Personal emergencies – such as illness, a death in the family, or an accident – often involve taking unexpected time off work. However, these situations can be especially challenging for administrative professionals who are responsible for keeping their executives and offices running smoothly.
When disaster strikes, you need to focus on your family and yourself during a personal disaster … not what’s going on back at work. However, to successfully disconnect and bounce back, there are some plans, systems, and procedures you need to put in place to be prepared.
Emergency communication plan: Does your office have an emergency communication plan? Does your family? Both are essential when a disaster strikes — whether it’s personal, natural or an office emergency. You, along with your executive, colleagues, and family members should all know who to call when something happens, and the necessary contact information should be easily accessible. A detailed emergency communication plan can reduce panic and ensure that everyone is connected, regardless of the situation. (Click here for tips on creating your plan.)
Self-care system: Taking care of yourself is important during personal disasters – even if you’re not the person who is sick or injured. Yet it often gets overlooked, especially if you’re caring for someone else or trying to handle a difficult situation. This is why you need to have a focused self-care system that factors in your emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, professional, and relational well-being. I recommend using a journal to list ways you can take care of yourself, such as getting your hair cut, going to the dentist, working out, and taking vitamins. Then, each day, pick one thing from the list and do it. Record the time and date you completed it and how you felt. This exercise will make sure you don’t neglect yourself amidst the stress and ch aos, and it can help you bounce back faster.
Back-up procedures: Administrative procedures are extremely important for all admins. Yet back-up procedures can be a lifesaver and a career-saver if you encounter a personal emergency. Your back-up procedures should include detailed instructions for mission-critical items that need to be done in your absence, as well as the location of important files/items, and a list of key contacts. Creating these procedures is a great way to ensure your office doesn’t crumble while you’re gone. They also give you peace of mind that important tasks will be handled so you can focus on yourself or family. For an added layer of reassurance, have someone test out your back-up procedures to make sure they’re complete and can be followed without your guidance.
When a disaster strikes, most people don’t think as clearly. By putting these plans, systems, and procedures in place now, you can save yourself from added stress and focus on what’s important: yourself and your family.
What’s your personal disaster recovery story? Click here to share your experience with us.
© 2015 Julie Perrine International, LLC
Be More Resilient By Developing Reliable Systems By Julie Perrine
1 thought on “Be More Resilient By Developing Reliable Systems By Julie Perrine”
Thank you for sharing these thoughts on resilience. As executive assistants we need to embrace the importance of self care. Taking moments to celebrate the great work we are doing and develop new strategies looking to harmonize all aspects of our lives from family – work – school – health – friends – community. In 2014 I was laid off. The detour to my next role took nine months and was filled with great learning and so many lessons. One of the many lessons was the importance of embracing small sustainable changes and moving forward working smarter.
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