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  • feedwordpress 16:00:18 on 2017/04/14 Permalink
    Tags: , Organizational Skills, , , ,   

    The 43 Folders Method (Paper System) 

    filing_tips

    I mentioned the 43 folders method in my Core Administrative Skills Always Need Improving post and a lot of you wanted more information on this method. This information is in our Executives and Assistants Working In Partnership: The Definitive Guide to Success. Because we love you and it’s our Blog-A-Thon, I would love to share it with you!

    This is a popular system advocated by productivity and time management experts around the world. I have been using this system for years and highly recommends it. Use it when you have paper trigger items or paper associated with next actions.

    You need 43 folders (31 labeled “1” through “31” and 12 more labeled with the names of the months of the year).

    • Keep the daily files in front, beginning with the file for tomorrow’s date. For example, if today is the 10th, the first folder will be labeled “11.” The files that follow all represent the rest of the days of the month in the correct order (12 through 31).
    • Behind the “31” file is the folder for the next month. For example, if the current month is October, the next file is November.
    • Behind that are the rest of the daily files (1 through 10).
    • Behind that are the rest of the monthly files (December through October).

    How it Works

    Imagine you have a paper item that needs to be used to trigger an action in the future—say, an agenda your Executive wants you to give to him on the day of a meeting two weeks from now. You take the agenda and put it in the file that has the date of the meeting on it. So, if the meeting is on the 21st of this month, put the agenda in the folder labeled 21. If the meeting is happening in another month, put it in the folder labeled with the name of that month. At the end of each day, you pull the file folder for the next day. Go through each item and determine whether to place it in:

    • Your “to do” tray; meaning you will take action on it the next day
    • Your “to call” tray for the next day
    • The folder of items to discuss with your Executive the next day in your Daily Huddle
    • Your Executive’s office for his or her retrieval
    • A later date for follow-up, if appropriate
    • The “round file.” The item or action may no longer be necessary and therefore can be tossed in the trash can.

    If today is the 20th, toward the end of your day, you pull the file labeled 21 and see the agenda you need to give your Executive for his meeting. Every afternoon, you process your system like this. When the folder is empty, you put it in the back of the numerical system, allowing the next day’s number to be at the front.

    At the beginning of each month, the next month’s file should reach the front of the pack. So, on October 31st, the November file will be in front, with the files labeled 1 through 31 behind it. Open the month file and disperse the materials to the appropriate day’s folder if needed. The November file would then be refilled in the back of the monthly folders to represent November a year from now.

    This is a perpetual system—at any given point, it represents the next 31 days and the next 12 months. It’s incredibly useful but you have to really commit to it and work the system every day, pulling the contents and adding them to your priorities list.

    This blog is part of our 2017 Blog-A-Thon. Please leave a comment or share the blog for your chance to win one of our amazing giveaways! The more blogs you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win. If you’d like to learn more about our Blog-A-Thon you can do so here. Hint: Subscribe to our blog in the upper right-hand corner so you never miss a blog.

    webinars_for_administrative_assistants

    The post The 43 Folders Method (Paper System) appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:53:47 on 2017/04/05 Permalink
    Tags: , , Organizational Skills, ,   

    Bring out your to-do list! What form does yours take? 

    administrative_assistant_trainingEach month we feature a question from our friends at Business Management Daily’s Admin Pro Forum. Please enjoy engaging in a conversation over this month’s question.

    Question: “Everyone seems to have a different way of creating their to-do lists. I’ve always been interested in how they go about it, and what their lists actually look like. Am I the only one who just scrawls things in a big notebook and messily crosses them out? How many people use Excel, Outlook, sticky notes, legal pads, posters, whiteboards or even emails to themselves? Is there some method that seems to work wonders for admins?” – Joe, Editorial Assistant

    Comment and let us know how you manage your to-do list. Have your own question? Send it to editor@adminprotoday.com.


    Less than 15 seats available. Registration closes on April 10, 2017. Learn more here.

    webinars_for_assistants

    The post Bring out your to-do list! What form does yours take? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:00:14 on 2017/04/03 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Organizational Skills, , , , ,   

    Joan’s Greatest Administrative Secrets Revealed! 

