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  • feedwordpress 16:35:21 on 2016/12/12 Permalink
    Tags: #mondaymotivators, , , adminskills, , get control of your day, , , , , , , , to do list,   

    10 Ways You Can Get Control Of Your Day 


    I hope you are doing well this second Monday of December. I’ve been having a jolly time hosting daily webinars that started December 1 as a part of our 12 Days of Christmas this year. Office Dynamics is celebrating this month of giving by presenting free 30-minute webinars for 12 business days in a row. That’s a pretty heavy duty schedule but I’m having a blast. My partner-in-crime, Jasmine Freeman and I are making these webinars educational and festive. Each day we think of something new to surprise our attendees plus give away some great gifts such as on-line learning and conferences on demand. The response from our attendees has been tremendous.

    Since this is the busy season I thought I would give you my 10 quick tips from the December 1 webinar

    Ten Ways To Get Control Of Your Day

    1. Early in the day, clarify your top 5 priorities for the day. Priorities can quickly change from the time you left work until the next morning. Many managers work in the evening and even hold conference calls which can easily change the priorities for the next day.
    2. Focus on the task at hand. Truly commit to focusing on the current task, email, call, assignment or conversation. You will be so much more productive and less tired at the end of the work day.
    3. Neutralize information overload. We are bombarded with information. It not only shows up in our email and on our Facebook pages but we seek it out! You do not have to read every single thing or be on Facebook every day.
    4. Ask others for specific deadlines. By when do they need the work they are assigning you? This will help you place this new task in proper priority with your other duties.
    5. Recognize the time of day you are most productive. Are you a morning person? Or late morning person? Try to schedule the most challenging or thought-provoking tasks when you are your best. You will move through the assignment much quicker and probably do a better job.
    6. Search for alternatives; a simpler, faster way. As you go through your day, ask yourself, “How can I streamline this process? How can I get this done faster? Make this easier? Can I delegate this to someone else? Can I totally eliminate this from my to do list?”
    7. Establish some quiet time throughout the day. You should take 5 – 10 minutes around mid-afternoon to review your work load, regroup in your own mind and reorganize your priorities. Do not feel guilty taking some time for this. You will mentally jump back to work refreshed and feeling like you know where you are heading the rest of the afternoon.
    8. Delegate (at work and at home). Especially during this busy year-end and holiday season you need to delegate wherever possible. Partners and children at home can certainly jump in. Once again, do not feel guilty for delegating.
    9. Organize your workspace. This is a great time of year to organize your workspace and digital files. It feels so good to get rid of clutter. You will be ready to go when you start up work in early January.
    10. Plan ahead. At the end of the day, take a few minutes to plan for your next day. It’s also a good idea on a Friday to look at your upcoming week. What is on your schedule at home and at work? What do you need to do to prepare for that upcoming week? Are there conflicting appointments? Do you need assistance with personal errands? Are you going on vacation and need to put a hold on your newspaper? What will your executive need to be prepared for next week’s meeting?


    If you can spare 15 – 30 minutes this week, you may want to jump on one of our webinars and get motivated for your day! Attendees have also told me it’s a great break from their mundane tasks. Register to attend.

    The post 10 Ways You Can Get Control Of Your Day appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 22:09:18 on 2016/12/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , administrative professionals, adminskills, , , , get organized, , Julie Perrine, office organization, , , , , , The Organized Admin, ,   

    12 Days of Christmas Webinar: The Organized Admin with Julie Perrine 

    Get ready to go from chaos to control with the excellent tips that Julie Perrine shares in this free webinar.

    Watch The Organized Admin Webinar Replay

    Julie Perrine, The Organized Admin


    Webinar Resources & Downloads

    Download the Chat Archive: Day 7 Chat Archive 12 Days

    Download Your Certificate of Attendance: Certificate-Of-Attendance-From Chaos To Control

    Poll Results: Where do you struggle the most to stay organized?

    Julie’s Talking Points From This Webinar

    What was the inspiration for writing your new book, The Organized Admin?

