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  • feedwordpress 16:15:28 on 2018/10/02 Permalink
    Tags: , , Organizational Skills, , , , , , ,   

    7 Tips for Administrative and Executive Assistants 

    Being an Administrative or Executive Assistant is not always a walk in the park. There is always a fire to be put out, there is the juggling of 9,000 different tasks, and sometimes you are an assistant to more than one executive or manager.

    Simply put, not everyone can handle the position of Administrative or Executive Assistant.

    With that said, there are tips and tricks out there that are being used by assistants to make life a little less hectic. I’d like to share some of our practices here at Office Dynamics.

     

    Make A List

    Making a list simply allows you to organize your thoughts and decide what tasks need to get done ASAP versus those that can wait until the end of the day.

    There are several different ways you can do this. You can use one of those fancy digital apps or you can physically write out a to-do list. I’ve found that when I write things down I’m not being distracted by emails popping up or different notifications. Also, I found that starting my to-do list first thing in the morning, before I check my emails, allows me to think about everything I have to get done for the day. I encourage you to try different techniques and find what works best for you.

     

    To Multitask Or Not To Multitask

    As I write this I know many readers will think to themselves, “I work best when I multitask.” When in fact that may not be as true as you think it is. Studies have shown that those who multitask experience an IQ score decline similar to those that have stayed up all night.

    Another study shows that performing multiple tasks is less efficient because of the extra time it takes to shift mental gears. Joshua Rubenstein, Ph.D., of the Federal Aviation Administration says that your brain must actively decide to switch tasks, then choose a task to switch to. Once you’ve switched tasks your brain needs to “shut off” the rules from the old task and “turn on” the rules for the new task. All of this leads to inefficiency in the workplace.

    Think of someone filling out a finance form in excel then switching to writing an email that concerns the items needed for a meeting.

    Joan Burge, Founder and CEO of Office Dynamics, has written and spoken about avoiding multitasking as well. Read her article, Why I Think We Should Kill Multitasking.

    I understand that being 100% free of multitasking is impossible and it’s tough to go from multitasking to not multitasking but I can personally say my work efficiency has increased since making the change.

    To read more about this, visit the link below!

    https://appliedpsychologydegree.usc.edu/blog/to-multitask-or-not-to-multitask/

     

    Email Conversations

    How often have you had a conversation with your Executive or Manager, discussed the details of a particular project or a meeting and then you both forget what was discussed and agreed upon?

    By sending a quick “FYI/follow up email” that confirms your conversation, you will avoid confusion and have a record of what was said.

     

    Passwords and Logins

    Let’s be real with ourselves. We have more logins and passwords that we know what to do with. To add on top of that, when we forget a password and have to make a new one they ask for so much to be included in the password like a capital letter, a lowercase letter, a symbol, a hieroglyph, the wing of a dragon, and your first born child’s fingerprint. Well, it’s not that bad but you get my point.

    There are several things you can do to alleviate this stress/pain.

    • Use Password Managers such as 1Password or LastPass. This will help manage all your passwords and keep them in a safe digital location. (My highest recommendation)
    • Rely on major companies such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google. A lot of the time you can use these platforms to create an account and use as a login.
    • Write them down. This is a bit “old school” and some people may say that this isn’t a great idea, however, if you treat this document like any other valuable document then you could use this idea.

     

    Get Used To Saying No

    It is OK to say no…well, depending on who you are saying no to.

    There are many people in the workplace that feel the pressure to say “yes” to anything when they are asked. Whether it is to be more liked, to show they can take the extra responsibility, or just because they can’t say no.

    But whatever the reason is, you need to realize that saying no is ok. By learning to say no (more often) you are doing multiple things. You are:

    • Setting boundaries.
    • Lightening your workload by not taking the workload of others.
    • Reducing stress by taking on less work.
    • Not agreeing with opinions you don’t believe in, you are not putting your own morals in question.
    • Showing respect for yourself, and others will respect you as a result.
    • Not putting yourself last.

     

    Stay On Top Of Trends and Technology

    Let’s face it. The advancement of technology today moves so fast that we have a hard time keeping up with it. By the time you get the new iPhone or Android model, there is already another one announced. If you buy a laptop that is one month old you have to update it several times just to be up to date.

    Mobile apps are being added to the app-stores every day without notice.

    It really is overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be. When you stay on top of technology and take the time to read on the latest trends (in your area of business) or find an expert that can recommend the best tech to use, it really will help your learning curve and cut down on the “catch up” research.

     

    Weekend Bucket List 

    Take the time to make time for the important stuff in your life. Whether you do this on your lunch, at home, or part of your morning routines, you need to do it. If you head into your weekend with the idea of getting something done, more than likely you will do it.

    By completing your Bucket List or part of it, you will walk into the new week with a sense of accomplishment, clear head, and weight off your shoulders.

    Side note, it is ok to pamper yourself a little for the crazy week you just put in, make sure to do this every once in a while.

     

    Finally

    These tips and tricks are here as suggestions and if you decide to try them out that is great but what we would love is to hear some tips and tricks that you could share!

    We are a growing workforce and the more help from each other, to each other, the better.

