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What Productivity Tips Help You Make The Most Of Your Time?  

It’s just as important to decide what you’re not going to do as it is to decide what you will do

Be present.

Don’t do a hundred things at a time. Multitasking is way overrated. It’s especially important to keep that in mind as your influence grows, because even more people are looking up to you. If you’re at a meeting and people are waiting to hear your opinion, but you’re on your phone, then you have just wasted the time of those ten people — which, by the way, you are literally paying for. No one’s going to tell you that you’re wasting their time, because you’re the boss, but that’s what you’re doing. So I try to be present wherever I am. If I’m on a call, I’m not checking my email.

I was once at a wedding and I was watching the father of the chassan dancing in the middle — he was constantly looking at the circle to see who would be the guy he would pull in next. At the end of the night, he’d danced with hundreds of people, but there wasn’t a single person I saw that he looked in the eye and really connected with. When you’re doing so many things at once, you’re never present.

—Mordy Herzog, CEO of Royal Wine Co



It’s just as important to decide what you’re not going to do as it is to decide what you will do. In order to work out what was priority, I would stop submitting certain reports and see if anyone would call and say, “Hey, where’s this-and-this report?” If three months passed and no one said a word, I knew that obviously the report wasn’t a priority anymore. I taught the trick to a lot of people and I’m sure they turned the tables and got the same benefit out of trying it on me. I’m sure that over the years there were reports that went missing and I never noticed.

—Neil Schloss, retired Finance Executive at Ford Motor Company


Don’t pick up the phone.

I haven’t done that for years now — unless it’s my wife or parents on the line. I’m in touch with my business partner every single day, but there are maybe two or three times in the last five years that he’s called me unannounced because he knows that I don’t work that way. There’s never a time when I sit there saying, “Man, I hope that phone rings soon.” I’m usually working on something, and when the phone rings, it distracts me from what I’m focusing on. It may be a good time for the person who’s calling, but it’s usually not a good time for me.

—Nachum Kligman, CEO of Book Like a Boss



If you’re naturally good at delegating, good, and if you’re not — like me — it’s worth training yourself to do it. Delegating isn’t only about passing it on. You have to know how and to who, and that can take time to learn. I also try to set aside time for not-yet-urgent tasks so that I can work on them before they become pressing.

—Duvy Perkowski, CEO of Duvys Media and Rayze.it


Creating relationships with mentors in business is incredibly important. Having people around you that understand you and the challenges you face in business allows you to avoid mistakes. It is almost impossible to find that perfect mentor who understands you personally, your hashkafah, your profession, and your industry all well enough to give you guidance in every area. As a result, building a constellation of mentors who overlap in their level of expertise in these areas can help you get the advice and perspective you need to move through your career in the best way possible.

One way to do this is to find a business-only mentor — that person doesn’t even need to be Jewish. If you can effectively educate them on your values and lifestyle, you will empower them to give you the best guidance possible based on their exceptional business experience.

On the other end of the spectrum, your rabbi or chavrusa may not know anything about your business, but if you can give them some of the core concepts of what makes the business tick, you can unlock their Torah knowledge as it applies to your business.

Sometimes you will be lucky enough to find someone who is similar in many ways, but make sure you also have mentors from other sectors. If you are in real estate and all your mentors are also in real estate, you may lack the broad perspective you need to succeed in a differentiated way. In addition, you may find yourself in conflicting situations with those same people on specific deals.

When looking for someone to hire, invest in, or partner with, I focus on three key dimensions:

  1. Middos. I want to make sure this is a person of upstanding character. If this relationship or venture were to sour, would everyone in the room still be amicable and trustworthy? Does this person’s past behavior pose an association risk for you?
  2. Ratzon. I want to work with people who have the desire to be successful and the will to make things happen. Starting a business is incredibly difficult and when the going gets tough, you need to have people around the table who will not give up easily.
  3. Mazel. There are people who have a pattern of success in their careers and in life. I want to find people who time and time again find themselves in the right place at the right time.

—Alex Oppenheimer, venture capitalist


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 845)

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