    • When we launched All Things Admin in 2009, we asked every person who visited our website – what are your top two challenges?
    • The answer was overwhelmingly getting (and staying) organized.
      • Ideas, Time & Space
      • Workspace
      • Paper and Digital Files
      • To Do Lists – Task Management
      • Inbox
      • Meetings/Events
      • Travel Planning
      • Projects
      • Career
    • Most assistants know better organization would benefit them, but many struggle to actually get started or worse yet – how to maintain it.
    • So I wanted to provide a plan of action for these assistants that would help them get and stay organized.
    • And we structured the book in such a way that you don’t have to read it from cover to cover, you can jump around or go straight to the area you’re having the most trouble with first and work through it in order of importance for your situation.

    Why is organization so important for admins?

    • Assistants are not only keeping themselves on track; they’re also responsible for keeping their executive and teams on track as well. But it’s impossible to get someone else organized unless you’re organized first!
    • Being organized creates trust with your executive and those you support. When someone asks you for something, they expect you to be able to deliver it quickly and efficiently. That ability to produce it quickly instills confidence in your skills and abilities.
    • Your systems have to be bullet proof if you want your executives to trust you and the partnership to remain strong.

    What are some of the chief pain points for admins?

    • Finding the time to get organized. When you’re facing a mountain of clutter and years of disorganization, the problem can seem insurmountable. It’s not!
      • Think progress, not perfection.
      • A journey…not a destination.
      • Even finding an extra five minutes a day to work on your organization skills will add up over time.

    What are the most important systems an assistant should have mapped out to move from chaos to control?

    • There are 5 core systems I encourage assistants to look at first:
      • Time and Task Management
      • Filing – paper and digital
      • Travel Planning
      • Event/Meeting Planning
      • Project Management
    • Your office or specific role may have others you need to add to this list also.

    What’s the difference between procedures and systems?

    • Systems are made up of several or many different procedures.
    • Travel Planning Example: Your travel planning system involves lots of different forms, templates, and checklists. You have an executive profile form with their key travel preferences and frequent flier details. You have an intake form for ensuring you get all of the details you need up front for effectively planning their trip. You have a travel itinerary template you put all of the final details in to send them out the door with. All of these individual steps have a procedure associated with them. The procedures all combine to create your travel planning system.

    Poll Results: Do you keep a procedures binder?

    Where do you struggle the most with organization?

    • It’s why I became certified as a Productivity Pro Consultant with Laura Stack. Her system for email management is outstanding. And while email is still not my strong suit…it’s much better because of the system she teaches.
    • Every time your job responsibilities or position changes, you’re going to run into new things that challenge you to think differently about how you work. That’s a good thing. But it can also catch you off guard if you’re not aware of it. So allow yourself to adapt and adjust as you go. Your systems will need to evolve to match the personalities and work environments you are in.

    Regarding Email organization:

    • Think of your inbox as your mailbox, not your to do list.
    • You don’t go to your physical mailbox and write checks and reply to letters standing at your mailbox. Don’t do that with your inbox either.
    • Process your emails OUT of your inbox and into a TASK or CALENDAR appointment so you get them into your system for follow up, tracking, and completion.
    • Then work from your TASKS view in Outlook during the day. When you have 5-10 min of time to work on something, it’s immediately prioritized in tasks for you if you did your daily planning the day before or the morning of and you know immediately what you need to work on next.

    Key Tip for Everyone to Remember:


    Additional Webinar Resources to Help You Get Organized

    Special Offer From The Webinar


    Just For Fun – Reindeer Games

    Thank you for naming our office reindeer.

    The post 12 Days of Christmas Webinar: The Organized Admin with Julie Perrine appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 09:38:11 on 2016/12/08 Permalink
    Tags: , adminskills, , , , , , , from idea to action, how to communicate with your executive, how to communication with your boss, how to get information from your leader, , , , , new skills for assistants, , , , , ,   

    Revolutionary Ways Assistants Can Get Information from Their Managers 

    The theme for our 23rd Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence was The Revolutionary Assistant. Our conference was held in October 2016 in Las Vegas. We had 450 assistants from 11 countries attend.

