Success Soundbites - Block Timing

success soundbites Jan 10, 2020

Do you control your calendar, or does it control you?

Welcome to Success Soundbites. I'm Sid Meadows, and I'm the founder and principal of EmbarkCCT. I'm really glad you're here with me today for this week's version of Success Soundbites as we talk about controlling your calendar.

As we venture into not just a new year, but a new decade, increased productivity is important for all of us. And my clients, on a regular basis, are asking me, "Hey Sid, what are simple ways that I can improve productivity?" And I always start with the very first question, "Are you controlling your calendar or are you letting other people control it?" And the typical answer is most people agree that other people control their calendar. So how can you really improve your productivity? I believe the answer to this question is simple and a really easy thing for you to implement and it's called block timing.

Block timing is a concept where you make an appointment with yourself. And in making that appointment,...

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"I'm A Great Multitasker"

business of furniture Dec 18, 2019

Debunking the myth that you can effectively do more than one thing at a time.

Almost everyday, my clients talk about how effective they are at multitasking and how they are getting so much accomplished. Well, I hate to break it to you, but guess what? Multitasking is a lie!

The only thing that multitasking does is give you the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time. You might think I’m being a pessimist, but science backs me up - multitasking is a hoax.

When you try to do two things at once, you can’t do either of them well. The reality is, our brains don’t work that way.  Our brains have channels and where there is channel interference, we aren’t able to process fully and focus effectively on doing either of the tasks we try to “multitask.” These channels are what allow us to walk and chew gum at the same time - because that activity is using different channels, not the same channel. 

Think about this for a minute...

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Let's go Masterminding

business of furniture Dec 04, 2019

Leveraging the power of a Mastermind

About a year ago, I attended a 5-day professional development seminar called, the High Performance Academy.  HPA is an intense program focused on helping you learn, develop, and grow — especially in the (somewhat) lonely world of entrepreneurship. The things I’ve been able to implement in my business as a result of this conference are huge, and my business is better because of them.  What I didn’t expect, though, is that the most impactful part of this event would happen later — not because of the event — but because of the people I met while I was there.

Over 2,000 people attended HPA, and as you can imagine, it’s hard to connect with others when the group is that large! Luckily, I knew 3 people who were going, and one of them hosted a breakfast on the first morning as an “icebreaker” for the conference — a way to introduce and connect with other entrepreneurs.

At the breakfast, I...

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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

business of furniture Nov 06, 2019

The 4 Steps to making a decision

Each and everyday we make decisions – some of them are big, some are small, some are important, and some are not. According to research, adults make an average of 35,000 decisions per day! That’s a lot of decisions.

These small, seemingly inconsequential decisions lead up to the way we live our lives, the goals we are able to meet, and the success we achieve. The little decisions make a big impact.

By the time you’re reading this article, how many decisions have you made? Honestly, we don’t really think about the small, simple decisions – we just make them. I made a decision this morning to make a cup of coffee, then walk into my office to write this column. I didn't think about it or process it very much, I just did it – because it was an easy decision. We make these types of decisions all day, every day.

It’s the difficult decisions that cause us problems. These are the decisions that we pause to...

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business of furniture Oct 23, 2019


Reenergize Your Mind and Body 

Defeating Distraction & Increasing Productivity 

American novelist, Anne Lamott, said that, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you!” This could not be a more accurate and powerful statement! We live in a world that is overworked, overstimulated, and too reliant on technology - and it’s having a major impact on our productivity. 

Almost every day, I get asked to help people with time management and productivity. In fact, the most common question I get asked is, “How can I improve my productivity?” I could answer this question in hundreds of ways, write multiple columns on this topic, provide you with tips, tricks, and even worksheets that would help you perform better. 

What’s shocking, though, is that people often resist the self discipline that would drastically change their productivity - to change and modify their behavior. Well, I...

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The End is Just the Beginning

business of furniture Oct 09, 2019

The End is Just the Beginning 

Kick start your 2020 planning now! 

