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  • feedwordpress 16:15:44 on 2019/06/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , productivity,   

    Getting Things Done 


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    executive_assistant

    Getting things done in the workplace is one of my favorite topics to speak on and write about. I have been passionate about this topic for 28 years. Administrative assistants continue to struggle with how to keep up with all the demands placed upon them in a time-compressed world and yet maintain quality.

    I will share with you some of my favorite tips. And you can get more tips on this subject by going to Office Dynamics YouTube Channel.

    Coping with Conflicting Priorities

    • Ask for specific deadlines. Do not accept the “a.s.a.p.” answer. How many times do you ask a manager or someone who is giving you a task, “How soon do you need this?” The typical response is “as soon as possible.” Change your question and you will get a different response. Instead ask the person, “By when is the latest I can get this to you?”
    • Early in the day, clarify with your manager(s) what are the most important priorities. I highly recommend doing this first thing in the morning as what you thought was a priority at 5:00 pm the day before, could have totally changed because your manager (like many others) is working at night and early morning. Always clarify the top 3 priorities for the day.  
    • When struggling with which “A” priority to do first, ask yourself, “What is the impact of not getting this done today?”

    Organizing Your Workspace

    An organized workspace reduces stress, gives the impression to others that you are on top of things, and saves you time.

    • Remember your workspace is a part of your professional image.
    • Your workspace is not storage space.
    • Place the most frequently used items closest to you.
    • Use desk trays to keep paper items and folders neatly organized.
    • Your inside drawers matter too.

    Neutralize Information Overload

    We are exposed to a tremendous amount of information in a day.

    • Don’t read everything that comes your way. Learn to scan information and determine which items really need attention.
    • Assess your information sources. Make sure the source of information is credible.
    • Use your highlighter to mark important information, deadline dates, or aha information. (electronic or hard copy)

    Tips to be Productive

    • Standardize your processes.
    • When given a project or task, try to get all the information at once. Many times, your manager just gives you bits of information. Be assertive and ask for more details or get the bigger picture to reduce back and forth time or going off on the wrong tangent.
    • Establish some quiet time throughout the day to re-assess your priorities.
    • Recognize the time of day you are most productive. At that time of day, do your most intense work or the work that will take a great deal of focus or brainpower.
    • Throughout the day, as you are doing your work, search for simpler and faster ways to do that task.

    Don’t confuse. . .

    . . . activity with results

    . . . hard work with results

    . . . efficiency with results.

    You can be active and very busy but running around in circles. A professional is someone who cares about the results, not just the activity.

    The post Getting Things Done appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:30:48 on 2019/05/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , , productivity   

    How does an Administrative Professional Set Up an Official Process? Ask an Admin 


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    training_for_administrative_assistants

    Welcome back to Ask an Admin! The blog series that allows administrative professionals to ask any questions they may have and have their peers give the best advice they can provide.

    This week Stacey asks:

    I am the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO, and the only assistant (the only admin, really) at this location. Coworkers leave documents on my desk; the expectation is that I secure the signature of the President and CEO, and then return it to the requestor (who’s assistant am I, anyway?). I would like to know how does an administrative professional set up an official process to obtain signatures and return the documents, but I could use some advice. How do other assistants deal with this? Or am I just being a jerk for not wanting to run other people’s signed documents all over the building to return them?

    Thanks a lot for your time!

    Stacey does ask a great question. This administrative professional has documents that need to be signed by the President and CEO then has to run the signed papers back to her co-workers. So, how does an administrative professional set up an official process?


    Want to learn more about Ask an Admin and how to submit your own question? Click here

    The post How does an Administrative Professional Set Up an Official Process? Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:15:44 on 2019/04/18 Permalink
    Tags: , , , productivity   

    Calendar Management for Executive Assistants 


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    Meetings, meeting, and more meetings! In spite of all the technology, meetings have not gone away. Whether your executive is holding a virtual meeting or attending a virtual or live meeting, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you are properly scheduling meetings and making your executive’s life easier.

    As an assistant of 20 years, I had one perspective of meeting management. But now that I am the executive involved in numerous meetings, I can tell you what really is important. You must keep these things in mind when you are managing your executive’s calendar. Calendar management is an important skill. It is more than dropping in appointments on blank dates and times.

