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Pare down your network for better results

NETWORKING

Limit your network for better results

Charles Brown, president of electronics retailer The Source, says that when it comes to networking, bigger isn't better.

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Instead of trying to have 400 or 500 friends or connections on LinkedIn, make sure you have 10 people who can make things happen for you. It's a more manageable network to maintain, and the deeper relationships will pay off.

- ExecutiveRoundtable.ca

DECISION MAKING

Unworkable options can spark fresh ideas

Animated filmmaker Pixar has 22 rules for narration, one of which caught the eye of Michael Roberto, a management professor at Rhode Island's Bryant University: "When you're stuck, make a list of what wouldn't happen next. Lots of times, the material to get you unstuck will show up."

He suggests using this approach next time you're fretting over a high-stakes, uncertain decision. Make a list of the options you would not pursue, and ask yourself why. This exercise might generate ideas about alternatives that would be effective.

- Professor Michael Roberto's Blog

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ORGANIZING

Focus your to-do list on deadline items

When you draw up your to-do list today, do not list absolutely everything that you would like to get done.

Coach Dolly Garland recommends limiting the list only to things that must be done today.

- Lifehack.org

LOW-TECH TIP

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Back to basics to stay organized

Allie Siarto, co-founder of Michigan-based consulting firm Loudpixel, says that after trying various online organizing tools, her firm settled on a large Kamban board, which is similar to a whiteboard, sectioned into four parts. The sections represent: To-do, In Progress, Done and Ice Box (ideas put on ice for later). Employees pin coloured index cards to the board and move them around to capture the work flow.

- Lifehack.org

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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