Advanced Executive Assistant Skills: How to Prioritise Your Day Effectively – Auckland


As a busy executive assistant, being able to manage your time is essential.

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When dealing with multiple tasks daily, prioritising your work becomes an important step to perform. Using the WRAP technique in prioritising will help you plan and manage your day effectively.  Avoid approaching your day unplanned or haphazardly. Once you take the time to prioritise the things you have to complete in your day, you will have a renewed sense of direction.

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Let’s take a look more closely at the WRAP technique – Write, Rank, Anticipate, Perform

When you start your day, you should take inventory of the things you have to complete and write them on your to-do planner. You may have things on your to-do list already. That is okay. Just add the other tasks on them.

Once your task is in your to-do book, rank each task by importance.

You may use numbers or letter, but do not exceed more than three rankings. You want to be able to keep track of the most important tasks. Making your ranking system from 1-20 or from A to Z, will make it ineffective in determining which are all the important tasks. There are several questions you can ask yourself to help rank your tasks.

Here are some examples:

  • When is it due?
  • For whom is it for?
  • Is it related to a specific project?
  • Can this be done later?
  • Is another task dependent on this one to be finished before it can move on?

Once ranked, anticipate how long each task is going to take. If you run out of time for all your tasks, move those tasks, which should be low priority, to the next day and rank them higher by one category.

Once the time is set, perform each task as planned while guarding against time-wasters like FaceBook.

Your prioritised list is your guide for the day. Remember to calculate into your prioritised list the time you need to attend meetings and the time you need to make telephone calls.

The Secret to Staying on Track

Aside from managing your schedule vigorously, you should develop behaviours that help you enjoy your work. Becoming bored or frustrated could easily become distractions that will cause you to lose sight of your daily objective of being effective and efficient.

Your work and home life should be separated as much as possible. Leave your home issues at home and leave your work issues at work. When you begin mixing the two worlds, you will experience fatigue and perhaps unnecessary conflict. These conflicts are major distractions that will easily take you off track, causing you to miss deadlines. On the way to work listen to motivation and inspirational messages to help gear you up for the day.

Another secret is to schedule your creative work in the morning.

Things like writing a proposal or presentation require creative thinking, and you are most creative in the morning. You have your most energy and thrive in the early part of your day.

Once the afternoon comes, you will probably have lost most of your creative energy. Save work that is repetitive or mundane for the afternoon. Tasks like running a report or filing require less energy. Trying to perform creative tasks in the afternoon could become a frustrating experience, causing you to get off track.

Finally, track progress, checking off things that you have accomplished and celebrating completed tasks are helpful in boosting your morale.

Many times we do not get the pat on the back or recognition on a daily basis that helps motivate us to keep a high level of energy and productivity. Take the time to track and celebrate your achievements. Whenever we check off a task on our to-do list, a chemical reaction takes place in the brain that gives us a good feeling.

These chemicals are called endorphins. You get them all the time when someone tells you that you did a great job or when you take a moment and look over the job you just finished. Help yourself by triggering these chemicals on your own by celebrating success!

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Pdtraining delivers 1000’s of professional development courses each year in Wellington, Auckland, Napier, Christchurch, Hamilton, Dunedin and Tauranga, so you can be assured your training will be delivered by a qualified and experienced trainer.

All public Foundation Skills for PA’s and Executive Assistant Training courses include am/pm tea, lunch, printed courseware and a certificate of completion.  Customised courses are available upon request so please contact pdtraining on 1300 121 400 to learn more.

 

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