    So, what are some tips and tricks that you can recommend to your peers? Let us know in the comments below!

    For other tips and tricks read, 9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills.

    The post 7 Tips for Administrative and Executive Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 21:04:09 on 2018/06/25 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Organizational Skills, ,   

    Cleanup and Organize Your Workspace 

    Summer is a great time to do a little cleanup and organize your workspace. Business is usually a little quieter, employees take a vacation, and there seems to be a more relaxed work atmosphere. It is the perfect time for you to get organized before the craziness of business sets in this fall.

    Clean desks look smart, professional and, well, just organized. Messy desks are an eyesore and can lead to lower productivity.

    Let your desk reflect you. You don’t want others to see a messy desk and assume you are disorganized. Don’t let this impact your career.

    A clean desk can help you focus. Gone are the days of cluttered desks with everything from printers to having so much paper on them.

    With open work areas being more popular now, let’s take a few minutes to get organized!

    When you are organized, you are better able to handle the day and stay on top of the important assignments. Look smart, be smart, and have a great week.

     

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    clean_and_organize

     

     

     

    The post Cleanup and Organize Your Workspace appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:15:53 on 2018/06/14 Permalink
    Tags: , Organizational Skills, ,   

    How to Prepare for an Employee’s Absence 

    how_to_prepare_absence

    Have you ever been in a situation when a co-worker had to take a leave of absence or they parted ways with the company and everyone, including yourself, was clueless about some of their procedures or tasks they were in charge of? Here is how to prepare for an employee’s absence.

     


     

    It is hard to predict the future but it is not impossible to prepare for it. Creating and keeping manuals on specific work tasks and procedures will help alleviate some of the stress when someone is out of the office.

    Consider creating a manual that can take someone from start to finish with ease. With each project you take on you should document each step of the way, add screenshots for more complicated steps, and add copies of forms that are necessary for the completion of the project. By writing your manual in installments it will make the effort seem manageable.

    Take a look at the following categories you may want to consider including.

     

     

    Feel free to download this infographic created by Office Dynamics International. To download right click then choose the save image as option. We encourage you to share this image and post.

    You can purchase Become An Inner Circle Assistant by Joan Burge in the Office Dynamics Success Store.

    The post How to Prepare for an Employee’s Absence appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:00:25 on 2018/05/04 Permalink
    Tags: , admin skills, , , delegate, efficiency, organization systems, Organizational Skills, , , , , , ,   

    9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills 

    delegate_work

    Organization skills are the one thing most successful business owners have in common.

    Without the ability to organize your work and your resources, you could be twisting in the wind in no time. You may have been able to muddle along back in the day, but in today’s competitive environment, you need to work any advantage in your favor.

    Fortunately, there are at least 9 ways to improve your organization skills without too much effort on your part.

    Be proactive

    be proactive

    Most people take the work one day at a time, coming in ready to take on whatever happens. However, that means you are reacting to a situation rather than preparing for it in advance. The best way to make the most of your day is to prepare for it in advance. Know what you need to do for the next day and make preparations for them before you leave for the day. This not only takes the guesswork out of your workday, it might even give you some insights or ideas of how to do the work better.

    Make a list

    Part of being proactive is making a list of all the things you need to do for each day. The benefits f this is of course so you don’t forget anything. An added bonus to making a list is crossing it out. It gives you not only a concrete way to keep track of the tasks you need to do, but it motivates you to keep doing it because it gives you such a sense of satisfaction and accomplishing crossing each item on your list. This is putting all your ducks in a row, and you shoot them down one by one, metaphorically speaking.

    Make a schedule

    At the same time you are planning the day and making your list of tasks, you should make a schedule, giving each task a prescribed time to do each one. You can ensure you meet all your deadlines, and nothing is left by the wayside.

    Be an early bird

    office early bird

    You are more likely to get more things done, and in time, if you start early. Of course, this should reflect on the work schedule you make, but getting started early also means there are other things you can do to keep you on your toes, such as daily exercise and a good breakfast. Starting early also means you avoid stress by having plenty of time to get to work and do anything else you need to do.

    Establish a filing system

    Most of your files are probably going to be digital, but you still need to know where everything you need is stored. Looking for lost files will take up as much of your time as looking for misplaced items. You need to make sure all your files are in its proper place. You should also have a master document of all your files, and the location of those files.

    Make the most of your prime time

    Everybody has a certain time of the day when they are most productive. Some work better early in the morning, while others work best in the evening. You should schedule all your most demanding or challenging work during this time. Of course, if your business involves meeting with other people, you need to coordinate your prime time with theirs.

    Minimize interruptions

    You may think it is obvious, but you waste a lot of time dealing with interruptions to your work. This is why it is important to make a schedule. Follow the schedule and avoid distractions as much as possible. Turn off your mobile phone, close the door to your office, and avoid useless meetings. If you travel frequently, you should travel in as comfortable surroundings as you can so you can do work.

    Learn to delegate

    learn to delegate

    You might think you are saving money by doing everything yourself. The fact is, you can save a considerable amount of time and effort by delegating tasks to the right people and focusing on core activities that will make you money. Bookkeeping, web administration, content creation, and marketing are just some areas you should outsource to professionals like Scholar Advisor for example.