It’s October! The beginning of the 4th quarter of 2019, and the beginning of the last 3 months of this decade. Yep, 2020 is approaching fast. It’s hard to believe we will be starting a new decade in about 90 days. Oh, and if you’re in the furniture business, you’ve got about 4-6 weeks left to close the sales that matter in 2019. 

Think about this, you’ve got just a few weeks left to get the client to “yes,” get the product ordered, acknowledged, shipped, delivered, and installed. So, if you’re not in the final big push of the year, you’re likely not going to hit your sales goals and quota! 

It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. The end is near, but it’s just the beginning!  

Time to Reflect

As the year comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on 2019 (and the last decade, for that matter). What have you...

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Keep Failing

business of furniture Sep 18, 2019

Keep Failing !

Why failing is the best way to learn and grow

None of us like to fail – which is completely understandable. Failing can be one of the most painful experiences in your life and career. You’re working really hard to accomplish something – a goal, a project, getting a promotion, winning the job, starting a business, and a lot more. But as you are taking steps to move forward, it’s virtually impossible to find the success you want without some form of failure coming your way. 

Failure is a part of life that we can’t control – it’s going to happen, and no matter what you do, you can’t control it. What you can control – is how you react and respond to it! 

My Failure

I have experienced more failure in the past 2 years than I thought was possible – in my lifetime! It’s been a process for me to understand how to deal with it and move forward. Some of my failures have been small, but some have been...

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Let's Have A Meeting

business of furniture Sep 04, 2019

Let’s Have A Meeting

Increasing engagement and productivity with fewer, better meetings

“Let’s have a meeting” - a phrase that each of us hears at least once (if not dozens of times) a day! We are an industry that thrives on meetings. Let’s have a meeting to discuss that, let’s meet to review your progress, let’s meet to strategize on this, a meeting will help us figure out how to solve that problem… 

These words are being uttered in your organization even right now as you read this column. Meetings are a necessary part of business and a great tool for engagement and productive conversation… if conducted correctly. 

According to a recent study by The Harvard Business Review, 71% of leaders across a variety of industries said meetings are unproductive and inefficient, while 62% said meetings miss opportunities to bring the team closer together. And according to research by The Muse - 15% of an organization’s time...

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The Art of the Follow Up Question

business of furniture Aug 21, 2019

The Art of the Follow-Up Question

Your guide to asking meaningful, probing, open-ended questions 

Each and everyday we all ask questions - to someone we know, work with, a potential customer, and others. Even though asking questions is part of our daily activity, most people don’t realize there is an art to asking questions - especially follow-up questions. 

Think about the last time you were talking with a potential client, interviewing for a job, or a similar situation where you needed to ask a follow-up question. What type of question did you ask? Well, if you’re like most people, including me, you tend to ask a question that get a short, simple, one- or two-word response. Your question got you the answer you needed, but was it a meaningful, probing, open-ended question? Likely not. 

Listening to Understand

Before I dive into the art of the follow-up question, I want to remind you of the most critical component of any conversation. I talked about it in...

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It's Time to Color Outside the Lines

business of furniture Aug 08, 2019

It’s Time to Color Outside the Lines

 When we were kids, we were taught to color inside the lines – to use the guides of the coloring book to create our greatest works of art. In doing so, we were developing hand strength and fine-tuning our motor skills. Certainly, the coloring book age is an important time of development for kids testing out their artistic abilities.

In reality, the coloring books of our childhood gave us boundary lines that are unnecessary as adults – boundary lines that gave us a natural bent towards legalism. If we didn’t color inside the lines, our parents, teachers, and even peers would make fun of or criticize us – and we’d keep working until we could master the art of coloring… inside the lines!

The trend of conforming has continued through our adult years. Adult coloring books are all the rage. Just Google it and you’ll be seeing ads for adult coloring books for months to come – or better yet,...

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