Marketing

Neen James: Conquer the World in 15 Minutes

Improve your productivity incrementally.

March 17, 2014
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Neen James MBD14

You don’t have time to do everything; only to do what matters.

Breaking the 1,140 minutes you have each day into 15-minute increments will help you get the most out of them, productivity expert/author Neen James told CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference attendees Saturday in Orlando, Fla.

“Fifteen minutes is key to productivity,” she says. “No one has an hour anymore. Time is the new currency.”

Taking action in 15-minute segments for things such as answering email and holding meetings will help you improve your productivity.

Other tips:

♦ Pay attention. You frustrate others when you’re constantly distracted by your email and phone.

The biggest investment you can make in someone is giving them your undivided—not multitasked—attention.

“We’re making technology more important than people,” she says. “Turn off your technology and focus on the person in front of you. Engagement is our greatest gift. Giving undivided attention makes people feel they matter.”

♦ Choose three strategies. Write three nonnegotiable things you want to accomplish each day on a post-it note and carry it with you. This will serve as a constant reminder.

♦ Conduct 15-minute “tele coffees.” Hold these meetings over the phone, complete with agenda items and follow-up measures.

“We need to look for creative ways to do business development,” James says. “People will give you 15 minutes but they won’t give you an hour.”

♦ Get off the grid. Take breaks from technology. Occasionally remove yourself from your email and the minutiae that can drain your focus and energy. Refocus on the big picture, your deliverables, and your strategy.

“This is vital,” she says. “We’ve become too attached to our devices. We need time to complete our thoughts. This is a powerful way to re-energize.”

♦ Say no. “It’s the most productive word you can ever use,” James says. “It’s better to say ‘no’ if you’re unsure.”

♦ Have a conversation with someone who matters to you. “Call your mom,” she says. “People want to know they matter.”

This includes members. “We want to be known by members as people who care,” James says. “Make interactions meaningful. Listen with your eyes. The small choices we make have the biggest impact.”

Read complete coverage of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference.

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