You’ve likely taken to Netflix and come across documentaries and shows like The Social Dilemma that prove firsthand how much technology dominates our lives. From the time we wake up until the time we go to sleep, we are bombarded with information from all avenues. Please do not get me wrong. I love technology. We need these important tools to be productive and to communicate with people worldwide. The challenge is the fine line between too much and not enough. Do you know how to determine when enough is enough? Do you have the courage to disconnect? Have you discussed parameters with your leader or others who rely on you to be available, even after hours?
Are you ready to take the steps necessary to increase your mental energy?
Brian Tracy, one of America’s leading authorities on the development of human potential has a great deal to say about electronic communications and stress. Brian says, “Deliberately create zones of silence in your life where no one can break through to reach you.” This comes from a man who is extremely successful, travels extensively, and addresses 250,000+ people annually.
Ask yourself the following questions while keeping an open mind.
- In what ways could you “disconnect” from electronic communications during your business day? Really give this one some thought. In the past year, so many assistants have transitioned to working remotely. With that comes more freedom to go about your day in ways you would not if you were in the office. Have you taken to social media more? Are you answering emails in the evening?
- Do you believe it is feasible for an administrative professional to develop this habit? As an assistant, you have a “figure things out” attitude. Many of the frustrations and stressors you experience day-to-day become so common that over time you may begin to associate them as part of the role. That isn’t good. It is important to set boundaries to cognitively shift from a chaotic mindset to a systematic one.
- What do you see as the benefits of disconnecting? In what creative ways can you disconnect from electronic communications from the time you awake until the time you go to sleep? Could you spend more time with loved ones? Would you be able to attend educational classes, leisure classes, or both?
Administrative Assistant Tips to Increase Mental Energy
- Allocate times when you will read e-mails.
- Do not turn on your cell phone as soon as you awake.
- Discuss your executive’s preferences and establish processes. Also, discuss after-business-hours protocol. You will need to come to an agreement on this one.
- Take breaks throughout the day from using technology and do something that stimulates your creativity.
- When you go on vacation, go on vacation!
- Dismiss feeling guilty when you cannot respond to every e-mail in one day.
- Be selective and use your brain; remember … you are not a robot.
- When attending a workshop or conference, stay focused on the speaker. Resist reading e-mails, IM, or listening to voice mails.
- Limit the time you spend on your computer in the evening.
For more great workplace tips, videos, ebooks, and more visit our free educational resources for administrative assistants page.