    • COGNITIVE task! Meeting planning is a cognitive task. This is something a computer will not do. Just because a date is open, it does not mean it is available. You must think about your manager’s workload, other commitments, travel, upcoming meetings, past meetings, previous week’s schedule. You must think about the time commitment related to each meeting. Some meetings don’t take long to prepare for while other meetings take a great deal of preparation. You must also think consider whether travel was involved—whether local travel or getting on an airplane. You would consider jet lag; personal appointments; time to prepare; time to wrap up a meeting; logistics; travel time. This is not a job for a robot! This takes brains, strategy, and empathy.
    • When scheduling travel or appointments, VIEW the calendar in terms of:
    • What was my leader’s schedule like last week? Did he/she travel?
    • This week’s schedule
      • How many meetings?
      • Who are the meetings with?
      • Virtual or in person?
      • Time consumed in last-minute preparation for the meeting?
      • Travel?
    • Next two weeks’ schedule
      • Travel? If so, how many days? Arriving home late? Jet lag?
      • In office—how much free time is available? What about time for my leader to work on:
        • projects
        • return phone calls
        • respond to e-mails
        • delegate
        • work on presentation?
      • Level of meetings: high-level meeting with high-level prep; low-level meetings with minor preparation time?
    • ASSESS if the meeting is necessary/essential before booking meeting. Does your executive really need to attend this meeting? Can anyone else on his/her team attend in their place? Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the meeting planner; get details before committing your executive to a meeting. 
    • KNOW your leader’s preferences and occasionally confirm preferences. While there are certain parameters for better meeting scheduling such as:
    • Don’t schedule meetings the first thing Monday mornings
      • Don’t schedule meetings after 2:00 p.m. on Friday
      • Stay away from meeting that will run into lunch hours
      • Leave time at the end of the day for your manager or executive to wrap up unfinished business; prepare for the next day; return phone calls or respond to e-mails . . .

    Every manager and executive has their personal preferences. Some executives will run like crazy going from meeting to meeting, starting early in the day and going late into the evening. Other executives want their executive or administrative assistant to set parameters. I know one executive who has a 90 minute drive into the office and does not want any meetings scheduled before 10:00 a.m. Learn your executive’s preferences and make it work!

    Even if your executive is willing to run from meeting to meeting, he or she will appreciate you leaving them space to work on a presentation or project, allow for quiet time or preparation time, and being able to go through their e-mails.

    managing_your_executives_day

    Do you find yourself still running in circles around your executives day? Are they ricocheting from meeting to meeting? Are you having a hard time keeping up? Access our online learning video series, Managing Your Executive’s Day and start “wowing” your executive today!

    The post Calendar Management for Executive Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:05:22 on 2019/04/18 Permalink
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    9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills for Administrative Assistants 


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    Improve_Your_Organization_Skills

    Organization skills for administrative assistants are one of the most valuable skills to have as an administrative assistant.

    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 as an administrative assistant without too much effort on your part.

    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 of this are 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

    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

    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.

    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.

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

    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.


    certification_for_administrative_assistants

    Learn more administrative professional skills that will launch you further into career success by attending our World Class Assistant™ course and obtaining the Certified World Class Assistant designation.

    The post 9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills for Administrative Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:10:13 on 2019/04/04 Permalink
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    How to Help Your Manager Get Things Done – Ask an Admin 


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    If you are an Administrative Professional looking for your questions to be answered by your peers, then this is the place for you! This is the best blog for advice for administrative assistants and executive assistants provided by Office Dynamics International.

    This week Renee C. asks:

    As an administrative assistant, how do you get your supervisor to complete his tasks and get things done, especially in a timely manner and meet deadlines? I’ve tried everything from whiteboards of projects to various types of folders with deadlines, to scheduling time in outlook, sending reminders (email, outlook, paper) to standing weekly meetings with him. Things don’t get done nor do they get done in a timely manner. I don’t know what other methods and/or processes to use.

    Wow! Ok, Renee is wondering how does an administrative assistant manage her manager or executive? Does Renee start with managing deadlines, learning how to schedule properly? Or does this frustrated administrative assistant need to build on her partnership with her executive? How do you help your manager get things done?

    We have several tools that actually can help with this but we want to see what you have to say!


    If you have a question that you would like to submit, please send it to officedynamics.aaa@gmail.com and include the name you would like us to use.

    If you want to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss any posts, please visit https://officedynamics.com/blog/ and subscribe in the right-hand column.

    If you’ve submitted your response on our Ask an Admin blog post, please be patient to see your response and other responses. We have to manually approve them to prevent spammers and profanity. If you do not see your response right away, please give it time and revisit. We apologize for this but this is the best way we can keep YOUR blog clean! Thank you, everyone!

    The post How to Help Your Manager Get Things Done – Ask an Admin appeared first on Executive And Administrative Assistant Training - Office Dynamics.

     
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