    Organize your workplace

    Whether you work alone, or you have employees, you want to arrange your work area so you can be more efficient. You can minimize the time and effort it takes to get things done. Even putting the photocopier next to where you keep your paper supplies can help save a few steps and trips that ultimately increase your productivity, and that of your employees.

    Organization skills are crucial to the success of any business. Some people are naturally organized, but you even if you aren’t, you can develop them. These 9 ways can help you improve your organization skills in practical and workable ways.

    Image Credits:
    Team Silhouettes https://pixabay.com/en/team-silhouettes-personal-965093/
    Early Bird https://pixabay.com/en/grouse-sunrise-scotland-birding-1107407/
    Team Spirit https://pixabay.com/en/businessman-team-spirit-teamwork-1492563/

     

    We want to hear from you, what are your favorite tips for better organization? Share some of your organization skills, tips and tricks in the comments below.

     

    Stacey Marone is a freelance writer and adviser who helps individuals and organizations get better results in leadership and time-management. In her free time, she also does volunteer work and organizes activities for children. Her passions involve painting, reading, and writing. You can follow her on twitter.

     

    wca_washington_chicago

     

    The post 9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:00:00 on 2018/03/30 Permalink
    Tags: , Organizational Skills   

    Make a Connection with Vacation 

     vacation_planning

    Connection with vacation

    A few years ago I was out of the office for 12 days! The first 3 days, I had business in Cincinnati.  I then went from Cincinnati to Ft. Myers, Florida to join my 86-year old (active) father and my stepmom for a 9-day vacation.  This was a long-awaited and much-needed vacation and thank goodness for my Dad and Liz who are fun!  We did everything from just chilling out on the beach to sightseeing, shopping, eating and more eating, laughing and reminiscing.

    I tried my best to not be tethered to my phone, emails, texting and more.  It really is important to take a vacation when you are on vacation. Many of you may have already taken your spring break or might just be getting ready to go on vacation so I’d like to provide some tips either way.

    Post Vacation

    Of course, when you get home from vacation, you feel like you never even went away. But if you have had a good rest, you should be full of energy and ready to jump into your work.

    Those first two days back can feel overwhelming.  Emails have backed up or even if you were checking email, you still go back through to make sure you didn’t miss anything or you now have to take action on your emails.  Keep in mind that you can only do so much in 8 hours. Be easy on yourself; pace yourself; and take one item at a time.

    Prioritize and then focus.  As you view everything that has come across your desk whether they are phone calls, new assignments from your executive or your own project work:

    1. Assess all of it.
    2. Prioritize — seriously!  Ask yourself, “What is the impact if I don’t get this done in the next 48 hours?” That should help you sort your A priorities from your B and C.
    3. Focus.  That is key.  Stay focused on each task as you move through them.
    4. Cluster your time. For example, you would work on your Item A Priority; then make a few telephone calls; then sort through emails. This is far more effective than jumping around like a bouncing ball.
    5. Communicate realistic deadlines and when you can accomplish tasks that have been requested of you.  If you know you won’t have “X” done until Thursday,     don’t promise it for Tuesday at 5:00.  Be real with people.

    Pre Vacation

    There always seems to be last-minute chaos just before going on vacation.  I knew in plenty of time that my March vacation was coming up.  My initial thought (months out) was that I would take my time and pack over several weekends; meaning just pulling some clothes here and there or shoes and beach attire so I wouldn’t be rushed at the last minute.  Not so.  I was so busy with work, traveling, and teaching full-day workshops that I did not really start pulling clothes and packing until the night before my flight was departing.  Considering I was rushed, I did a fairly good job other than I brought more clothes than I needed, which I regretted after being on vacation and purchasing several items to bring home to family, Jasmine, and Michele.

    The one item I was good at was arranging who would handle mail, papers, watching my dogs and house, etc.

    Some words of advice, if you are traveling soon for vacation.

    1. After you have pulled all your clothes and shoes, put back 25% of it. Most likely, you will never wear them.
    2. Always leave some space for the goodies you buy on your trip.
    3. Be sure the individual(s) at the office who is/are covering for you or occasionally assisting, are briefed on important meetings, information, resources, who to reach and how to reach that person in an emergency situation.
    4. Pack a good book to read or grab your Kindle.  Vacations are a wonderful time to catch up on your reading.
    5. Take business cards.  Even though you are on vacation, you may meet people on the airplane or at a restaurant.  We made several new “friends” on our vacation. By the way, be willing to talk to people who are sitting next to you. It is a really small world.

    (During Vacation–remember coworkers who might be holding down the fort for you or filling in for you.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money.  A little souvenir or gift goes a long way.)

    I could list about 20 more things, however, I think you get the message.  The most important advice I want to give is to relax as much as you can when you are on vacation. If you are traveling with family or friends, pay attention to them.  Don’t be texting at the dinner table or during conversations.  Be fully engaged and take advantage of that special time, which you will never live again.

    – Joan Burge

    The post Make a Connection with Vacation appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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