    Our team-building activity for 2016 was called Compression Planning®: From Idea to Action and Results Faster. Annette Brown who is a certified McNellis Compression Planning Instructor hosted the session with my assistance.

    We were really excited about this activity because the main goal was to get assistants to come up with revolutionary solutions on time-old problems such as managers not making time for their assistants; managers not providing sufficient information to their assistants; handling constantly changing priorities; getting support for training and development.

    The concept I loved most about Compression Planning is to move “it” from the conversation to the action. For more than 4 decades assistants have been complaining about the same issues (I mentioned above). When I was an assistant 40 years ago we complained about not getting time with our executives; we complained about not getting enough information from our managers; we complained about not getting support for training.

    And yet here we are 40 years later and I still here the same complaints from assistants. We have to stop having these same conversations over and over. The idea is to come up with revolutionary answers that will create change and therefore create better conversations.

    Our team-building session was 2 hours long and we just touched the surface. I can’t possibly share everything with you about Compression Planning.

    But what we did promise our attendees is that we would share the 4 main issues we covered during the session and provide all the answers our 450 attendees developed. The 4 main topics to be addressed were:

    1. Revolutionary ways to get the communication and information you need from your manager.
    2. Revolutionary ways to approach your leader to get their undivided attention and more one-on-one time with them.
    3. Revolutionary ways to handle constantly changing priorities and increasing work volume.
    4. Revolutionary ways to gain true manager support for your ongoing professional development.

    I will write one blog for each issue and we will provide the 25 ideas for each topic that our attendees developed. By the way, all 450 attendees did not work on all 4 issues. We broke the room into quadrants and a section of the room worked on 1 of the 4 issues.

    Let’s take the first topic/issue regarding managers and executives not providing enough information to their assistants. First I’d like to give you some background information. In 2015, Jasmine Freeman sent out a survey to our webinar attendees and asked them to identify one thing that was standing in the way or was a barrier in their relationship with their manager. We received 700 responses!!! Wow. That was huge. And I read every single response. I realized that 80% of the assistants could resolve their problems if they would communicate with their executives or if they would have courageous conversations with their executives.

    From the survey responses, I created a chart to show our conference attendees the types of issues assistants were having around their executives and communications.

    communicationSince there is a long list of ideas, I have pulled what I consider the top 4 and will expand on them. Then you will see the entire list.

    #1 Idea: Establish and protect regular 1:1 time with manager.

    This is the #1 solution according to my 46 years’ experience in the profession on both sides of the desk!! I have coached over 200 executive/assistant teams. When I instruct them to have daily huddles as the solution to 80% of their issues, they always get back to me and tell me that is the best lesson I taught them….ever!

    You might be wondering what you would discuss in meetings with your manager.

    Here are some ideas:

    Daily Calendars Technology is not perfect and neither are humans. It is easy to place a wrong time or wrong date on a calendar. Or because so many leaders are independent, they place events on their own calendars and forget to inform their administrative partner.

    Accuracy in scheduling is extremely important. Leaders are TOO BUSY to have hiccups in their schedules. Plus it is embarrassing to the leader or the administrative person who set the schedule.

    Many administrators are now handling their leader’s pre-read meeting materials by printing, reviewing and flagging them as appropriate. Many administrative professionals are doing research, preparing outgoing pre-reads and filtering e-mail note strings for their leader in preparation for a meeting. (Gone are the days when administrators simply reserved a conference room and readied it for the meeting!)

    Discuss E-mail Communications When it comes to e-mail management, there are various approaches. Some leaders want their administrative partner to read all their e-mails and take action on those e-mails. Another approach is the leader who wants to manage all his or her own e-mails and forward specific e-mail to their administrative partner as appropriate.

    Your daily huddles are the time for leaders and the administrative partner to update each other on e-mail communications, whether it is a status update or clarifying new actions to be taken.

