Time management is one of the most important skills you can develop as an administrative assistant, office manager, secretary, or other type of clerical worker. You may perform dozens of tasks each day, all of which are important to your supervisor and your colleagues. Good time-management skills will help you meet deadlines and ensure that all tasks are completed properly. Scheduling your time well can prevent the stress associated with tight deadlines and make your job just a little easier.
One of the biggest barriers to proper time management is the many distractions you encounter as an administrative professional. If your job includes answering the telephone or greeting clients, you may find yourself getting interrupted dozens of times during your shift. Although you cannot control all of these distractions, you can control some. If you don’t have to check your email frequently, schedule a time to do so. You might want to clear out your inbox in the morning and then check it only a few more times each day. If you have your own office, close the door when you are working on important projects. This will prevent people from entering your office and disturbing your work.
If your desk is out in the open, you might have to use some unusual tactics to minimize distractions. If noise bothers you, try playing a white-noise CD or using noise-canceling headphones to block distracting noises. Because time management is especially important when working on projects with tight deadlines, ask your supervisor for permission to work in a quiet conference room or on-site library if you need to finish an important task. If you know that you will have some uninterrupted work time, scheduling your time is a little easier during the rest of the day.
Martina McGowan of Business 2 Community recommends delegating tasks to other workers any time you need a little help with your time management. If you are responsible for working on projects with other team members, ask them to complete some of the project-related tasks so that you can focus on your other responsibilities. If you do not have the authority to delegate tasks to other people, communicate your concerns to the project leader. This person may be able to provide suggestions about the best way to manage all of your tasks.
Executives, middle managers, and even hourly employees look to administrative professionals for guidance on a variety of topics. If your time-management skills are not up to par, you cannot assist others and get your own projects completed on time. Consider enrolling in a time-management training program or reading resources on time management if you need help prioritizing tasks or eliminating distractions.
Nancy Anderson is the communities and article Editor for Beyond.com. Nancy has 10 years experience in the online job search business with Beyond. Nancy’s team produces dozens of articles every month for top internet sites. Follow Nancy and the Beyond team on https://twitter.com/BeyondJobs.