So many people believe that being busy is equal to being successful, but if we really think about it, is busy a good thing?
Being busy has become a social status symbol. If someone isn’t busy then it means they’re not important, or needed. But is this truly the case?
We all know that if we don’t have enough downtime this can lead to stress and burnout. If we are too ‘busy’ then this naturally means we won’t have the time out we desperately need.
Today I want to challenge you to think about whether you really WANT to be busy.
Ask yourself whether you are spending your time doing ‘busy work’ or ‘effective work’. Do you feel ‘fulfilled and rested’ or ‘stressed and burnout’? If it’s the latter then now is your chance to make some changes to regain control and stop being so busy.
Most people will find that before they go on holiday they are their most productive at work. They somehow manage to tie up loose ends, finish everything on their to-do list and then take that time off away from the office. This is because they; don’t procrastinate, eliminate distractions, focus on tasks that will have the most impact and work to their set timescales.
All of these principles can be applied in your everyday working life to achieve more during your working day, giving you the chance to take a break and stop being so busy!
So the next time you ask someone how they are and they reply, “busy!” you can smile to yourself knowing that you are effective, not busy.
Need help with working smarter, not harder? Click here
Perhaps the biggest challenge for any assistant is learning to predict the future or to read their executive’s mind.
There are, however, ways this can be done (without the need for psychic abilities!)…
The key is to look for patterns.
Does your executive ask you for the same type of document before certain meetings?
Are you always asked to print the same reports each week?
Do meetings on certain subjects or with certain people always overrun?
Does your executive always run out time to complete certain tasks?
What can you do? Using the patterns that you notice you can predict possible issues and resolve them before they happen. You can print the reports needed, schedule extra time for meetings which overrun and you can schedule dedicated time for certain tasks.
By doing this you can amaze your executive with your intuition and mind reading abilities.
So, ahead of your next one-to-one status meeting with your executive ask yourself the above questions and think about other patterns you’ve noticed and prepare solutions.
Ready to further your own development as well as mind reading abilities? Click here.
Whenever you are working on a task it’s important to ask yourself how much impact the work you are doing will have.
You can use the ‘urgent vs important’ matrix to establish whether a task is worthwhile or not. But how do you decide how much of your time to dedicate to it?
The key is to find a way to measure the impact the task will have.
Be an investment banker.
One way to think about this is to imagine you are an investor.
You’ve got a big pot of money and you must invest in 3 businesses. You must put some money towards each so you have to decide which business deserves more of your money.
How? You decide which business will have the highest return on investment (ROI), right?
Now think of yourself as an investor of time rather than money. You still want the biggest ROI so work out which tasks will have a greater impact and focus more time on them.
Tasks that have a high impact might be ones that help to bring in new business or they might be something that contributes towards an important project. The impact will vary but once you know what’s important you can divide your time more effectively.
Most importantly: Don’t forget that the investment which will give you the biggest ROI is you and your development!
Ready to investment in your own future? Click here.
Have you ever considered what makes a great or exceptional assistant? What is it that sets them apart from others?
The ‘technical’ side of the role (writing minutes, sending out diary invitations, writing letters, etc.) is something that you can learn and your success in these areas is measurable.
The characteristics that can make you exceptional are intangible and are very difficult to measured, but these will make you an exceptional assistant.
An article I read recently shared the top characteristics an assistant can possess. These included:
Anticipating The Boss’ Needs
Making The Boss Look Good
Reflecting The Boss’ Values
A Self-Starter, Who Sees The Big Picture
Scrupulous About Details
Excellent Communication Skills
Over the next few blog posts we will revisit this list and explore the ‘intangible’ points. We will look at how can you develop these skills and become an exceptional, world class assistant.
Do you have any points you would add to the list? Share them below.
Want to kick start your journey to exceptional now? Click here.
Want to read the full article? Click here.