Sometimes, you have to be your own assistant.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have an assistant on call, to do that one painful task a week? If you aren’t able to put that into your budget yet, you have to be your own assistant. Here are five administrative tasks you should conquer every week to live in the stress-free zone.
Look at your calendar.
This should be obvious, but if you are like me, sometimes you may add items to your calendar, but you don’t really LOOK at it when you start talking about plans. We rely on our memory and think, “That should work” and then realize we’ve overstuffed our day or weekend. We don’t think to schedule down time, feeling guilty about making it an appointment. But if we look at our calendar regularly, we can better learn our patterns and scheduling needs and catch those appointments we made and forgot about.
Clean up that email inbox.
Email is a constant source of stress for professionals. That’s why I offer free resources to help overwhelmed professionals handle email more effectively. Determine what level of email stress is okay to you. For some of us (me included) nothing less than inbox zero will do. But I realize that it unrealistic for many. Could a goal of retaining no more than 20 emails in the inbox at a time be more realistic for you?
Read something valuable.
Take some time each week to read a chapter in a good book or digest a blog post or e-newsletter from someone you like. (Maybe HOPE Hints?) Invest into your professional development, even if during a coffee break. One of my friends challenged himself to spend as much time reading a valuable book as he does on social media each day. Which leads me to…
Restrict social media.
For most professionals, social media is part of your work. It may be a big part actually, so completely avoiding it is unrealistic. But you can restrict how involved you get. I’ve discovered that when I cut back on mindlessly scrolling through my news feed, and post a little less frequently, my spirit feels more relaxed.
Revisit your values.
Have a personal mission statement available in a prominant place (such as your calendar that you are reviewing weekly!) and look at it daily to recalibrate you toward why you do what you do. Chances are, by the way, that your mission statement doesn’t include anything about the amount of money you make. Hang onto that!
Conquer these tasks each week and you’ll see some of your work-related stress start to fade away.