Last week I wrote about maximising productivity by following a having a routine to follow. At the end of the blog I posed some questions that I think most PAs, EAs and VAs would appreciate answers to… If I was to put together my perfect routine, how difficult would it be to stick to? What obstacles will I meet? Will I ever be able to maximise my productivity with constant distractions?
At the moment my office hours are technically 9.30-5.30pm, Monday to Friday. I have put together what I would consider to be a great routine to follow over the course of a working day. I’ve allowed time to check my emails, while having regular breaks and still managing to tackle and complete large pieces of work. Here it is:
0830: Board train to work. Find comfortable seat next to window. Check emails from the night before on my iPhone, check calendar for myself and my 3 directors. Any time left after this read the Metro / book.
0910: Arrive into work with tea /coffee in hand. Set up computer, open post, be sociable with colleagues and alert directors to my presence in the office
0930: First task of the day: sort through emails. This means the following:
- delete any spam
- move larger / non-work related emails into folder to read later
- answer any easy emails – these are my quick wins for the day!
- Send holding emails to those requesting work that will take more time – specifying a completion date. Add this to my to-do list.
1030: Check to-do list, prioritise work for today. This may have changed from yesterday due to emails over night from other offices.
1100: Work through the most urgent / necessary task and try to complete at least 1 or 2 smaller tasks
1230: Follow routine for checking emails
1300: Lunch break – go to the gym, meet friends, shop!
1400: Follow routine for checking emails
1430: Work through the remaining tasks in order of urgency and try to complete 1 or 2 smaller jobs
1530: Get up and move around, make tea, speak to / network with colleagues at their desk. Connect with directors.
1545: Continue to work through the remaining tasks for the day
1645: Follow routine for checking emails.
1715: Check to-do list, what has been added throughout the day and what has been completed. Look at the priorities for tomorrow. Check the director’s calendars and ensure they are equipped for their meetings. Connect with directors, socialise with colleagues and tidy workspace.
1745: Train home, find a comfy seat next to the window and read / sleep!
What have I missed do you think?
I can spot a potential problem straight away and that is meetings!! For me the best time for meetings would be in the main slots where I have scheduled time to work on tasks. If the meeting is scheduled in my diary and I have accepted it, then I consider this an urgent task for the day… If the meeting isn’t necessary or urgent can it be rescheduled and really I should be thinking – why am I going? Time is precious after all.
This is the routine that works best for me – I’d love to hear how you schedule your day and what works best for you?
Over the course of this week I will try to keep to the routine I have set out above and let you know via my blog and twitter how I get on. You can follow me on twitter using @PracticalPA