Steady focus is essential for administrative professionals, especially those who support large departments or work in executive suites. Unfortunately, many things make it difficult to stay focused, from the constant interruptions to the lack of sleep you get when you have something on your mind. If you want to move up the admin career ladder, you must learn how to stay focused at all times. Follow these tips to maintain focus on the job.
1. Take a Break
Sitting in the same position for too long makes it difficult to stay focused, so make a habit out of getting a little exercise at work. If you work on the fourth floor of your building, try walking up and down the stairs at lunch instead of taking the elevator. After sitting for 20 or 30 minutes, stand up and take a stretch break. Break up long periods of sitting by filing, delivering mail or performing other physical tasks. All of these activities can help you maintain focus.
2. Be Aware of What You Consume
What you eat and drink throughout the day has a significant impact on your ability to stay focused at work. Avoid eating carbohydrate-heavy breakfasts that leave you feeling hungry within an hour of starting your day. Instead, have a little protein and fat early in the morning so you stay full and don't experience a sugar crash when you need to concentrate. Keep healthy snacks on hand so you are not tempted to eat junk from the vending machine. Nuts, seeds and fresh fruit are very portable, and they are also good for you.
3. Stay Social
Working as an admin can get lonely at times, especially if the people in your department spend a lot of time out of the office. Stay focused by talking with colleagues about tough projects or asking for input from other people in your department. The simple act of talking to another person can snap you out of a funk and make it easier to focus on the task at hand. If you are the only admin in your department, try to form a strong relationship with the office manager or someone else who performs clerical tasks.
4. Step Away
Forcing yourself to focus on one task for hours on end is not a good way to maintain a high level of productivity. Having lunch away from your desk or taking a few minutes to go outside can actually increase your productivity and help you be more creative. If your employer limits you to one or two breaks per day, at least take a few minutes to walk around the room every so often. As an added bonus, getting away from your desk can also improve your mood.
As an administrative professional, you need to be "on" at all times. If you have a hard time concentrating, try improving your diet, taking frequent breaks or forging relationships with other people in your department. All of these activities can help you stay focused and advance your career.
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