    Department Issues This is a good time to discuss any departmental problems that need your leader’s attention. Administrative professionals are often privy to information within the department or are aware of potential personnel issues. These should be brought to the attention of their leader before a situation escalates.

    Status Updates Provide your leader with updates on projects, meetings, items you are working on, and any other pertinent information. Leaders do not like to have to ask the status of projects and tasks. (Nor do they have the time.) A Star-achieving assistant initiates status updates.

    Upcoming Travel Find out about upcoming trips so you can anticipate schedules and prepare necessary travel materials. At least bi-weekly, you and your leader should review the calendar for upcoming events as far as three months out.

    Follow-up Items Bring to your leader’s attention information requested from staff that you have not yet received. You can also let your leader know whose work you have received.

    Special Projects Find out what special projects your leader is working on or has coming up in the next few weeks. Ask if there are any portions of the project you can work on. Is there any research that needs to be done? Will information necessary for the project be coming from others inside or outside the company? If so, can you start assembling that information? Are presentations, graphs or charts required? If so, how many?

    Time: Investment or Expense?
    It might initially appear as though these meetings might involve a tremendous amount of time, but they don’t when you meet on a regular basis because things don’t have a chance to build up. In fact, it keeps everything flowing smoothly, reduces chances of missed details or tasks falling through the cracks, eliminates chaos and reduces last-minute crunches. Whether you view time spent as an investment or an expense can often be based on the filter with which you view time in general.


    #2 Idea: Develop confidence to not accept “one word” answers.

    This is when you ask your executive something like, “Can I help you with something?” and they say, “No.” Or you might ask, “Do you have everything you need for that meeting?” And they say yes. Imagine asking instead, “What else do you need to be fully prepared for your meeting?” Or “What are we missing that would be vital to you having a successful meeting?” By changing a question, you change the answer you receive.
    So if you want more information and you want to be in the know, then you need to ask different and better questions. Then you’ll get more of what you want.


    #3 Idea: Participate in leadership meetings.

    Often when I tell assistants they should sit in on their executive’s staff meeting or other leadership meetings, they ask how they will ever get their work done. Or they will tell me they are too busy to get away from their desk.


    Well, that is not thinking like a strategic business partner. If you are your executive’s business partner you need to learn and hear as much as you can about the business and what is going on with their work, team and project.
    I attended such meetings when I was an assistant. Yes, it was to be away from my desk but I always found it time well spent. I learned so much. I especially learned about upcoming assignments, projects, events and meetings. I heard the actions my executive delegated to others in the meeting. This allowed me to be more proactive; be better at following up on assignments and deadlines; anticipate workloads; anticipate barriers; and take the initiative. Your executive cannot possibly keep you up on everything they are exposed to. So it is your job to insert yourself so you can get the information you need.


    #4 Idea: Train manager on how to utilize admins (you).

    Great idea. If you don’t tell your manager that you aren’t getting the information you need, they will continue doing what they have always done. This is because they will assume they are doing a good job at communicating with you.
    Do yourself and your manager a favor by letting him or her know what you need in order to be more successful which ultimately makes your manager more successful in their work.
    Teach your manager to have daily one-on-ones with you. I did that when I was an assistant and my managers loved our morning touch bases. It was a great way to start our day.


    As you read the rest of the ideas generated by attendees at our Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence, ask yourself the following:

    1. Have I tried this? If yes, did it work? If it did not work, why didn’t it work? Do I need to use a different approach? Maybe it wasn’t good timing.
    2. Is this a truly revolutionary idea? I have not thought of this or tried. Be willing to try it and give the idea sufficient time.
    3. Since you can’t do everything at once, pick the topic 5 ideas that you like and might be different from the approach you have used in the past.
    4. Then determine your strategy for implementing that idea.

    Revolutionary ways to get the communication and information you need from your manager.

