Agonizing Anxiety, and How to Keep a Clear Mind

The mind is a powerful force. It can enslave us or empower us. It can plunge us into the depths of misery or take us to the heights of ecstasy. Learn to use this power wisely. With a mind so powerful, one would expect that anxiety and depression would not be as common as it is, and yet - 40 million adults in the United States alone, are affected every year. So What is Anxiety? Anxiety is a natural and healthy emotion. The feeling of anxiety is often the cause of the “fight or flight” adrenaline surge that we experience when we consider ourselves to be in danger. Since the earliest days of humanity, this was brought on by survival tactics such as avoiding predators etc. Nowadays, it's more common to experience anxious thoughts as a result of work, family, financial pressures, health etc. When the feeling of anxiety is severe, and out of proportion to the ‘danger’ trigger (or the duration is extended), one could be facing an anxiety disorder. Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder: Everyone reacts differently to certain events and has slightly different chemical balances resulting in a number of possible symptoms. Some of these include: RestlessnessUncontrollable...Read More

How to Boost Your Career with IQ and EQ

The debate, of what is more important for success in the work place “book smarts” or “street smarts”, continues.  Some scientists say that a higher IQ is the only contributing factor to success in the workplace, where others will argue that EQ (Emotional Intelligence) has a more powerful hand at creating success. So, which is better? Can one work without the other? How does each make an impact on your success? What is IQ? An intelligence quotient (IQ) is a total score derived from several standardized tests designed to assess human intelligence. In a company like Microsoft, one can certainly argue that “smart people make for better workers”. In this instance, the company needs workers with a higher cognitive ability, as the work is complex, and changing at a rapid rate. If the employee is unable to learn new skills, or develop new programmes at a fast pace, Microsoft runs the risk of losing their competitive edge. Wharton Psychologist, Adam Grant, has concluded after several studies that “Cognitive ability (IQ) was 5 times more powerful than emotional intelligence (EQ). The average employee with high cognitive ability (IQ) generated an annual revenue of $ 195 000, compared with the $ 159...Read More

Progress Pilgrimage

Amazing speaker, Siphiwe Moyo, who we were privileged to hear at last year’s Joburg Secretaries Day Conference, focused his talk on the importance of Progress. Things were not always easy for the super successful Siphiwe and many ideas he shared at his talk, he learned personally, through his own experiences. We loved his straight forward and honest approach. He shared the following 3 life lessons, that were hard-hitting and encouraged a bit of soul searching: Life is difficult – get over itContrary to popular belief, the world doesn’t owe you anythingTalk is cheap – people get tired of all your promises We were really inspired by his talk “Position Yourself for Progress”, so we’d like to share some thoughts on how you can do, just that. According to the Collins Dictionary, progress is classified as “the process of gradually improving or getting nearer to achieving or completing something”. This could be relevant to a specific task, or your life as a whole – but it seems to me, that the key point here, is to have a goal. If you are not working towards anything, how are you ever expecting to progress? There are plenty of 'self-help' books, guides, articles...Read More

What’s all the Clutter Mutter?

Creating a rhythm can help your brain Makes sense of things to keep you sane Without rhyme or reason, would we hate As it limits our performance rate Clear reading, understanding and just plain space Takes us to our happy place Organised chaos can sometimes suit But time wasted is always proved…. Our brains are programmed to follow a path Of easiness and simplicity, for our own health By creating a simple flow of words that form a pattern (or routine if you will), I am confident to say that I have already proven my point of “less is more”. As soon as our brains recognise shorter sentences, simple words and a rhythmic flow – the 10 lines above are not as overwhelming as a normal article would normally be – and can even create a sense of joy (or possibly just a sneaky smile). So why do we insist on cluttering our lives, our homes, our offices or our email inboxs when it is clearly easier and more bearable to deal with simplicity? Research has shown that clutter can have many negative effects on a person, and especially on employee productivity. Effects such as unhealthier eating; poorer mental health;...Read More

Taking Care from Head to Toe

Each ‘FRIENDS’ episode reminds us that: ‘no-one told you life was going to be this way’. However, YOUR friends, family & colleagues, constantly remind you that you need to look after yourself. It seems like such an obvious notion, but as a PA, you are driven by the idea that you need to look after others and run their daily routines. For many, it’s in your nature to put others first, and consider yourself last (which is probably why you’re so good at your job). However, not looking after yourself can lead to lower energy levels; anxiety or the feeling of uncertainty; dwelling in guilt that you haven’t done enough; or performing your functions with less vigour or competence than what you are used to. Don’t worry – we’ll be there for you… We have a couple of techniques for you to use to pamper yourself (at a cost-effective rate) at home and PIVOT the way you feel about yourself, and #BeFabulous. SKIN: Your face is the first thing that you look at each day, and is the first thing that people notice about you. It holds the power to show your emotion, express yourself in conversation and create a...Read More