    Joan_BurgeWelcome to April. Wow, where is the time going?

    April is one of my favorite months because, here at Office Dynamics, we get to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of those in the administrative profession! In case you are not aware, Administrative Professionals Week is April 24 – 28. But we celebrate the entire month of April. One of the major ways we do that is to host our annual blog-a-thon whereby we post a blog every work day in the month of April. Aside from my blogs, we have several guest bloggers providing amazing information!

    To kick off the celebration, I hosted a webinar yesterday for 5,000+ assistants worldwide whereby I revealed my secrets to success in the profession. I had 29 secrets! I would like to share just a few of them with you. If you would like to hear all of them, you can watch the replay of the live event.

    1. I didn’t always play by the rules. That doesn’t mean I did things that were unethical or illegal. I liked breaking the status quo (and I still love doing that today.) Look at work and situations in a different light. Keep your eyes open for processes that need to be changed or new processes that need to be implemented. Shake things up! One way to stand out is to shake things up in a good way.

    2. Inserted myself into my executive’s world. I didn’t wait for my executives to invite me into their world. When I was an assistant, I would take home the trade journals and periodicals my executive read so I could understand his world and understand the language. While I didn’t read every page, I certainly gained perspective. This is a strategy anyone in any profession can use.

    3. Set healthy boundaries. It is really important to set healthy boundaries in the workplace. If someone is doing something or saying something that is unacceptable to you, then you need to speak up in a professional and assertive manner.

    4. Thirst for knowledge. For some reason, I have always embraced a growth mindset. Since I got out of high school and went right into the workforce, I was hungry to learn in any way possible. I did not go to college by choice and it did not stop me from being successful in my work because I am a sponge.

    I have identified 3 levels of learning.

    1. Peer to peer (Basic, Foundational)—these are the great tips you learn from your peers; the people who are in the same job family as you.
    2. Senior assistants (Advanced)—this is when we learn from people who are in our profession but a level or two above us. When I was new in the profession, I looked to the senior assistants. I watched everything they did and how they acted (good and bad).
    3. Outside of my profession (Master)—this is where you really gain an advantage over others. You have to step outside your narrow world and learn from subject matter experts. There are millions of them! Some of my favorite people are Daren Hardy, Brian Tracy, Tony Robbins, and Simon Sinek.

    With my thirst for knowledge, I was willing to invest in myself. Thousands of employees tell me they can’t attend training because their company won’t pay for it. That is short-term thinking and it makes me sad because it tells me that an individual doesn’t think enough of themselves to invest in their own education. As Brian Tracy says, “Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make.” I agree 100%. When you invest in yourself, you will take what you learn with you the rest of your life. And no one can ever take it away from you!

    5. Always took my administrative career seriously from early on and saw it as a profession. This is important for all assistants, managers and coworkers to remember the administrative profession is a true profession! These are the people who run the lives of top executives. These are the individuals who put up with all the stuff every day, put themselves second and third on the list, manage a multitude of responsibilities, make their executives look good, and are confidantes. They should be treated with courtesy and respect.

    If you are an assistant reading this, I hope you have a fabulous month! Please sign up for the Blog-a-thon by subscribing to the blog in the upper right corner and you will automatically receive the daily post in your inbox. Comment on the blogs and share them so you can be entered to win prizes all month long.

    If you are not an assistant and you’re reading this, please be sure to sincerely recognize the administrative support professionals in your organization. And remember to not ask your assistant to order her own flowers; which by the way, assistants don’t just want flowers and lunches. They want a long-lasting gift. If you are looking for ideas, go to the Office Dynamics Success Store.

    Happy April everyone!

    This blog is part of our 2017 Blog-A-Thon. Please leave a comment or share the blog for your chance to win one of our amazing giveaways! The more blogs you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win. If you’d like to learn more about our Blog-A-Thon you can do so here. Hint: Subscribe to our blog in the upper right-hand corner so you never miss a blog.

