This month, we’re celebrating admin. professionals’ accomplishments and strategies. This week, we’re focusing on time management and strategies shared by Real Careers alumni.
Joanna Campbell, Canada: Using the task list in Outlook to manage tasks
Jennifer Corcoran, England: Using the Five Folder System by Adam Fidler (Current, Boss, Pending, Bring Forward and Filing) and also turning off my email to focus on other tasks. I try to dip in and out of it only every hour or so as opposed to being reactive to every email that pings up.
Kerry Dawson, England: Put up a “Do not disturb” sign when you absolutely have to get work done. Take the last 15 minutes of your working day to reflect on what you have achieved during the day and then email it to your boss so that they are aware of what has been completed and then write down what you need to do to complete your top five must do tasks for the next day.
Chantalle Freeborough, Canada:Do not spend too much time on your email; I promise you it will be there when you return to it. Allocate time in your calendar to work on specific projects so you feel as though you’ve achieved something. There is nothing worse than the day passing by without being able to scratch a line through at least one item on your to do list.
Lilian Kamanzi Mugisha, Uganda: Daily, weekly, and long range planning are essential if I am to accomplish the maximum amount of work in the most efficient way possible. The first step I have always done is to identify and list the tasks that must be completed. I use the well known “ABC” time management system to assign priorities to the various tasks. I will share the ABC system that I think most of us use.
The “A” priorities are of primary concern and must be undertaken at a particular time. Examples of “A” priority work includes preparing letters that must be included in a particular mail pickup, completing material for the supervisor’s ten o’clock meeting, or making a plane reservation for the supervisor’s urgent trip to a branch office later in the day. Taking minutes at a staff meeting is an example of an “A” priority task that does not involve urgency, but is one that must be performed at a particular time of the day.
The “B” priorities are of secondary importance, but they should be completed as soon as the “A” tasks have been accomplished. Most of the daily tasks I must perform are of the “B” type and include routine tasks such as opening and processing the mail, and transcribing dictation.
The “C” priorities are of low importance. They should be completed during “slack” periods. Updating the files is an example of “C” priority task.
Catherine Marshall, USA: My most effective time management strategy is that I take five to ten minutes to review what I’ve accomplished in the day, and what needs to be done the next day. This way, when I get to work in the morning, I already have my list and am prepared for the day.
The next time management strategy is setting calendar reminders for how long I spend on certain projects. This helps keep my time dedicated in areas where I need to be focused.
Angela Parker, Germany: Use templates and standard procedures to do our work. It has proven very helpful in managing routine tasks.
Liza Young, Scotland: Be aware of deadlines and, if there is one, fitting everything else around that. For my own calendar, I put all personal and work appointments in the same one so I don’t overbook.