Captain Consistency

The very definition of a Personal Assistant is an ‘assistant who works for one person in particular’. Never mind working for yourself. You’re running your own life, and someone else’s (and often, more than one persons) at the same time as yours. To do this effectively, organisation is vital. In this day and age, PA’s have one of the most diverse job descriptions out there. Often their skills, abilities, talents and focus are not only shifted between executives, but could possibly range from running personal errands to conducting a staff meeting on the behalf of the chief executives. This versatility was emphasised during the economic struggles of the 2000’s. As most companies were forced to retrench staff, secretaries became responsible for more than one manager and started taking over tasks that were generally assigned to middle-level management. This would not be possible without some sort of organisation. As much as we would all like to believe that we are a secret super-hero, we are only human and are bound to forget something every now and then. Developing your own system of organisation can assist in avoiding this imminent forgetfulness, and assist in keeping the façade of a Marvel Avenger. Find...Read More

6 Tips for First Time PA’s

With each new year, comes new beginnings. For some, this includes a first job, a different position or an unknown executive. This unwritten chapter of your life provides fresh opportunities of adventure, hope and challenges. Although it takes courage to grow, and become who you really are – no one has ever said that you should do it by yourself.   As a personal assistant – other people’s priorities become your own. Their wants, needs, likes and dislikes fill your day and capture your attention continuously. Walters People have developed and advised on 6 tips for first time PA’s. Set priorities Scheduling is a vital part of our job, as you keep someone else organised and on top of their game. This will not be possible if you are not organised yourself. Using checklists can help with providing a clear overview of your tasks; the appropriate time allocation of each one; as well as deadlines that need to be adhered to. Visit your checklist every morning and evaluate if there should be any additions; postponements; or removals of tasks. Effective time management can assist in understanding and fulfilling your role in the workplace; developing the ability to remain committed to...Read More

The 11th Annual Joburg Secretaries Day Conference “Be fabulous, advance your career & increase your value”

South Africa’s Premier Training Event for Administrative Professionals 5 - 6 September 2018    |   The Wanderers Club Johannesburg Don't miss hearing from our world-class speakers, gaining exceptional skills, boosting your performance, taking your career to the next level and letting us spoil you while you learn! South Africa's largest PA Conference was fully booked last year, don't miss out! WHO SHOULD ATTEND Administrative Professionals Secretaries & PAs Executive Assistants HR / Training Administrators Project Administrators Senior Receptionists Office Managers Administrative Support Staff FABULOUS GOODIE BAGS AND PRIZES TO THE VALUE OF R 50 000 For more information, contact us on: Tel: 011 431 1533         |         Email:         |         Website:

Tools To Help Keep You Productive Morning, Afternoon & Night

You easily wake up early, drink a big cup of coffee, then begin powering through your to-do list. Maybe stopping for a quick meal break, stretch, or a quick conversation with a coworker. Before powering on again, energy unwavering until bedtime, where you promptly fall asleep for eight, wonderful hours of sleep. Congrats you are 0.001% of the population. If you are like the rest of us and can't work at a constant 100% efficiency level all day, every day; you probably know that you need to do the right task at  a specific time of the day to have a productive day. We've compiled a list of tools and apps that will help you fly through your to-do list without having to truck on all day. Morning Meditation. According to a 2012 study, people who meditated "stayed on tasks longer and made fewer task switches, as well as reporting less negative feedback after task performance."  Meditation helps to reduce stress and anxiety, jump start creativity and help you focus. Yes, please. To start your morning off right, we recommend Headspace - free, with subscriptions available on iPhone, Android, Web. It has beginner to advanced modes, that lets you learn when you want and wherever you...Read More

Getting along with all your co-workers

Being a PA or an Executive Assistant you have to deal with a lot of people and many gate keepers that will make your job a bit harder. But if you are able to quickly build relationships with people and learn to get your message across to them quickly and effectively, this will make you an essential part of your team. Building up your relationship with your co-workers, managers and clients is also a very important stepping stone to your success, especially if you’re looking for a promotion within your company. Reading body language and responding accordingly, is the quickest way to win someone's trust. And when they trust you, they are more likely to go the extra mile for you and not put up barriers. Implementing the tips below could instantly improve your relationships. Watch them when they have their guards down. Become the office stalker, in a non-creepy way. Watch them when they are away from work in a more relaxed environment, like when they are taking lunch. Take notes of whether they are chatty and polite? Are they comfortable voicing their opinions? If you study what they’re like when their guard is down, this will give you...Read More