    The post Joan’s Greatest Administrative Secrets Revealed! appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:17:37 on 2017/03/17 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Organizational Skills, , , ,   

    Developing Your “Wow” Factor 

    certification_for_administrative_assistants

    Some assistants have it. Some assistants don’t.

    What is it, you ask? That intangible, invaluable “wow” factor.

    Here’s the good news: It’s a learnable trait! Anyone can develop their own unique wow factor. It has nothing to do with your title or pay grade; it’s about who you are as a professional.

    The wow factor is a term we use in the World Class Assistant™ certificate program to describe the powerful executive presence that the most successful administrative professionals exude. These assistants know how to command a room. They remain poised even under the most intense pressure. They know how to make intelligent decisions on-the-spot.

    In short, they possess abilities that make others say, “Wow!”

    As a result, these assistants enjoy an increased level of respect and even reverence. People look up to them and listen when they speak. People ask for their opinions and guidance. People trust them. They are World Class Assistants.

    Hopefully, you’re reading this and thinking, “Yep! That’s what I want!” If that’s the case, we have a few recommendations to help you get there.

    Build Exceptional Competence
    Your core abilities are the foundation. You have to be an expert at what you do. The wow factor isn’t all about the exterior. It’s what’s inside too. You can’t have it if you don’t first have the skills to do your job exceptionally well.

    Refine Your Professional Style
    Your physical presence is a big part of the wow factor. How you present yourself, your style and your overall look create your total package. There are many elements to consider: how you dress, your body language, your facial expressions, your gestures, and more. Learn to observe the successful people around you and mirror their example. But don’t forget to incorporate your own unique touches too!

    Monitor Your Speech
    Your voice is a critically important tool for communication. It can either enhance your wow factor or detract from it. Listen to your tone, as well as the words you are using. Do you sound authoritative, composed and enthusiastic? Or do you sound scattered, timid, and weak? Others can pick up on things that are subtly hidden in your voice. Remember that the wow factor can be both seen and heard.

    Embrace Serenity
    When things fall apart (which they frequently do in the business world), some assistants fall apart too. They lose all perspective and let their stress filter into every interaction and behavior. But assistants with the wow factor are viewed as a port in the storm. They’re steady, clear-headed and focused, even when others are not. They have peace and serenity because they know, whatever happens, they have the ability to meet any challenge head-on.

    This wow factor idea comes from our World Class Assistant™ Certification and Professional Designation program. If you’re looking to really develop and leverage your own unique wow factor, this “high-end boot camp” might be the perfect next step in your career evolution. The only curriculum based designation specifically for administrative professionals, this program is designed to help you develop the skills required to really WOW your executive(s).

    We know that investing in a comprehensive training program like World Class Assistant is a big decision. That’s why on March 29, 2017, Joan Burge will be hosting a live Q & A session to address your questions and help you decide if it’s the right fit for you. We hope you’ll join us to learn more and have some fun!

    Register Today

    The post Developing Your “Wow” Factor appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:41:56 on 2017/03/15 Permalink
    Tags: Organizational Skills, , ,   

    Time Management – The Secret to Effective and Productive Project Management 

    “So much to do, so little time to do it” – this is a phrase that we tend to hear quite often in PM. “24 hours is no longer enough”; another phrase some project managers may have said at one point in time in their career.

    The field of project management is quite a dynamic one; requiring the skillful management of financial, material and human resources. As a matter of fact, quite a number of project managers spend so much time micro-managing all facets of the project that they overlook the most important aspect of the project – their time.

    Moving from the level of managing one project at a time to managing several projects concurrently is the ultimate testament to the efficiency and effectiveness of a project manager and can only be achieved if one has sufficiently mastered the skill of time management. The greatest managers are the ones who not only understand that time is a constraint that they will always be faced with but have developed techniques and systems for making the best use of their time.

    They recognize time-wasters for what they are, they understand the importance of prioritization and they also understand that their primary responsibilities as project managers are strategy and guidance. Every other function or role is more or less a supporting one.

    To help you become more productive as a project manager, here is an infographic that might be helpful to you.

    time_management_tips

    Infographic provided by nutcache.com

    The post Time Management – The Secret to Effective and Productive Project Management appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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