One of the first lessons we cover in the Personal Development/PA Skills section of our courses is to help our students to take a step back from their working week and identify how they can increase the number of positive working days. The lesson is part of a series we cover in conjunction with Sue France’s book “The Definitive Personal Assistant & Secretarial Handbook” – well worth getting as there are lots of hints and tips.
Our lessons help to bring out how to practically apply some of the ideas in Sue’s book and relate to them, so our students develop confidence and more knowhow in helping to manage their professional office role.
Feedback from students, on how they feel they can get more positivity into their day, has identified 5 key areas which you may find useful as well:
1. Going to bed earlier – Yes, it does make a difference. Many sleep research articles identify that if you are in bed and sleeping by 11 pm, you are catching the key time frame for better quality sleep. Starting to wind down after 10 pm is important so you are nodding off by 11 pm. It also means you are more likely to sleep longer and feel more refreshed when you wake up the next day.
2. Getting up earlier – We have all done this especially if you have children to sort out and get ready for school as well. From the moment you wake up you just feel rushed and by the time you get to work you may well feel exhausted just getting over the early morning routine but that rushed feeling never leaves you until you are home again. This is perhaps one of the most frequent ideas students identify when reviewing how they can get more positivity back into their working life (and perhaps home life too!). Worth thinking about and seeing what getting up half an hour earlier could do to your routine.
3. Prepping – Sorting out the things the night before that you need before you all go off in the morning the next day. It will help you feel more relaxed in the morning when you wake up and also helps to remove the rushed feeling in the mornings as well. Lunches, things needed for school and of course anything you need to do for work i.e. make some notes whilst things are fresh in your mind, ready for the next day so you have these as a reminder to help your next day get off on a solid footing.
4. Parking – Not cars but problems. If you have a problem to resolve (which we have most days) and you cannot see how to sort this out, then park it and sleep on it. The subconscious will work on this whilst you are asleep and the next day the way forwards will be much clearer. You may need to park for a couple of days – better to do that than rush into trying to resolve the problem when not properly thought through and what you think is the best way to resolve the problem really feels the right approach. Learn to park problems knowing that in a day or 2 – you will get the right answer coming through. Much better than worrying when you cannot see the way forwards.
5. Having a break – I think we are all guilty of working, working and working right through because our schedules are so busy. It is easy to do this to keep on top of things. But by having a proper lunch break – including a walk outside to get away from the office – you will find the afternoon workload is much easier to cope with and you will feel more on top of things and probably get through more and make better decisions as you go. So do not see a lunch break as a luxury item but more of as necessity so you can work effectively the rest of the day. Guilt free lunch breaks are a must!
With a combination of the above you should find a lot more positivity coming back into your life. You may start to think of other things you could do to ensure a positive working day. Take a step back and see what you come up with!