I am pretty sure that as you focus on your career this month because of Administrative Professionals Week, you are looking for some awesome earth-shattering, off-the-charts ideas. We have done our best to provide you with some great blogs during the month of April.
Now I am going to surprise you by telling you one of the most awesome administrative skills you can work on is being brilliant at the basics.
It doesn’t matter how long you have worked in the administrative profession. Your basics are your daily nourishment. They are the foundation of everything you do. Basics include: travel planning, appointment coordination, meeting preparation, all facets of communication, organizational skills, and time and project management. As your days are getting busier and you are taking on more projects and assignments, you need these skills more than ever.
Last fall 700+ assistants responded to a survey sent out by Office Dynamics. We asked the assistants to identify areas that they would like us to provide more information on. Do you know what rose to the top of the list? The basics. This tells me that as much information that is available, assistants are still struggling with time management, project management, prioritization, organizational skills, and communication.
Here is the secret sauce:
- Keep exploring until you find the very best processes for your daily routines: your To Do, Follow-up items, Action items, etc.
- Be consistent with your processes. This is one of the best-kept secrets of superstar assistants. They consistently work their processes, especially when things get chaotic at the office.
- Explore new twists to doing routine tasks.
- Look for ways to make the basics more interesting and fun. Instead of sending out the same meeting notice, how can you jazz it up? If you still use hard file folders, purchase some pretty, fun folders. There are all kinds of fun and beautiful office supplies that were never available to assistants. And yes, buy it yourself if you really want it. You are worth it.
- Talk to other assistants about their processes. Often you will find new ideas or shortcuts that you can implement.
- Of course view webinars, YouTube videos, and online courses for new ideas.
- Don’t throw everything out in the wash! Believe it or not, I still use a follow-up system that I learned as an executive assistant in my 20s. That is nearly 40 years ago! It is the 43-day file folder system. I have not found a more useful, efficient system for my hard copy notes, papers and files.
I would love for you to share your ideas on how to make daily tasks more interesting for assistants and secretaries.
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