October 15, 2014 § Leave a comment
The single most important trait of any good assistant are good organizational skills. Having systems and following through with them alleviates your mind and remedies needless anxiety. Let’s face it, you have enough to worry about.
When you are moving every minute of every day, responsible for hundreds of details, managing others and making sure your boss is not encountering any hiccups, do you really want to stress over remembering where you put that phone number on that slip of paper? How many of you have woken up in the middle of the night sucking in all the air in the room because you just remembered something you forgot to do?
Here’s are my personal Top 5, Cannot Live Without, tips to stay organized:
Tip #1: Write down everything. Use the same book and keep it with you ALWAYS. This way there is no doubt where your notes are. I recommend a book that fits into your laptop bag or purse.
Tip #2: Make yourself an end-of-the-day plan for the next day. Make this list while your priorities are fresh in your head because I guarantee you, there will be new “surprise” items to deal with in the morning. This will keep you from forgetting those holdover items.
Tip #3: Before quitting time, transfer your daily notes into your appropriate systems. Phone numbers written down hastily in shorthand that only you can read should be put into your contacts or onto call sheets with their full name; to do’s should be put on the list for tomorrow; and tasks that were completed should be crossed off.
Tip #4: A status email should be sent to your employer at the end of the day. This should include calls they still need to make or return, appointments for the next day, vendors who may be working at their home the following day, papers to be signed; and anything else important you were not able to communicate to them during the day. This list is a big help to you as well. Note—Never assume it got read by your employer, but you can read it to them in the morning and it’s a great CYA move.
Tip #5: Keep a “hot” folder that has all the paperwork you need to deal with immediately. Even if items carry over to the next day or week, you know where to put your hands on those that are most urgent.
While the brain is an assistant’s most valuable asset, give it some much-needed help! Trust in your processes so that when you cannot remember, you know where to look.