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  • feedwordpress 16:15:28 on 2018/10/02 Permalink
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    7 Tips for Administrative and Executive Assistants 

    Being an Administrative or Executive Assistant is not always a walk in the park. There is always a fire to be put out, there is the juggling of 9,000 different tasks, and sometimes you are an assistant to more than one executive or manager.

    Simply put, not everyone can handle the position of Administrative or Executive Assistant.

    With that said, there are tips and tricks out there that are being used by assistants to make life a little less hectic. I’d like to share some of our practices here at Office Dynamics.

     

    Make A List

    Making a list simply allows you to organize your thoughts and decide what tasks need to get done ASAP versus those that can wait until the end of the day.

    There are several different ways you can do this. You can use one of those fancy digital apps or you can physically write out a to-do list. I’ve found that when I write things down I’m not being distracted by emails popping up or different notifications. Also, I found that starting my to-do list first thing in the morning, before I check my emails, allows me to think about everything I have to get done for the day. I encourage you to try different techniques and find what works best for you.

     

    To Multitask Or Not To Multitask

    As I write this I know many readers will think to themselves, “I work best when I multitask.” When in fact that may not be as true as you think it is. Studies have shown that those who multitask experience an IQ score decline similar to those that have stayed up all night.

    Another study shows that performing multiple tasks is less efficient because of the extra time it takes to shift mental gears. Joshua Rubenstein, Ph.D., of the Federal Aviation Administration says that your brain must actively decide to switch tasks, then choose a task to switch to. Once you’ve switched tasks your brain needs to “shut off” the rules from the old task and “turn on” the rules for the new task. All of this leads to inefficiency in the workplace.

    Think of someone filling out a finance form in excel then switching to writing an email that concerns the items needed for a meeting.

    Joan Burge, Founder and CEO of Office Dynamics, has written and spoken about avoiding multitasking as well. Read her article, Why I Think We Should Kill Multitasking.

    I understand that being 100% free of multitasking is impossible and it’s tough to go from multitasking to not multitasking but I can personally say my work efficiency has increased since making the change.

    To read more about this, visit the link below!

    https://appliedpsychologydegree.usc.edu/blog/to-multitask-or-not-to-multitask/

     

    Email Conversations

    How often have you had a conversation with your Executive or Manager, discussed the details of a particular project or a meeting and then you both forget what was discussed and agreed upon?

    By sending a quick “FYI/follow up email” that confirms your conversation, you will avoid confusion and have a record of what was said.

     

    Passwords and Logins

    Let’s be real with ourselves. We have more logins and passwords that we know what to do with. To add on top of that, when we forget a password and have to make a new one they ask for so much to be included in the password like a capital letter, a lowercase letter, a symbol, a hieroglyph, the wing of a dragon, and your first born child’s fingerprint. Well, it’s not that bad but you get my point.

    There are several things you can do to alleviate this stress/pain.

    • Use Password Managers such as 1Password or LastPass. This will help manage all your passwords and keep them in a safe digital location. (My highest recommendation)
    • Rely on major companies such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google. A lot of the time you can use these platforms to create an account and use as a login.
    • Write them down. This is a bit “old school” and some people may say that this isn’t a great idea, however, if you treat this document like any other valuable document then you could use this idea.

     

    Get Used To Saying No

    It is OK to say no…well, depending on who you are saying no to.

    There are many people in the workplace that feel the pressure to say “yes” to anything when they are asked. Whether it is to be more liked, to show they can take the extra responsibility, or just because they can’t say no.

    But whatever the reason is, you need to realize that saying no is ok. By learning to say no (more often) you are doing multiple things. You are:

    • Setting boundaries.
    • Lightening your workload by not taking the workload of others.
    • Reducing stress by taking on less work.
    • Not agreeing with opinions you don’t believe in, you are not putting your own morals in question.
    • Showing respect for yourself, and others will respect you as a result.
    • Not putting yourself last.

