment and impact one another.

Most corporate training focuses on efficiency and misses the soft factors that often make the result more effective. Management training needs to be adapted to cover both.

This may be just a silly wine story, but where does this show up for you as a leader in your decision making, your purchasing, your product development or any other area of your business? .

I worked with a client who spent years developing their products internally efficiently and they were proud of their efficiency. The challenge was they were so focused on efficiency because the sales weren’t what they expected. Often companies over emphasis efficiencies and end up compromising the end result.

In this case they did their product development in a vacuum without any client feedback. I would say that didn’t have a focus on what would make their development efforts more effective with their customers. After all, aren’t they looking to sell those products to the customers? The over emphasis of efficiency compromised the effective result.

After changing their new product development process to include market feedback, they were able to win over 2 major retailers and a few very large manufactures they had been trying to acquire as customers for some time. The workshops together with these companies may have been seen as inefficient with the number of people required at the meetings, the keynote speakers they hired and the team building exercises they performed. But the results would say otherwise. You can’t argue with results.

The biggest time management tips demonstrate that it isn’t just about saving time and efficiency; it is about being more effective at the same time. It is about achieving more in less time with fewer resources.

It is time to look at where you might be over or under performing individually and as a team. Isn’t it time you closed the gaps and more consistently perform in the Productivity Zone?

Penny Zenker is a strategic business coach and trainer, boosting productivity for business leaders and entrepreneurs. She leverages her personal experiences of building up and later selling a multi-million dollar business, as a senior executive at one of the worlds largest market research companies and working with business leaders all over the world as a Tony Robbins Business Coach. Penny proven and practical approach help people to get results quickly.

Would You Rather Be Liked Or Respected?

Liked Or Respected? An Important Leadership Question.

Have you ever noticed that the best leaders in history weren’t always liked; Steve Jobs, Jack Welsh, or Bill Gates for example. They were respected for challenging others and focusing on growth but always the nicest to be around. They had a strong vision and they did whatever it took to reach that vision. They had high expectations of others to follow that mantra. They weren’t always liked but they were respected. What is your leadership style? Do you want to be liked or respected? Be honest.


Just because you are in a leadership role does not mean you have earned your teams respect. A title or position is only a label, especially with the millennial generation. Being their friend doesn’t earn you the respect either. They expect vision they can connect with and be a part of, strategy to provide clear direction, communication to educate why the steps are being made and to be challenged to grow personally and professionally. The Truth is we all want that. You have to demonstrate your leadership abilities to earn respect as a leader.

There is a major difference in the behavior of a leader that wants to be respected versus a leader that wants to be liked.

What are the effects of wanting to be liked? You won’t call out bad behavior from your team, when it relates to values or performance. You avoid difficult conversations, or minimize the conversation. When things get out of hand and drastic action needs to be taken- you are considered a two-faced traitor. How do your best performers feel when you are not taking action against those NOT pulling their weight? They decide they don’t need to give as much effort and team performance suffers further. The respect these employees have for you diminishes. It is a ripple effect. I have seen it first hand when brought in to coach with CEO’s. Often lack of engagement is a result of a leadership challenge.

On another note, I was working on a book project with some other authors, 20 to be exact. It was not an easy project to manage with so many authors. Deadlines had to be met to move forward with the vision. A few authors did not meet the deadlines so the creative director kicked those authors out of the project for not meeting the deadlines. Not easy to do. Interestingly enough, I recognized that because of that act of leadership, I had more respect for him for making this difficult move than anything he has done to this point. His leadership was tested. He was setting the standard. He was showing respect for those who completed their submissions on time and honoring the dates set forth for the project. He knew that this could effect future submissions from all the authors if he let these authors slide. Many leaders don’t want to make hard decisions in fear of not replacing those key players, interestingly enough; he was actually able to get even stronger replacements for the project who could deliver quickly. He opened up the space for that to happen. Be careful, fear will work against you as a leader. You need to do what is right for the team and the rest will work itself out.

A mentor of mine once told me, that my job was to make decisions and what I did with the rest of my time was up to me. That was a reminder to me to keep my leadership role in perspective and not allow myself to get caught up in the details and excuses that would keep me from making the necessary decisions.

I want you to consider this, when you want them to like you, where is your focus? The focus is on you. As you will learn in executive training programs, a great leader is focused on the employee. What is best for the employee and the mission is to be honest, open and direct with them and their performance. Great leadership is about making them better. Leadership is about them not you.

