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  • feedwordpress 16:15:28 on 2018/10/02 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Stress Management, , ,   

    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 16:15:33 on 2018/09/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Stress Management,   

    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 16:15:36 on 2018/08/28 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Stress Management,   

    Uplifting Positive Self-Talk 

    When you are feeling “less than best” (and we all do from time to time), it helps to rely upon a technique I call Uplifting Positive Self-Talk. This will increase your confidence and allow you to approach the day with a positive frame of mind.

    It is fairly simple to do – which is why I’m amazed more people don’t use it!

    Here’s how Positive Self-Talk works:

    First, you make a conscious choice to cut off negative thinking when it strikes. Negative thoughts happen to all of us. But it’s how well we manage them that ultimately determines the degree to which we’ll succeed in life.

    Next, you intentionally replace the negativity with a positive thought – one you truly believe. This puts your mindset back on the right track so you remain even more productive, effective and satisfied in your job and personal life.

    Related: Be even more successful by using these three little words.

    Here are some examples of Positive Self Talk that will lift your spirits:

    • “I can handle this situation.
    • “I value excellence, not perfection.”
    • “I offer a unique perspective that’s worth sharing.”
    • “I am capable of greatness- in character, ability, confidence, and potential.”
    • “If other people can do this, so can I.”
    • “I can and will learn something from every piece of feedback I receive.”
    • “I am able to manage my thoughts and myself.”
    • “I can change my perspective any time I choose.”
    • “I am intelligent, worthwhile and strong.”
    • “My confidence makes the difference between success now or success later.”
    • “I can accomplish almost anything if I put my mind to it.”

    Note that the key is putting yourself first! The words “I” or “my” can be found in every sentence and above- as it should be when choosing confidence. Think of yourself like an engine that runs, not on gas, but on positive energy. The more good energy you feed yourself, the farther you’ll go- making an even greater impact in the workplace and on your personal life.

    Enjoy your week – one that’s negativity-free and positive through and through!

    joan_burge_signature

    P.S. Let us know what your Uplifting Positive Self-Talk phrases are to boost your personal level of confidence. Share by commenting below.

    The post Uplifting Positive Self-Talk appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:15:04 on 2018/08/07 Permalink
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    Adapting to Change 

    There can never be too many discussions about change. It’s constant, it’s inevitable, unexpected at times, but it can be extremely rejuvenating. No matter how many times change occurs in life, expected or not, it can seem as if you are not in control. Unexpected change disrupts a routine, but if we reevaluate the current routine and what opportunities the unexpected change offers then we take control. With a positive outlook, adapting to change provides control and allows the opportunity for personal and professional growth.

    A few of the types of change:

    • Career
    • Position or duty changes
    • Health
    • Family or home life
    • Monetary
    • Relocation

    Types of change are as vast as the types of personalities we encounter throughout life. And every single type of change can affect each of us uniquely. There are not any magic words to stop change from happening, but there are ways to adapt and be in control.

    Suggestions for adapting to change:

    • Reach out for support. Talk about the situation and listen to supportive feedback.
    • Evaluate the situation and focus on facts. What opportunities can you explore?
    • Remind yourself of accomplishments, skills you have developed and your unique traits; focus on what you do have control of.
    • Explore all options you have – even ones you may think are unlikely…change can be an opportunity to take chances; a chance to leap and focus on a dream. A friend’s daughter lost her job a few years ago and took that as a sign to go for her dream job; she now happily operates a food truck business!
    • Don’t react quickly, take time to breathe and focus. Get a game plan in place.
    • If your job has changed ask yourself if the change will be a positive or if you need to take control and make your own changes. Maybe it’s time to find a better career match.
    • Grow & learn; read, talk to mentors, attend training or a conference, watch webinars, etc. I suggest constant learning before the unexpected change occurs so you can adapt more easily

    Adapting to professional change shows professionalism and confidence. I can recall my first major professional lesson in adapting to change as if it were yesterday.

    Several years ago, I advanced into one of my very favorite career positions. I worked with an amazing team, flexible hours, great manager, excellent benefits and pay, challenges that provided skills I use to this day, an office with a great view, control of developing procedures and next to one of the best coffee shops! After three years, a new director came in, eliminated a few positions and changed my role. It happened quickly; my office was moved, hours extended, job duties increased, my favorite aspects of my job were taken away and I no longer reported to my great manager.