     

    Stay On Top Of Trends and Technology

    Let’s face it. The advancement of technology today moves so fast that we have a hard time keeping up with it. By the time you get the new iPhone or Android model, there is already another one announced. If you buy a laptop that is one month old you have to update it several times just to be up to date.

    Mobile apps are being added to the app-stores every day without notice.

    It really is overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be. When you stay on top of technology and take the time to read on the latest trends (in your area of business) or find an expert that can recommend the best tech to use, it really will help your learning curve and cut down on the “catch up” research.

     

    Weekend Bucket List 

    Take the time to make time for the important stuff in your life. Whether you do this on your lunch, at home, or part of your morning routines, you need to do it. If you head into your weekend with the idea of getting something done, more than likely you will do it.

    By completing your Bucket List or part of it, you will walk into the new week with a sense of accomplishment, clear head, and weight off your shoulders.

    Side note, it is ok to pamper yourself a little for the crazy week you just put in, make sure to do this every once in a while.

     

    Finally

    These tips and tricks are here as suggestions and if you decide to try them out that is great but what we would love is to hear some tips and tricks that you could share!

    We are a growing workforce and the more help from each other, to each other, the better.

    So, what are some tips and tricks that you can recommend to your peers? Let us know in the comments below!

    For other tips and tricks read, 9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills.

    The post 7 Tips for Administrative and Executive Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:00:27 on 2018/09/27 Permalink
    Tags: , , productivity,   

    Make Your Meetings More Engaging 

    Whether you have been coordinating meetings for decades or days there are some simple tips to follow to make any meeting more productive and the attendees feel welcomed. There are times when meetings seem to plan themselves especially when the majority of the week is spent attending or planning several meetings! People may quickly migrate to an open room and start discussing random topics, etc. or an agenda is created, the room is reserved, but the topics are not clear. The planning doesn’t stop once an invite is sent out, does it?

    So how can you make your meetings more engaging?

    • Create a clear agenda
      • Note who needs to attend and why (their role, involvement, etc.)
      • Define a timeframe
      • Clarify the main topic and any subtopic points
      • Categorize or assign topics to attendees if appropriate
      • If necessary, provide background data before the meeting in a bullet point format
      • Develop a few questions that need to be answered (to stay on topic)
      • Request special equipment/room setup if required

     

    • Room setup
      • Reserve the room/location if necessary
      • Make sure room is set up appropriately for the specific meeting (if another meeting was there prior, can that format work for your meeting)
      • Provide a few notepads and pens in case they are needed
      • Test the equipment, monitors, lighting, temperature, etc.
      • Provide a pitcher of ice water and cups for guests

     

    • The Extras
      • If a meal is required ask about food restrictions, etc. (and provide mints or gum)
      • Provide trash/recycling bins and cleanup options
      • If guests are coming from out of town or outside the organization ensure they have directions, clear instructions on where to check in, who to ask for, etc.
      • Inform security or receptionist of incoming guests if necessary
      • Create a building map, contact sheet, etc. for invited guests
      • Make copies or provide data via a shared drive, jump drive, email, etc.
      • Take detailed minutes if appropriate
      • Keep the meeting focused on the topic during the allotted time and schedule additional meetings as needed

    I realize some of these may seem time consuming or simple, but it’s the little extras that can make a meeting more productive and the attendees more comfortable and ready to focus. With a clear agenda and appropriate setup, a meeting can be spent on the main topic, not on distractions or rearranging a room.

    What process do you always use to ensure a meeting is engaging?

     

    dana_buchanan

    Dana Buchanan is a 20 plus year professional assistant with a passion for writing and offers a unique and professional perspective to projects and brainstorming sessions! She enjoys helping others discover key steps toward their career focus, job search, or self-employment exploration by creating or editing resumes, researching a particular type of job search, discovering business ideas and the action needed to succeed and loves sharing interviewing tips! Dana is also available to speak to small groups.

