Executive assistants play a silent, but essential role in a company. Great executive assistants are key to a smooth-running office. But even if you feel like you honed your craft as an executive assistant, there are always some areas where you can improve. Knowing how to work more efficiently as an executive assistant will not only benefit the whole organization but will make your work much easier as well. And it will make for a stronger case if you ever want to negotiate for a raise at some point in the future. Here are some ways that you could become a better executive assistant starting today.
Collect Your To-Do List in One Place
It is essential to collect your entire to-do list in one place. This ensures that you don’t miss something that needs to be done because you misplaced the note that reminds you about it. This also makes it easier to strike things off the list as done and note the status of the issue when others give you updates. This process is made easier if you track everything digitally. You can simplify it by having processes in place, whether you’re reviewing your to-do list at the start and end of every day.
Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
You will never have enough time for everything on your to-do list. You will have time for the tasks that you prioritize. The key to successful time management is knowing what needs to be the highest priority, then blocking out enough time to finish those critical tasks before moving on to anything else. When you know what the most important thing to get done is, you can ignore the distractions and tell others their requests have to wait. If you don’t know what the priority of something is, ask your boss.
Sometimes we’re overloaded because we’re asked to do too much. One solution is saying no, but you can’t always do that. The alternative is outsourcing. Know who you can delegate tasks to so that you have more time for your core responsibilities. This has the side benefit of allowing you to say that isn’t something I do, but I can tell you who can do it for you.
Put Systems in Place
You’ll be able to better juggle everything if you put systems in place to help you organize and manage it all. You can read this article from Bevi that covers executive assistant tips if you want to learn more about tools that enable you to do this. For example, you could use an app like Trello for tracking to-do items that let you delegate to others while tracking the results. They also mention a few useful apps that will allow you to do everything from managing your admin keywords to arranging last minute meetings.
You can also find tools that help you schedule appointments and send notifications automatically. Have processes for others to give you tasks so that you can collect them, review them, and when necessary, delegate them to others. It is essential to put all information like contact lists, passwords, pictures, and important documents in one place with clear processes to control access and changes to them.
Set and Maintain Boundaries
Administrative assistants need to set boundaries and then maintain them. When you’re young or new to your job, it is easy to take on every task you’re given. You assume that it will endear you to your boss. Unfortunately, it trains those around you to assume that you’re always on the clock, and it could cause you to be overloaded.
The solution is to set boundaries and then maintain them. When you leave work, you leave work behind. Don’t check your work email on weekends, and don’t work on your vacation. When you take a lunch break, don’t take on extra tasks that take away from the one long break you get in the day. If you do work while on a vacation, set strict limits like an hour or two that you’ll check messages and respond to inquiries. Then log off and enjoy the rest of the day.
When you welcome feedback, you’ll build trust and long-term relationships. You’ll get feedback on your performance, and equally important, others will accept feedback from you. You will then be able to tell your boss when something is wrong and be able to give advice on how things can be improved. Remember to compliment people because this will reinforce good behavior you want to see more of.
Whether you’re overwhelmed by the demands of your job or simply want to learn how to do better, avoid the problems created by trial and error and follow our tips to become more efficient. This way, not only will you be able to alleviate your workload but you will improve the smooth functioning and efficiency of the entire organization.