The Executive Assistant’s Simplified Guide to Daily Organization
As an executive assistant, your day is packed with meetings, tasks and miscellaneous problem solving, leaving little time to look for lost documents or reschedule an afternoon that was double-booked. That is why it is so important to stay organized while on the job.
To make sure that you are staying on top of the tasks that your boss trusts you with each day, use these tips to maximize your level of organization at the office.
Write it Down
Even if you are not the type of person who usually uses a planner or takes notes, writing things down is a critical part of staying organized. When organizing meetings, The Small Business Chronicle reported that it is important to not only write down the location, time and date of the appointment, but the person who requested the meeting, the topics that will be discussed, any documents that will be required and the name of the person who confirmed the appointment. Record similar amounts of detail when it comes to meeting notes, task requests from your boss and other assignments you need to do throughout the course of your day. You will never regret writing down too much information, but you can certainly regret not writing down enough.
Pen and paper is not the only way to go, of course. Take advantage of online databases and other computer-based strategies to make sure all of the information you need is organized and located in an easily accessible place. Always on the go? Try a mobile app, like Things. Forbes magazine reported that the application, which helps users manage tasks by breaking them down into easily achievable chunks, can be used on a Mac computer, iPad or iPhone.
If you choose to use a mobile app or cloud-based software to stay organized, be sure that you are following your company’s policies for the use of those technologies. Oftentimes businesses will want the IT department to encrypt any devices that contain company information, like meeting notes or your boss’s schedule.
Manage Your Space
It is hard to stay organized when you do not have any space. If you struggle to find room to store everything you need, invest in space management tools, like a filing cabinet to stick in an empty corner or wire trays for your desktop. Once you have your desk organized, be intentional to keep it that way. Try to spend five minutes at the end of every day tidying up and making sure that everything is in its proper place. Starting out the next morning with a clean, organized space will help you to stay on top of tasks from the get-go.
Managing your space is also an emotional process. Be sure that you are setting aside breaks during the day to get some time away from the stress of the work day. Allowing your stress levels to get too high is a recipe for disorganization. As you become more stressed, you will be more likely to forget things or make mistakes, so monitoring your peace of mind is important. Even a 10-minute break to walk around the block will help you get a chance to release stress, allowing you to return to your desk with an improved mindset. Entrepreneur magazine recommended making these breaks part of your routine by scheduling them at the same time each day. That will increase predictability, keeping your week organized.
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