    You can read and follow Dana’s blogs at Success Encourager

    The post Make Your Meetings More Engaging appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:45:11 on 2018/09/26 Permalink
    Tags: , , productivity,   

    Set Stretch Goals 

    From Joan Burge’s new book, Joan’s Greatest Administrative Secrets Revealed (2018)

    THE BROCHURE PROMOTING AN administrative training pro­gram said, We will never make you do anything you don’t want to do. Oh heavens, I thought! Really? How do you think a person grows? This was in a brochure from a company who hosts supposedly high-level classes for assistants. Pleeeaazzz!

    Since 1990, I have been stretching assistants out of their comfort zones. I have asked them to write and give three-minute presentations; role play with participants; challenged them to think beyond the typical answer in class; project their voice; write diffi­cult development plans; and even come up on stage with me at our Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence. And do you know what? As scared or nervous as they were, they stepped up to the plate and they were proud of themselves afterward. Do you know what else? They got promotions, salary increases, developed bet­ter relationships with their executives; they joined committees and chaired events; they set healthy boundaries; they gained immense confidence! That’s what stretching can do for you.

    Don’t you dare settle for mediocre goals. You were not born to be mediocre. Staying in a comfort zone will eventually be your career death. Nothing great comes without discomfort.

    What is a stretch goal? It is a goal that causes you to go beyond what you know. It is a goal that challenges your thinking and basi­cally makes you uncomfortable. Please trust me on this one. It is okay to feel discomfort. Don’t be afraid of it; rather, lean into it. I would not be where I am today professionally and personally had I not set stretch goals throughout my life. Do they hurt? Yes! Sometime you will want to scream and run away and say, “I don’t want to do this.” But if you stop or if you quit, you will never know the beauty that lies on the other side.

    I will never forget when my husband, Dave, and I moved away from my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. I had lived in Cleveland all my life. It was my home. I had a huge family in Cleveland and I loved growing up there. I met Dave Burge when I was working for Fabri-Centers of America in Cleveland. I was a secretary working at the corporate office in Cleveland and Dave reported to my boss. Dave lived in Minneapolis. He was a District Supervisor, who with all District Supervisors, reported to my boss and had to give me their weekly travel schedules. Yes, it ended up being an ‘office romance.’ For Dave and me, it was our second marriage. When we were mar­ried, I moved to Minneapolis where Dave lived. That didn’t last too long as I was so homesick for my family in Cleveland. Dave was so in love with me, he gave up an awesome job and we moved to Cleveland where Dave worked for my dad’s company. That lasted eight years, which was really long because Dave was ready to move away after a few years.

    When we finally moved from Cleveland with our two little chil­dren, I was definitely out of my comfort zone. I had never lived away from family and Cleveland for any length of time. On top of it, we moved to South Carolina to live with Dave’s parents for a while until we found jobs. Yep, we left Cleveland with NO jobs and two kids! The little old South was nothing like the big city I grew up in. I kept wondering, “Where are the disco clubs?” After several months of pounding the pavement every day, Dave found an amaz­ing position and we moved to Asheville, North Carolina, where we lived and thrived for five years.

    Over our 34-year marriage, Dave and I moved out of state eight times and lived in twelve different homes. I tried various jobs until I finally started my own company, which was definitely out of my comfort zone. Now that I reflect on my life, it seems that I have rarely lived in a comfort zone for very long.

    The most incredible things happened to me over all those years of change and moving around. I met and still have very good friends in different states. My perspective of the United States broadened. My appreciation of diverse personalities, religions, cultures, and ethnicities has grown. I am confident traveling and going to unfa­miliar places. I have incredible memories, many good times, many hard times, but most of all, I am eternally grateful.

    Do you see I would know none of this if I didn’t venture out? I would not be who I am today without all those experiences. I would not have tons of friends and a huge support group had we not moved around. Of course, I’m not saying you should move out of state. I am saying you have to move out of your comfort zone! You can do that right where you live and where you work. Go to lunch with new people. Take on a course that challenges you. Travel to Las Vegas and attend our fabulous conference and meet assistants from countries around the world.

    The world is waiting for you—what are you waiting for?