Here are 5 ways to improve your leadership and gain respect in doing so.

  1. Set the standard, others will model youHow you show up as a leader matters because your energy will be contagious. It will affect or infect those around you. People will model and mirror you, no matter how you show up, whether you want them to or not. it is human nature. Related to this modeling, I actually received one of the greatest compliments of my career during a very difficult International restructuring. Our division was to be sold, and I was leading the effort and the division being sold. The sale was to be with a competitor and the staff did not know yet. We couldn’t be sure if the sale would go through so we had to proceed as normal operationally. For the management team this wasn’t easy as we could not be sure our jobs were secure let alone our staff. That didn’t matter, we still needed to lead the organization regardless of the outcome. It wasn’t about us, it was about the team and our role in making this merger and transition successful. The Merger went ahead and the integration went very well. After the merger many of the management team were let go. I met up with one of them after the re-organization, and I asked how he managed to get through the situation emotionally. He told me that he asked himself “What would Penny do in this situation?” I was blown away at this level of respect. That was the highest honor I could ask for and an amazing compliment and testimonial of my leadership. I am telling you this to press upon you how you show up in even the most difficult of times effects the behavior of the rest of the team.
  2. Ask more questions, empower your team: Some leaders end up being the problem solver. It makes them feel good, needed and appreciated. Your team like you better in the short run because they can off-load their problems on you, but they would respect you more if you put the questions back to them to help them solve their own problem. Build their skills to break the problem down and solve it themselves. Solving the problems themselves gives them greater confidence, independence and ownership. Some people might classify the problem solver as a micromanager because they are so hands on. Manage the person not the situation. Become a coach and ask the right questions rather than give the right answers.
  3. Support collaboration over competition: Support and encourage your team to work together to build each other’s skills and abilities as a whole. Look at an orchestra, each one can be a great soloist, but together they create magic. Allow individual strengths to be appreciated and utilized as a team like the orchestra. Competition across the organization creates silos of information, experience and support. Your team will honor and respect a culture of collaboration that further re-enforces trust. Competition appears to be a driver but ends up more of a wedge than a driver. Focus on the music not the instruments.
  4. Frequent Feedback for growth: Create a culture of open honest feedback. The concept of annual evaluations is way outdated. Millennial as a culture thrive on frequent feedback. Integrate feedback opportunities into your meetings and into your projects. Make sure to follow up on feedback and see how it will be applied and tracked. The purpose of feedback is growth and without application and tracking you don’t see the progress as clearly or the opportunity to adapt where necessary.
  5. Speed of TrustThe book by Stephen M.R. Covey “Speed of Trust” states very clearly that the most important commodity in your organization is trust. As a leader that is your responsibility. Your behavior either builds and maintains trust or breaks it down. If you are looking for engagement, ownership and loyalty in your organization you wont get it by wanting to be liked. You must make the hard decisions, face the challenges, create open honest communication, take calculated risks and as a result you will gain the respect and trust of your team.

Where have you recognized the desire to be liked and its effect on your leadership? What will you now do differently to gain the respect of your team? Earning respect takes time and the best time to start or build upon where you are is right now. How can you create a WOW for your team to improve the environment, enhance their opportunities, and provide more autonomy?

Penny Zenker is a strategic business coach and trainer, boosting productivity for business leaders and entrepreneurs. She leverages her personal experiences of building up and later selling a multi-million dollar business, as a senior executive at one of the worlds largest market research companies and working with business leaders all over the world as a Tony Robbins Business Coach. Penny proven and practical approach help people to get results quickly.

Time Isn’t The Problem – YOU ARE

I don’t have enough time.

I’m too busy.

If only there were more hours in the day.

I have an old friend who always told me, “I’m so busy I don’t even have enough time to buy a pair of new jeans.” Seriously, he said that to me all the time! At first I believed him. I mean, why wouldn’t I? I don’t know his schedule. I have no idea what is time management to him and what he goes through on a daily basis. So who am I to argue? But I began to notice he said this to me all the time. It was the same complaint about not having enough time to buy a pair of jeans. For a while I thought, “this guy is going to be walking around in nothing but his tighty-whities soon.” It definitely wouldn’t have been a pretty sight!

