When you work as a VA or an on-site administrative assistant, there will always be things that come up during the course of the day. These things will unavoidably at times slow you down, prevent you from working on projects or just plain “mess up” your plans for your day, your week or even your month. However, many times these things end up taking far more time out of your day than they should because you end up spending time thinking about how they are ruining your schedule. This causes several things:
• It impacts your mood, creating negativity that prevents you from seeing ways to turn the situation to your advantage
• It gives your subconscious permission to encourage you to slack off
• It takes more time out of your day because your focus is split between your work and your stress
• It may cause you to spread negativity and waste time by complaining about the situation to other people.
Fortunately, there is an extremely simple habit that you can develop to help shortcut these problem behaviors –even though they are perfectly natural and you may not always even notice them when they manifest themselves. In order to stay ahead of the game – even when the game plan has changed – you need to focus on the future, whether that future is the next memo you are going to write or the next call you are going to make.
This plan is simple to put into action even if you are not stressed out. Simply make sure that before you take a break, you start your next task. This may mean getting the number of your next call out and writing it down by the phone so you can return from your break and sit down and dial. It can mean titling a memo or email before you head off to grab a warm cup of coffee. It may even just mean grabbing the next file up in the queue and placing it on your desk so you do not have to hunt for it when you return.
Simply preparing the way for yourself before you leave your work area can help keep your workday flowing and save you a great deal of time.