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How to get things done in a busy office environment

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In September 2016 I returned home after living in New York and got straight into an admin role working within Cpl Office Support. My role within Cpl is extremely fast-paced, I provide administrative support to a busy team of 14 Recruiters/Directors and the MD of Cpl Solutions.

When juggling various tasks, especially in an office setting, it’s easy to find yourself bogged down in your workload. I have found that prioritising your tasks is the key to success and ensuring you do not crumble under pressure.

I have picked up various tips along the way that have made my day to day less stressful, and will hopefully be helpful for you too.

1. Understand What’s Important v What’s Urgent

Understanding what’s important versus what’s urgent is fundamental to prioritising your day – the Eisenhower Matrix, is a good way to help you sort out which is which and plan your workload.

Things that are important are tasks that directly contribute to achieving your personal objectives or tasks that contribute to your team. It is vital to ensure you do not mix important tasks with urgent tasks that often need to be completed quickly. Once you know what’s most important you can plan your day properly.

2. Avoid email interruptions

I would consider myself quite fanatical when it comes to work emails, but I believe this is what allows me to work day to day. My inbox is virtually empty. I have various rules set up to allow for me to work in a flow without interruptions. My top email tip would be to switch off email alerts, which cuts out numerous amounts of interruptions throughout your day and allows you to focus on your tasks.

3. Take breaks and have lunch away from your desk

When multitasking, it’s easy to get bogged down in your workload. It’s vital to step away from your desk at times and clear your head. I have often needed to step away from the desk when my train of thought becomes muddled and I have realised I’m spending much longer undertaking a particular task then I should. Stepping away from the desk allows for clarity and you can return with a fresh mind and get stuck in.

4. Set deadlines

Don’t set yourself up for failures, set yourself realistic deadlines to give you a focus for the day/week. I have always found that writing down a to do list first thing in the morning allows me to quickly identify the important from the urgent and allows me to plan my day effectively.

Personally, I find ranking tasks I need to complete allows me to keep focus. While being realistic with yourself ensures you don’t get overwhelmed as the week progresses.

5. Communicate effectively

Communication is vital to ensuring you work effectively day to day. Personally, working with Recruiters, Managers and Directors I need to ensure I communicate regularly and manage expectations to grasp what needs to be done and when.

It’s also important that communication is a two-way street. Follow up with people and make sure you are both clear on what is needed/what is coming up. This will allow for a good communication flow and ensure you’re not overwhelmed with various tasks all at once.

Working in a fast-paced business environment is always where I thrive. The role requires juggling multiple tasks, dealing with multiple different personality types and working to daily deadlines.

Working in admin, every day tends to be different and the role itself can be very rewarding. If you are looking for a move or looking to gain experience within the administrative space, please do not hesitate to contact myself and I will put you in touch with one of our highly skilled recruiters to meet your career aspirations/location preferences.

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