    I went home that evening and cried…I was devastated. I got caught up in the feeling of thinking I was not in control of the situation. After a pep talk from my husband, a great coworker and from my sister I set up a meeting with the director. I may not have control of his thoughts, but I had control over how I reacted and my confidence. Nothing he could do or say took away all of the hard work I had taken pride in and procedures I had developed (that was part of my personal pep talk).

    I typed up a list of accomplishments (quite proudly so and smiling ear to ear) and confidently carried them with me as I walked into the conference room for our meeting. He would just have to change his mind when he got to know me better and saw my wonderful list. Right?

    He was late…I was not distracted through, I stayed focused. I was armed with facts and not letting his busy schedule & late arrival shake my confidence. As the minutes turned into five-minute increments my palms started to sweat and my mouth got dry. I shook my head… ‘you got this’ I told myself as I looked at that amazing list of accomplishments!

    He did show up…25 minutes late, but I was still prepared and ready. He shook my hand, smiled and apologized for being late…we were off to a good start. I explained how I deserved some of my duties back and proposed suggestions that would allow me to keep those duties & my schedule. I spoke clearly, stayed focused on facts, my palms stopped sweating, I was doing great (patting self on back).

    Then, not even halfway through my speech, he stood up and pointed out the window and yelled THAT BIRD. Yes, bird. My heart raced, my palms started to sweat again, my mouth was so dry. I wasn’t sure how to react. He wasn’t listening, he already made up his mind and it didn’t matter what I said. Finally, as he stood behind me pointing out the window, he explained there had been a bird swooping up and down and down and up (yes, he imitated this action). He kept explaining the swooping action and then excused himself to another meeting, after confirming his decisions were final.

    I sat there alone looking out at the bird. Ah, that free bird, swooping from branch to branch, now he was in complete control. I smiled. I didn’t cry, I didn’t get upset. I focused on the things that I did have control over. I was still the same unique person, I was still a professional. My ‘ex’ manager told me he would write me an excellent letter of recommendation if I decided to move on. My coworkers offered support. The next weekend I started looking for another job, a month later I was working closer to home, the new position offered free tuition, great benefits, flexible hours, and duties I loved.

    A few months later I attended an event at the old job and walked up to the director (the birdman) and thanked him. He smiled and asked why…I explained that his decision created a door of opportunity for me and I was grateful.

    One full-time job and a few temp positions came after that one. That entire career journey led me to my current position and I’m grateful for the amazing opportunities the past several years have offered. Each decision in life, even the ones we don’t feel we have complete control over, lead us to the next step of our lives.

    Adapting to change is an opportunity for growth.

    If you stay true to yourself and confident in your uniqueness, then change is easier to appreciate. Don’t let change take charge and control. You’re in control of you and how you react. It’s OK to be disappointed, cry, be upset, but all of those emotions are temporary and should be treated as such. A change will come; expect it…welcome it…control it.

    If you are going through a change right now, especially professional change, that you don’t quite feel in control of, reach out to mentors, friends, and others. Evaluate your options and remember you are not alone, you are unique, but not alone!

    Change is opportunity…share how you deal with change in the comments below!

     

    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

     

     

     

    August 14, 2018

    10:00 AM PT – 11:00 AM PT

    Register Here

    The post Adapting to Change appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 21:04:09 on 2018/06/25 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Stress Management,   

    Cleanup and Organize Your Workspace 

    Summer is a great time to do a little cleanup and organize your workspace. Business is usually a little quieter, employees take a vacation, and there seems to be a more relaxed work atmosphere. It is the perfect time for you to get organized before the craziness of business sets in this fall.

    Clean desks look smart, professional and, well, just organized. Messy desks are an eyesore and can lead to lower productivity.

    Let your desk reflect you. You don’t want others to see a messy desk and assume you are disorganized. Don’t let this impact your career.

    A clean desk can help you focus. Gone are the days of cluttered desks with everything from printers to having so much paper on them.

    With open work areas being more popular now, let’s take a few minutes to get organized!

    When you are organized, you are better able to handle the day and stay on top of the important assignments. Look smart, be smart, and have a great week.

     

    joan_burge_signature

    clean_and_organize

     

     

     

    The post Cleanup and Organize Your Workspace appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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