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  • feedwordpress 16:30:57 on 2019/09/12 Permalink
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    Creating an Administrative Professional Protocol Manual – Ask an Admin 


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    Christine N. Asks:

    I’m finally getting around to creating my Administrative Professional Protocol Manual but I’m not sure if it should print everything out in a 3 ring binder (using dividers), using a One Note document, having it electronically in an online file or all of the above.  What do most administrative professionals prefer? 

    Thank you!

    Please comment below.


    Ask an Admin was created by Office Dynamics to help administrative professionals with their problems through the help of their peers. We don’t always have an answer to each individuals problem but we know some of you might.

    If you’d like to learn more about Ask an Admin or submit a question, you may do so here.

    The post Creating an Administrative Professional Protocol Manual – Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:32:51 on 2019/07/30 Permalink
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    Time Management for the Modern Assistant 


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    Year after year, one of the biggest struggles executive assistants report to me is effective time management. Let’s face it: your days are chaotic. You’re pulled in a million different directions, and many of you have multiple leaders to support. Deadlines press down on you, distractions steal valuable time, and there never seems to be quite enough hours in the day to get it all done! I know what you’re up against. There are many things throughout the day that can waste our time. They may not seem significant by themselves but can add up to hours of wasted time!

    Get Your Mind in the Right Place

    There is no process, no to-do list, no time tracking trick that will help you until you begin your day with a positive frame of mind. That’s right: attitude is everything. Starting each day with confidence, positivity, and passion for progress often equates to a successful day. If your body and mind are in sync, you may surprise yourself with what you can accomplish in a day.

    But you can’t just start the day in the right frame of mind. You should actively cultivate and protect that positivity (trust me…your day will try to steal it!). In order to maintain that outlook, make sure you make time for quiet in your day. Taking a few minutes to reevaluate and refocus on your work gives your mind and body the brief respite it needs to stay energized and in control. Find a place at your work that’s quiet (it may even be your own desk). Sit and breathe. Take stock of your day. Think about what you’ve accomplished and what still needs to get done. You can ask yourself these questions:

    1. What must get done before day’s end?
    2. What is the negative impact if I do not get this done?
    3. Am I currently focusing on the most important item in my leader’s eyes?
    4. What is coming up in the next few days that I must act on today?

    Be future-focused while being in the moment! These five-minute breaks may be the most valuable time you spend all day. The day can’t wash over you if you stay more aware of yourself!

    Being more aware of your habits will also help you structure your day. I recommend working on your most complex projects and tasks during your most productive time of day. For some, that may be early morning and others may be most productive in the afternoon. Whatever your sweet spot is, ensure that your daily tasks are structured in such a way that you reserve simple, mundane tasks for your less productive times and the more complex, pressing projects for your most productive times. Take a minute to think about what time of day you are most productive. If you would like more time management tips, get a copy of my downloadable eBook, Time Management for the Modern Assistant: Proven Tactics for Taming Your Day.

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    In this innovative eBook, Joan provides insightful and life-changing time management techniques for the modern assistant. Learn how to take control of your day and master what you’ve learned with concise tips and engaging activities.

    The post Time Management for the Modern Assistant appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:15:44 on 2019/06/12 Permalink
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    Getting Things Done 


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


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    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
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    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.

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    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.

     
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