Time to Focus

img_20161225_201151

Reporting in!

I am startled at how fast the days fly by  in my new job. Today, my co-worker pointed out that I’ve been in my new role for several months! It’s been an onslaught of new vocabulary, new team dynamics, new everything. It’s all a blur. Now, it’s time to focus.

The picture above is a coloring book picture which resides on my cubicle wall. (Yes, I colored it!) It reminds me to focus on where I am. It prods me,  Put your efforts into learning and mastering as much about your new job responsibilities as possible, and you’ll be successful.

Although I have a million things running through my mind most of the day, I’ve really tried to use my own best practices to focus. I rely on these methods to reel me back in when my day starts to unravel.

  1. Reconfirm task due dates. My new position has SO many projects with start and end dates. Mind-boggling. Reconfirming dates allows me to better budget and manage my time.
  2. Headphones with NO music. Basically, ear plugs. They help ward off distraction.Keep me on task.
  3. Headphones with music on – so I can remain energized when working on repetitive tasks I’ve got to get done.
  4. An organized desk. An absolute. When I leave at night, my to-do list and calendar for the next day are right in front. They jolt me into action before the caffeine kicks in. Also, having (paper and digital) folders, utilizing consistent file naming conventions. My desk is a mess during the day. It’s lovely first thing in the morning and when I head home for the night.
  5. Jot down questions in a notebook. Many times a day I’ll have a light bulb moment. I must write it down but, not be distracted by it. Writing it in my notebook daily allows me to remember it. [You know, I NEVER remember something if I tell myself, ” Oh, I’ll remember this. I don’t need to write it down.” WRONG!]  I love this because I can pull the notebook with me into any team meeting or 1-on-1 with my new supervisor, get answers and lessen the odds of repeating mistakes.
  6. OneNote. Keeping OneNote open with my annual review tab. When I learn something new or take on a new task, into the notebook it goes. Again. Not having to remember these things six months after the fact and once it is there, it is off the train track in my head. I also use it to document the steps I take for certain tasks. Brilliant start to a procedures manual. (That’s another blog post for another day.)
  7. Take my lunch break. So much easier to focus when I get away from my desk to eat or go out for fresh air. Vital.
  8. Limit surf time (Squirrel!). It’s too easy to go from article to article, site to site. Next thing you  know, you’ve lost 30 minutes.
  9. Recognizing when my brain is done for the day and make the switch to getting myself ready for the next day.

Stay rooted. Stay focused. Bloom where you are planted.

What If Your Personality Outshines Your Brand?

I have to admit I’m concerned.

Sure. I joke about my love of coffee. I profess my love of Dunkin’ Donuts. I’ve been known to buy other people’s coffee for them if they are willing to pick up one for me as well.  Is this a problem?  Not in the big picture. But it is troubling me a wee bit.

You see, I’m a full-time administrative professional at a trade association, and part-time instructor at our local community college. I lecture on social media, prepare boot camp sessions for  the Certified Administrative Professional exam, and travel a fair amount as an invited speaker for conferences for administrative professionals. Recently though, I noticed on my Twitter (@OfficeRenegade) feed and my Facebook page that more comments and shares were sent to me about coffee/my love thereof/ than about the topics and subjects I cover during presentations.  Funny? Sort of.

So I brought part of this on myself by posting and checking in on Twitter whenever I’m drinking coffee, where I’m drinking coffee, who I am drinking coffee with.. and frankly. No one gives a damn. Not unless there is some amazing executive at Dunkin’ brands that is in desperate search mode for a kick-ass, social savvy executive assistant. (DM me if you exist.)

Seriously, I love that my friends and colleagues poke at me about my caffeine problem..but what I really would love, is to set my personality on the back burner and let my determination to bring the importance of EA/AA work to the HR/Recruiting masses shine forth! And that means, re-focus.

It’s fun to have a personality quirk that everyone knows you for (See Ted Rubin and his thing for fantabulous and unique socks) but Ted is really known for his speaking and his message that relationships are the key to success. His hashtag is #RonR (Return on Relationship).

My hashtag is #KeepGrowingKeepLearning.  I do this each and everyday. And my goal is to encourage my peers to do the same.  And.. if they’re drinking coffee while they’re learning.. well.. more power to them!

What happens when turnover happens, Part II

So, I mentioned in the previous blog that there are at least two more waves to ride–they are coming my way.. given that my supervisor resigned shortly after I took this new position.

First, the new supervisor quandry. As it typically happens when there is a power vacuum- there will be someone who steps in.. Luckily, my company already had a transition plan in place. I have a temporary supervisor–until the new one is hired. However, co-workers can be mistaken into thinking that with no “real” supervisor–that you, in fact, have no work. Therefore, Can’t you help them with their project.. just until your new boss arrives? Au Contraire..

This harkens back to the previous blog. One can either use this downtime to totally screw-off and slack as much as possible. Or, as I hope to try to do.. get uber-organized. Use this time to really label, alphabetize,throw away, clean- and setup a superb filing system.

I also hope to use this time to learn more about our client base, more about what others do in my organization. Will I pitch in? Absolutely.

Next quandry… what if the new supervisor brings their own admin? Or, doesn’t need one at all? Hmmm. It’s true. The younger generation of management tends to type their own documents, set their own appt schedules via PDA. But, I believe it is incumbent upon my own job security to be proactive and pre-prepare items for the current boss-in-charge for now, so that I continue to place my value-added contributions on a visual basis. I am responsible for ensuring my own workplace continuity!

It’s tiring. I can spend loads of time focused on the what-ifs. But more importantly, now so more than ever, I show up on time. I communicate my workload to as many of the managers as a means of letting them know I’m working and NOT snoozing.. as we wait to replace my boss. I check in with them when I arrive and when I leave, not because I have to.. but because I want them to always know I am reliable, and I am there to work… I am grateful to be employed. I earn my salary….

So, I guess I’ll stay on this mental boogie-board for a few more weeks– and ride the waves. Luckily for me, I know how to swim and I know where the shore-line is!

Hope everyone is enjoying their Summer. Be sure to treat yourself to something nice. Life is short!