A Personal Assistant (PA) is tasked with carrying out administrative and organisational duties on behalf of an executive in an organisation that may be private, public or non-profit.
Individuals also hire PAs to manage their busy schedules. PAs are required to be flexible and productive in the duties they are assigned, so they should stay motivated. When PAs self-motivate, they develop a drive from within that pushes them to focus on achieving both personal and organisational goals.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, governments globally advised people to stay indoors. Many adapted a work-from-home model, including PAs. Quite a few, though, are recently back in the office. With these methods, this article advises on how to self-motivate as a PA while either working from home or in an office.
Setting goals is key to self-motivation as a PA. This method helps them focus on how to stay motivated as they centre their attention more on organising time and resources towards acquiring knowledge that is crucial in propelling their careers. The goals set should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART). When setting goals to follow while working either from home or in the office, PAs should execute the following steps:
- Step 1: Understand the context of the goals. PAs should come up with reasonable goals that motivate them to input their energy towards achieving personal and organisational goals.
- Step 2: Write down objectives and an action plan towards the goals. Self-motivating while working from home might be difficult due to distractions and procrastination. Breaking your goals into points and setting deadlines to achieve them makes it easier to stay focused on the objectives.
- Step 3: Have accountability for the process of achieving the goals. PAs should be able to re-evaluate and assess the progress they have made towards accomplishing their goals. They can seek advice from their managers and colleagues on how to approach matters that may be affecting their ability to meet the goals.
Celebrating Success by Rewarding Themselves
Since it is important that PAs set goals they can achieve while working either from home or in the office, what is done to celebrate current goal achievement is a determinant of the probability of future goals being achieved.
When PAs meet their goals, it is important that they reward themselves. When it becomes a habit to reward yourself after accomplishing tasks, the chances of continuing to record exemplary performance even in the future are usually high. PAs should celebrate their success by gauging their starting point and what they have been able to achieve. The little incentives help you work effectively and enable you to realise how much you can do. A PA working from home, for example, can set time to get work done and reward themself by watching a film if the work is completed within the stipulated time. Doing this regularly ensures increased self-motivation.
Creating a Work Schedule
Whether working from home or in the office, it is necessary that a PA comes up with an effective work schedule that enables them to maintain a smooth workflow. Having a schedule means that barely any time is wasted.
Creating a work schedule is a great way to self-motivate and establish a routine while working. With a schedule, work is done efficiently and there is a balance between personal and work life. One can prioritise the work that needs to be done. Below are some steps to follow while creating a schedule:
- Identify the available time
- Schedule the sequence of activities
- Estimate resources needed to carry out tasks
- Consider contingency time
- Schedule time to deliver work
- Review the activities done
Avoiding Distractions While Working
Distractions are common, especially when working from home. Colleagues at work can also be a source of distraction. With a solid strategy and a willingness to concentrate on the work at hand, a PA can overcome interruptions and stay motivated while working by following these steps:
- Step 1: Put yourself in a no-disturb mode and let your colleagues or housemates know
- Step 2: Set timers to ensure things are done efficiently and effectively
- Step 3: Stick to your regular work schedule, as it helps you stay focused
Being Optimistic and Visualising
Optimism and visualisation are great ways to self-motivate as a PA while working either from home or in the office. Visualising enables PAs to feel empowered and focus their abilities towards goal achievement. Working positively is an ideal way to get things done without procrastination, which hinders performance.
Some steps PAs can take towards remaining positive include surrounding themselves with positivity, establishing positive mantras, and identifying and challenging negative thoughts.
About the Author
Olivia Coughtrie is Co-founder and Director of Oriel Partners, a PA and administrative recruitment consultancy based in central London. Olivia is passionate about making positive changes to the recruitment process.