In my mind, the single most important aspect of our role is to save our Executive’s time. Saving our Executive time means they can spend that time on making the organisation more successful. There are loads of different ways we can save our Executive’s time, but I think it all starts with the fundamental task of diary management.
So today I am sitting at my kitchen table hoping to write a few blog posts before my son wakes up from his morning nap. I have my laptop open, blog up and running, notebook and pen by my side and a cup of tea that has already started to go cold. I am ready to start working. However, in the last ten minutes I’ve checked Facebook, checked my son is breathing, thought about some flights I have to book later this evening, sung the theme tune to Peppa Pig in my head at least twice and eaten three (okay four) biscuits. Productive I am not!
Did you know, on average office workers will spend 13 minutes and 13 seconds each day searching for missing paperwork and stationery? That’s despite one in five decluttering their desks on a weekly basis. The little things we do in the office each day really do add up, according to a new study from Avery UK.
At our recent regional events we discussed some of the issues that are facing assistants today. Lots of challenges came up, but one that struck me as typical across all industries was the actual amount of work that the assistants had to do. Assistants are taking on more and more tasks and are involved in all sorts of projects. This is great (as long as we are appreciated for it and well… That is a whole other blog post!), but it can also be overwhelming. How do we keep on top of all of the work that we have piled up around us? How do we ensure we are, and here comes the dreaded word, productive. Today, I’m going to write about the productivity killers. Those annoying things we do that stop us being productive. Here are my top five.
Although the role of an assistant can be incredibly varied, there are certain aspects that all of us will face at some point in our career. We all have similar experiences in the workplace… Yes, I do know where the photocopier is… No, I can’t fix the paper jam… And then there are the competencies that we all need to get the job done. Today we will be looking at how we deal with conflicting priorities.
Let’s face it most of us don’t sign up to this assistant malarkey because of the short hours. We kinda know that we are not going to start the day at 9am and be out the door at 5pm. The hours are unpredictable and we are often the last to leave and the first to arrive.
Most assistants find that they are the absolute centre of their office, they are the fountain of all knowledge and the keeper of all secrets. This is generally a brilliant place to be and one of the main reasons assistants love their job. But! One of the draw backs is the constant attention (and adulation) from demanding colleagues.
I don’t know about the rest of you but my mind has started to wander towards my annual leave. I have a little mini break to Geneva coming up this weekend (can not wait!) and then I am hoping to take some time off in August.
Most assistants have a tendency to work to a capacity of about 99.9%. We seem to operate at this level day after day, year after year. It is expected that we take on every piece of work thrown at us, every task is accepted and deadlines are met.
Over the last few months I have been designing a lot of presentations for the company I work with but also for my own little foray into the world of public speaking. When I say a lot of presentations I mean A LOT!