    • Develop trust
    • Communicate your style preference for receiving information
    • Align schedules to have time to talk
    • Consolidate emails/list
    • Train to manage
    • Attend management executive and assistant retreat together
    • Shared calendar
    • Assistant copied on email
    • Utilize internal SM and messaging apps for knowledge sharing
    • “Stand up” meetings
    • Establish and protect regular 1:1 time with manager (courageous conversations with manager first)
    • Develop compression planning sessions with administrative professionals and management
    • Develop technology to assist with mind reading and increase efficiency
    • Ask for feedback session on both ends
    • Establish guidelines for communication by learning their communication style
    • Set-up meeting detail template
    • Creating a timeline to gather information you need to continue the work
    • Schedule daily meetings to discuss action list accommodating executive schedule
    • Schedule daily briefings in a flexible type of communication with a trial run period
    • Identify high priority issues and bring them to attention and insert agenda into calendar
    • Utilize color-coding to prioritize emails and calendar
    • Utilize communication applications like Slack, Asana and Trello
    • Prepare executive for success for real time updates
    • Utilize apps, texting, have your cell on your person
    • Protect downtime for executive
    • Adding buffer times to meetings
    • Schedule recurring 1:1 meetings with your executive
    • Establish equality
    • Getting a seat at the table

    Special Note for 2016 Conference Attendees:

    I’d like to present a few challenges to you:

    1. After you see this information, would you share the revolutionary thinking with other assistants? Maybe use your network to share.
    2. Share the top 3 things you learned with your manager.

    Best of luck!

    Joan Burge

    P.S. If you want to learn Compression Planning and see everything we did at our conference session, you can purchase our 2016 Conference on Demand. Plus you will receive 10 other fabulous sessions with our amazing speakers.

    The post Revolutionary Ways Assistants Can Get Information from Their Managers appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 22:30:06 on 2016/12/05 Permalink
    Tags: , , , adminskills, , , books for assistants, , , , , , , gift giving, , , negative coworkers, , , , , , , , , ,   

    12 Days of Christmas Webinar: Question and Answer with Joan Burge 


    We’ve been having a holly, jolly, super fun and festive time with our 12 Days of Christmas Webinar Series event. In this Day 3 webinar we wore our ugly sweaters and took questions from our live audience about the administrative profession. There were far more questions than we had time for but we’re happy to continue answering them here on our blog as well as on Facebook in our Live Broadcasts. Here’s a listing of the questions we addressed today. 

    Where to watch us answer the questions we didn’t get to in the live event: Office Dynamics Facebook Live

    Special offer from this webinar

    Grab Bag $10

    webinar deal 3


    Important Webinar Links

    The post 12 Days of Christmas Webinar: Question and Answer with Joan Burge appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 21:46:28 on 2016/12/02 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , adminskills, , , , goal setting, , , , , reaching stardom, , , ,   

    12 Days of Christmas Webinar: Goal Setting & Branding for 2017 

    In this brief webinar with Office Dynamics, we cover quick and impactful tips on goal setting and branding. This video will help prepare you for 2017 and it can’t help but put you in the holiday spirit, too.

    Watch the webinar replay, Goal Setting and Branding for 2017

    goal setting

    Resources From the Goal Setting Webinar

    Do you struggle with interruptions when you take time to learn at your desk? Try this free printable inspired by one of our webinar attendees.

    DOWNLOAD Training In Progress Printable: training-in-progress-sign-office-dynamics

    HANDOUT DOWNLOAD: day-2-goal-setting-and-professional-image-handout

    CHAT ARCHIVE DOWNLOAD: day-2-chat-archive-12-days

    CERTIFICATE DOWNLOAD: certificate-of-attendance-goal-setting-and-professional-image


    Special Offer From the Goal Setting Webinar


    No coupon code necessary. Add the item to your cart and the price will be reduced.

    Watch the 12 Days Webinar Series

    Did you miss Day 1? Check out the replay here, Get Control of Your Day Replay.

    The post 12 Days of Christmas Webinar: Goal Setting & Branding for 2017 appeared first on Office Dynamics.

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