Friday, January 24, 2014

Production / Production Capability Balance

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
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I am an Administrative Assistant for a local Fire Department. I've been in this particular position for 3.5 years but have worked for the municipality for almost 12 years. The responsibilities that I am relied upon to complete include; payroll for 87 employees, grant expenditure tracking and reimbursements, medical inventory distribution and ordering, fire equipment and uniform purchases, travel arrangements, accounting, customer service and day-to-day projects as they arise. Some days I'm so swamped it takes all of my energy just to stay afloat with a courteous disposition. Other days when things slow down for a minute, I try to "maintain the goose" by finding ways to become more efficient in the office, to read articles to keep my processes relevant, or to work on my interpersonal skills (this is the hardest for me). 
My job tasks are required to be completed within certain time constraints and most of my duties have been evolved after years of trying different processes. I always complete my job tasks within their required due dates, always do whatever is asked of me, I try to be helpful when people come to me in need of assistance, yet rarely am I entrusted to work on large projects or on task teams.
That being said, something in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book has almost haunted me since reading it last week. Covey wrote, "If you want to have more freedom, more latitude in you job, be a more responsible, a more helpful, a more contributing employee." I always produce the results I am required to produce. But rarely do I go out of my way to try to be more helpful to others or to contribute to anything extra than my current responsibilities. Mainly, I haven't done this because I feel overwhelmed with my duties most of the week. There's a paradigm with myself going on here. I'm certain I couldn't be more efficient than I already am. Covey also wrote this in regards to my current dilemma,
Is getting more things done in less time going to make a difference - or will it just increase the pace at which I react to the people and circumstances that seem to control my life? Could there be something I need to see in a deeper, more fundamental way - some paradigm within myself that affects the way I see my time, my life, and my own nature?
I feel that I am getting the results I want in regards of what is required of me, but very rarely do I take that extra initiative for greater responsibility. I need to be more helpful and contributing in order to get what I really want, which is to be considered an equal team member where my contributions can make a positive change in my work environment.

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