An administrative assistant wears many hats in a company, including confidante to the boss, switchboard, receptionist, organizer and self-starter. One role that may not seem so obvious is that of a self-manager. You need to know how to lead yourself to succeed in a fast-paced, high-energy environment.
Self-managing your administrative assistant position starts with prioritizing your time. Know what projects are the most important that need to be done as soon as possible. Occasional emails that sound an alert every time they reach your inbox can add up to distractions, as can co-workers that buzz by your desk. Learn to say "not now" as opposed to "no." When you tell someone you're busy and you need to focus, simply tell that person "not now," and you can return to that issue later.
2. Make Time
There are only 24 hours in a day, plus you have a finite amount of time to spend at the office to accomplish your tasks. A great administrative assistant makes time to accomplish details that keep her ahead within the organization. When you have a spare five minutes, respond to some quick emails, talk to your boss about an upcoming project, sign a birthday card for Carl in IT or make time to proactively complete some very small tasks. Eventually, this time management skill becomes second nature, allowing you to mark off a lot more on your to-do list by the end of the day.
Once you prioritize and make time within your day, it's time to focus. Without focus, you distract yourself and wander into other tasks while the most important item of the day gets put off again and again. Multitasking is an administrative assistant myth, because you can only focus on a single thing at a time. You may appear to zip in and out of tasks throughout the day, but that's because you know what has to get done and when. Recognize that you do your best when you concentrate on the task at hand, and don't worry about other items on your list. You can get to less important items later, which is why the number one step is to prioritize.
4. Care for Yourself
You must take care of yourself if you want to perform at the highest level every day. Lead yourself as an administrative assistant by eating right, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and striving to carve out a life that you love. When you're happy and healthy, you can solve problems better and accomplish more tasks during your time at the office.
Your role as an administrative assistant is vitally important, and these four skills show how you self-manage your position around others. All of these aspects lead to a great career filled with productivity, success, advancement and accomplishments that those around you notice.
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