     

    NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

    The post Set Stretch Goals appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:15:33 on 2018/09/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , productivity, , ,   

    Choose A Positive Attitude 

    From Joan Burge’s new book, Joan’s Greatest Administrative Secrets Revealed (2018)

    I HAVE BEEN SPEAKING on attitude since 1990. What I said in 1990 still holds true today. You have a choice when it comes to your attitude. You are not a victim of your circumstances. It is not what others do or say that matters; it’s what you choose to do with what you have and choose how you want to respond.

    Regardless of our individual circumstances, we all have one thing in common—we choose our attitude. That is great news because it means we can change it any time. If we feel the urge to get upset at someone, we can say to ourselves, “That’s not going to help the situation any. I am going to stop, think, and then speak.”

    Our attitudes are delicate and fragile. If we do not take care of them, we are sure to feel the effects—everything from the quality of our work degrading to fading relationships. Did you know that your attitude also affects your health and even longevity?

    The challenge people face with attitude is they read books, listen to podcasts, watch Facebook videos, or hear motivational speakers on the subject but have a difficult time truly implement­ing it. That is because motivation is an inside job. It isn’t something that happens to us; we have to create it. So, what can you do?

     

    Combat negativity

    Listen to what you’re saying to yourself. Instead of saying, “Nothing seems to be going right today,” mentally rephrase it to, “Wow, I’m really being challenged today to think creatively.” You are in control of your own thinking. You can change that old record and stop feeling like a victim. You can get support from family and friends, but you ultimately must take responsibility for your own attitude. Your sister may tell you that you look happy in the com­pany photograph but if you tell yourself … ‘happy’ helps her avoid telling me that I gained weight, you sabotage a compliment. Don’t.

     

    Set goals and make a specific plan for your career

    When you measure progress you feel in control. If your company offers continuing education opportunities, for example, and you complete two out of four successfully, ‘notify’ yourself that you’re halfway through the program. The proverbial glass is half-full and not half-empty. Most importantly, this is a solid achievement—one that is easily measured so you can hardly argue the point.

     

    Don’t belittle your job or employer

    Work provides you with a purpose, challenges you, puts food on your table, enables growth, and stimulates your thinking. Look at work as a gift. Be happy you have a job. It may not be ideal, but let’s be realistic, no job is ideal. If you aren’t feeling energy from your work, maybe it’s because you aren’t putting creative, positive energy into it.

     

    NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

     

    The post Choose A Positive Attitude appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:15:22 on 2018/09/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , , productivity,   

    Getting Monday Motivated 

    We all know that Monday can be the most challenging day of the week. We also know that our mentality has a lot to do with this. But why?

    According to studies and surveys conducted over the years, there are several reasons why most of us dislike Mondays.

    We are leaving a life of being in charge. Over the weekend we have had the opportunity to be in charge of our own life. Make our own decisions and do what we want. When we come to work on Monday, some of us lose that sense of “being in charge.”

    We are leaving our family and friends. You may have spent the entire weekend with your family and friends. Laughing and having a good time but now you have to let it go and focus on work.

    We do not like our jobs. Spending time at a place you do not like being at, doing what you do not like doing, can be daunting.

    We do not like the “Office Dragons.” Office Dragons can bring us down and make the workday feel like a work week if we do not know how to “deal” with them.

    Whatever the case may be, we actually do have a choice in how we feel when it comes to a “case of the Mondays.”

    Office Dynamics offers a solution that thousands of people, just like yourself, refer to every Monday.

    MONDAY MOTIVATORS

    I greatly appreciate the Monday Motivators! How on earth does she know exactly how we are feeling sometimes???? ~ Deb C.

    Every Monday, Joan Burge, Founder and CEO of Office Dynamics International writes an inspiring, motivational, and down to earth email that allows you to jump-start your week with a sense of empowerment and electricity that will carry you through the week.

    Let Office Dynamics help jump-start your week with words of inspiration and motivation with our Monday Motivators.

     

     

    The post Getting Monday Motivated appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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