Welcome to the Who Took My Pen … Again? Annual Blog-a-thon for Administrative Professionals. If you are just tuning in, here’s the scoop! We are holding 4th Annual Blog-a-thon for the Administrative Profession. We hold this blog-a-thon each April and the goal is to make assistants aware of the resources available to them and build a community of administrative assistant and executive assistants who want to learn and grow and flourish in their career of choice! To learn more about the blog-a-thon and how you can win great prizes check out the Administrative Professional’s Blog-a-thon Page for the full message.
Today’s chapter excerpt is from the chapter titled Future Focused.
Do you ever feel like you are “spinning your wheels” and going nowhere? Take a step back and look at what you are doing as a whole and maybe you will figure out why you feel this way.
When you have a multitude of priorities, projects, tasks, action items – whatever you call them – how do you get it all done and feel accomplished and still feel like you have direction to accomplish the even greater goal?
Today I’m going to share with you an excerpt from the book, Who Took My Pen … Again? from the chapter titled Future Focused. We still need to pay attention to today and what we are working on but that feeds the future as well. I hope you enjoy!
Pay Attention to the Present.
Every day there are indicators of what might be coming down the road. Whether one pays attention and has her antenna up while doing other things is a different story. You have to intentionally listen, read, observe, and absorb.
Read and Anticipate the Domino Effect.
This means that when you read something, engage your brain and tune everything else out. This is quite difficult today when people are engaged in five things at once — dining with friends or family while reading emails at the same time, texting someone, and uploading a video to Facebook. You cannot totally absorb information if you are distracted with other actions. If you read in USA Today about economic downturns in your industry, you should anticipate that changes will be coming to your company. What is some of the news circulating within your organization that you should be paying attention to? Of course, you have to separate rumors from facts. It’s like seeing the dominos all laid out before the first one ever moves.
Listening is a mental process. It takes effort. Hearing takes no effort unless you are hearing impaired. When you listen, you tune out internal and external distractions. When your manager talks to you about a meeting she just attended, is there anything in what you heard that might indicate additional projects will be coming your manager’s way which means you will be busier? If your manager lightly talks about a big organizational initiative that will be occurring in the next year, what might that mean to your manager, the department, and you? It’s like having a crystal ball.
Stop What You Are Doing.
While you definitely should be paying attention to the current task at hand, there are times when you purposely stop and look at what projects, trips, and special meetings are on the horizon for your executive and yourself or your department. If you manage multiple people, be in touch with each one and initiate conversations whereby they will talk about what they know is coming up that you do not know yet. It is as if you are standing above your work area and looking down at everything from a big picture perspective. It’s like being an air traffic controller in the tower, watching many planes take off and land.
Conversations with administrative peers are very helpful. Since assistants are focused on the goings-on of their manager and the related direct reports, assistants can often provide insight into upcoming projects, meeting, special events, or travels. On the other side, where appropriate, you should openly share what you know that will help other assistants.
Share your ways of being Future Focused below by adding your comments and be entered to win one of our wonderful prizes!
Jasmine Freeman, Contributing Author, Who Took My Pen … Again? Secrets from Dynamic Executive Assistants