Man with a clock over his face

I was young and naïve at the time so I would engage him and try reasoning with him, to no avail. I soon realized that this was a “go to” phrase for him – an attention getter. For me it eventually became white noise – sort of. I secretly kept a mental scoreboard of every instance he made that same excuse. He had enough time for everything else and I began to realize that the only thing he needed some extra to purchase was a pair of jeans. Is that possible?

So (after 4 years of hearing the same excuse) the next time he began his sob story about buying jeans, I called him on it. “Are you telling me that for four years you have been so busy that you haven’t had even a moment to purchase a new pair of jeans?” Realizing how absurd he must have been sounding, we both began to laugh.

If this garnished even a small chuckle from you, it’s probably because it resonated with you in some small way. Either because you have made the same kind of “time” excuse, or perhaps you know others who make this sort of lame excuse themselves.

Let me dive a little deeper into the content of the conversations I had with my friend.

  1. Almost every time we spoke, our conversations lasted 45 minutes to more than an hour. (I’m pretty sure I could have purchased several pairs of jeans in an hour.)
  1. His focus on our conversations was on his problem (time) not the solution.
  2. He focused the reason for his problem on everyone else.

I think we all have friends like this. They’re great people, but perhaps a little misdirected. My friend is a great person. One of the best I know. He would do, and has done, anything for me. Understand, this is not about character. It’s about mindset.

It’s likely that anyone this story made you think about, has a negative mindset directed at successful people. They may believe that somehow successful people caught a break in some way; they were born into it; or maybe they’re just disgruntled because they wish to be successful but are unable to capture what it is they want.

Being successful takes time.

Yes it does. But that doesn’t mean you need more time for it to happen. Most people falsely believe that in order to take on a new project or endeavor you need to add time to you day. Let’s again take a look at my friend, for example. He believed he didn’t have time to buy a single pair of jeans. The reality is he did. You know he did and so do I. In fact, subconsciously, even he knew he had time.

Then what is the problem?

Your language, mindset and willingness to accept responsibility for your results will determine the level of success you achieve. Let’s look at these time management tips

Your Language

My friend told himself so many times over again that he was strapped for time, that he began to believe it. Heck, even I believed it at first! There is nothing that sucks the time and energy from you more than you own language. The more you tell yourself what you can’t do, what you don’t have the time for, and the difficulties you will encounter, the more you will feel like a salmon trying to swim upstream but losing. Start by telling yourself what you can do, what you are capable of. You will improve your time management and watch your productivity rise. They should start teaching this in leadership training, as it is a part of time management skills but rarely recognized as such.

Be Solution-Focused, not Problem-Focused

Chalk board Problems and SolutionsSuccessful people are such, because they solve problems. The more problems you solve, the more successful you are. But how can you find solutions if all you focus on are the problems? The more you focus on problems, the more they will be all you see. It becomes a habit. Now is the time to create new habits and replace the old ones. Be a solution oriented person. Find answers not roadblocks. Forget about dead ends, and instead look for new paths. But here is the secret sauce… By focusing on the solution you will direct your language to be more positive and naturally solve your language issues! How cool is that? Spending time focusing on problems steals your time. Instead acknowledge your problem and focus on a solution.

Accept Responsibility for Your Own Results!

The problem with blaming others for your perceived problems is you give away your control. Just as with your language, you will develop the habit of blaming others, your surroundings, or circumstances for your results and when you do that you give away your power to change them. The result of that is that you lose direction in your life. Imagine a rudderless sailboat attempting to navigate the wind and currents with only a sail. There would be nothing to keep it on course, giving the wind and current all the control with the sail having little if any influence at all. Keep you and only you accountable for you success or failure. When you own your results, you will clear you pathway to success!

My Challenge For You!

Buy a small notebook or journal and begin to keep a log of your language. Log how often your make excuses instead of take action. Keep a record of how often you own your results. And list all the solutions you find for any problems you have.

Create Positive Language

Focus on Solutions

Own Your Results

Just like changing the food you eat will change your body shape and physical health, so will the mindset you create change the results you have and the time it takes to get those desired results. Your thoughts created who you are today, so it stands to reason that by changing those thoughts you can become a different person tomorrow.

Bearj Jehanian is a Maximum Performance Speaker and Trainer. He teaches corporations, sales teams, colleges, universities and networking groups, how get past mindset roadblocks and hurdles and Break Down The Wall to Their Success Zone. You can find him at www.BreakDowntheWall.com/Bearj

Managing Multiple Priorities

6 Tips on How to Manage Multiple Priorities

We live in an urgency based society. Most people are available 24/7, writing and answering work emails from the time they get up to the time they go to bed.

