In the course of a normal workday, an administrative professional handles a variety of tasks, often for numerous people. On days where you feel overwhelmed with demands, it may seem impossible to focus on a single task. If you are struggling with productivity, your smartphone alarm may be the answer.
For many professionals, a smartphone is a distraction. The lure of text messages, emails and social media apps can often add to the pile of tasks waiting to be completed. Before you consider using your smartphone alarm to help you stay productive, it is important to silence all other sounds and vibrations—unless, of course, you use the phone for work. In the absence of other distractions, the alarm will be a more powerful tool.
One of the easiest ways to use a smartphone alarm at work is for meeting reminders. As an administrative professional, it is not uncommon to have several meetings per day. When you are bogged down with a full to-do list, it is easy to wander into a meeting without being mentally prepared; as a result, you won't be able to use the time productively. To help, set two alarms per meeting. The first alarm should ring about 10 minutes before the meeting starts, giving you enough time to gather your thoughts, collect materials and mentally transition from the previous task. The second alarm should ring just before the meeting starts. These small chunks of time will help you enter each meeting clear-headed and ready to work.
During days when you are overloaded with small tasks, a smartphone alarm can help improve focus. Instead of trying to multitask, set your alarm in 15-minute increments and assign each one to a different task. Tackle emails for the first period, for example, and move on to filing when the alarm rings. The alarm guarantees that you won't lose track of time, so you can direct all of your energy to one task without worrying about falling behind on others. This type of compartmentalized behavior can do wonders for workplace productivity and helps you make the most of small periods of time.
For many administrative workers, the needs of colleagues often come first. If you are feeling overloaded by requests, it is important to take time for yourself. Once or twice a day, set a smartphone alarm for the start and end of a break. Get away from your desk, go outside for fresh air, or have a coffee, and head back to work when the second alarm rings. These small breaks can help you feel refreshed and revitalized, which leads to better productivity throughout the day.
For people in administrative positions, alarms can be a useful way to divide the day without losing track of the big picture. By using your smartphone alarm as a productivity tool rather than a distraction, you can accomplish more without feeling overwhelmed.
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