Question: What do you have in common with billionaires Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey? Answer: 24 hours in each day. As rich and powerful as they are, even Bill and Oprah only get the same 24 hours you get. The difference is what do you do with that time? They each employ effective assistants to help them make the most of their waking hours. If the days, weeks, and years are flying by with not enough to show for it, follow these tips:

1. Grab A Notepad

Start writing your goals and dreams and action plan. The act of putting these things down on paper is the first step to making them happen. Examples: Short-Term Goals
  • (1 month) – Go to the gym, visit my sick friend, make that doctor’s appointment and actually go.
Longer-Term Goals
  • (6 months) – Begin house-hunting, plan the birthday party, organize finances.
Really Long-Term Goals
  • (1 year) – Lose 20 lbs.
  • (5 years) – Update your will.
  • (10 years) – Buy a vacation home.

2. Hire An Assistant

An effective assistant can make the difference between having your time being eaten up with administrative tasks and getting to do the things you actually want and need to do. A professional assistant is worth their weight in gold when she becomes invested in your success.

3. Know Your Time Wasters

What if you are the assistant? Assistants need support too in order to make the best use of their 24/7. It works both ways. Get clear about the time-wasters in your day and ask for help from family and friends. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook says, “The most important career decision a woman makes is her choice of a partner.”

4. Buy A Large, Laminated One-Year Calendar

Buy a calendar to hang up on your office wall so you can literally keep the big picture close at hand. It’s not easy to get a handle on your life when you look at a calendar on your smartphone. Plug in the big events of your work life and personal life such as the big annual retreat which automatically tells you that the two weeks before will be insane. It will become obvious when you can take a vacation or plan your root canal. The Bottom Line: Time is precious no matter who we are. As someone wise said, this is not a rehearsal. You will make more money, enjoy more leisure time, and be free to focus on the things that only you can do when you take on the task of wrangling your 24/7. Just like Bill and Oprah. Article submitted by Bonnie Low-Kramen
Feel like you're not as successful as you should be? Take a breath! Here are 10 common sense success strategies for the future: 1. S l o w it down. Don’t permit 24/7 access to you. (Just because it’s possible, doesn’t mean it has to be!) To be your best, you need sleep, take vacations, and keep doctor’s appointments to stay healthy and sharp. Create reasonable boundaries with your employer, co-workers, and family to protect your health and your energy. 2. Keep it personal. Make a personal connection by picking up the phone and actually speaking to another person. Don’t rely too heavily on email and texting. 3. Back to basics. Remember the power of saying “please,” “thank you,” and sending a handwritten thank you note. More than ever, these things will make you stand out from the rest. 4. Be generous with help or information, even when no one is watching. They are. Volunteer to work on a project, especially if the team is comprised of decision-makers in your company. The word gets around. People notice when you go above and beyond with a smile and by rolling up your sleeves. 5. Positive breeds positive and negativity is infectious like a virus. This applies to your can-do attitude, demeanor, and actions. 6. Commit to perfect spelling, grammar, and using upper/lower case in all your writing. This speaks to your professionalism. 7. Strive to not take offense easily. Nine times out of ten, it’s about them, not you. Don’t waste valuable time stewing. Give it a day and chances are, the issue will have been resolved. If not, speak up and address it yourself. Don’t allow elephants in the room. 8. Show respect and expect respect – to everyone. No exceptions. 9. Lifelong learning is the way to go. Commit to learning something new at least once a week. This makes you marketable and open to what’s coming next. 10. Keep your perspective. Look around. Would you really trade places with anyone? Tweak your attitude and get ready for a fantastic 2013! Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Have you ever thought what would happen (theoretically, of course) if you got hit by a bus tomorrow? Would your office be able to run without you? How well? If you are not sure, here a five critical questions to ask before a crisis strikes. 1. Do one or more other people have access to your computer password and office handbook that contains operational information such as; How to use the phone system and, Where are the keys to the conference room? 2. Do you have a back-up system in place as to who can step in for you in an emergency, when you are sick, or simply go on vacation? 3. Have you photo-copied/scanned the front and back of all the contents in your wallet and that of your employer’s that is kept in safe place that at least 2 trusted people know? 4. Does your safe deposit box have at least one other signer besides yourself? Does someone other than yourself know where the key is kept? 5. Do at least two other people know where important documents are kept such as passports and insurance papers? It’s ironic but the best assistants are the ones whose offices can run without them, especially on short notice. After all, life happens. Being indispensable is awesome but it is important to prepare for that bus if it ever comes! Article submitted by Bonnie Low-Kramen Office crisis questions image from Bigstock