People text you and the average response comes back in 2 minutes.  Everything is urgent. We are addicted to the stimulation of urgency. Admit it you know this is true.

As an entrepreneur, I think urgency is part of my make up. It has been a part of my success as well as a curse that is killing me. Managing my definition of urgent has been my struggle ever since I can remember. Now I get to help others with that too.

I guess we do teach what we too need to learn. I have learned a lot over the years with my businesses and through my clients.

One client, literally put himself in the hospital because everything was urgent to him. He wore down his body from the conflict of trying to manage everything as urgent (client work, work as CIO of the company and managing staff, doing special projects for the CEO- all equally urgent in his eyes.  All was urgent expect the things that were most important to him such as his family and health. He isn’t the only one though is he? We all do that from time to time and some all too often.

Our culture is built on urgency.

In the book “The Stuff Americans Are Made Of :The Seven Cultural Forces That Define Americansthe authors speak of seven cultural forces and “impatience with time” seems to characterize us as a nation. A sense of urgency and impatience is part of our culture. Where else do people experience road rage, eat fast food regularly, go on crash diets, and pay double the price for the “Fast Pass” to avoid waiting in line.

How do we manage time when everything is urgent? How do we set priorities? There is an answer and it is quite simple. I provided my client the following 6 Asks to change his instant urgency and calm his impatience. He was taught to start asking questions. That is how simple it is. I taught him to just ask questions. Here are the 6 Asks.

1. Ask yourself?

First move out the things that are not urgent and not important with these simple questions.

Is this Really urgent?

Is that true?

Is that really true?

How do you know that is true?

Managing Multiple PrioritiesBreak it down. The overwhelming part is seeing the big chunk as urgent versus just understanding what is the next step. It is much more palatable to allocate time and stay calm about what there is to do, when you break it down into smaller chunks. This is not new, we just need to remember to do it.

Urgency has too much emotion tied to it. Instead of managing urgencies, manage what is next. Thee following Asks are ways to determine what is next and mange priorities with less emotion.


Use a system to evaluate priorities. Systematizing the process takes the emotion out of it.

2. Ask others for a decision:

Let others decide. Tell your boss that if you do A you cannot do B and visa versa. Which would he like you to do first? Don’t say I will get it done and then stay up all night to do it or miss your childs recitel. Ask him which is more important. He has to make the decision not you.

3. Ask for help:

What resources might you have available to you if you ask? You don’t now until you ask. Perhaps there is a budget that can be accessed to get support. Perhaps there are other staff members that can be brought in because their work isn’t as time sensitive. Get creative in finding options by asking for support. 

4. Ask to break it down:

Start with due dates and break it down. This will help everyone to better estimate the time and effort to complete the project. Sometimes without the breakdown the projects are grossly under estimated. The gross underestimations create major stress and mismatched expectations. There is no one to blame but yourself for not investing time in the breakdown. As questions to get enough information to break it down.

5. Ask for compromises:

Ask for alternative solutions. Ask about which parts of the project are most important so maybe parts can be completed but not the whole.

Asking for compromises sets the expectation that this is not realistic and needs to be reconsidered which aspects are most important. Shift the delivery date, change the content, increase the budget, outsource part of the work-reduce the profit margin. My mother always taught me, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

6. Ask for confirmation before you start:

if you have made up  priority plan or schedule, ask others involved to confirm your assumptions, delivery dates, scope and understanding before starting. Confirm the communication upon changes to available resources. Confirm how you will handle potential challenges to delivery.

These are the 6 asks. If you just get curious and ask, you are able to shift a feeling of urgency to a curiosity of what is next. The words have different energy. By asking questions and getting into a different state of mind, this is energy management. Simple and all it takes is a few questions. Incorporate the 6 Asks into your employee training program so your employees and leadership understand the importance and value of simply asking questions. Who would have thought that asking questions would provide the greatest time management tips.

Penny Zenker is a strategic business coach and trainer, boosting productivity for business leaders and entrepreneurs. She leverages her personal experiences of building up and later selling a multi-million dollar business, as a senior executive at one of the worlds largest market research companies and working with business leaders all over the world as a Tony Robbins Business Coach. Penny proven and practical approach help people to get results quickly.
Her blog site is http://www.tugofarwithtime.com .


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