Much of an executive assistant’s day is routine. There may be daily or weekly graphs and reports to generate, phone calls and emails to screen, travel plans to be made, and meeting notes to record and distribute.
Anything that is done regularly should be considered for optimization. Optimizing something you do once a year isn’t as fruitful as optimizing something you do each day.
Creating effective processes helps you and your boss. You can get your work done faster and more accurately, while creating enough breathing space for yourself to take on more significant responsibilities. Everyone wins.
Use these methods to get more done in less time and make yourself indispensable:
1. Focus on the most important tasks first. Developing a process for making a great pot of coffee is a worthwhile endeavor, but it might not be at the top of the to-do list. Look at the most important processes.
- What are the things that have to be done correctly?
- Also, consider the things that have to be done regularly.
2. Go through the current process step by step. Go through the current process you’ve been using and record the steps. Avoid judging the process just yet. Simply do everything the way you normally would and take careful notes.
3. Ask yourself what can be streamlined. Take a look at what you’ve just done and ask yourself how the process can be more efficient. Are there steps that can be combined or removed altogether?
- If you have questions, ask them. It might be that you’ve been wasting your time on certain things that simply don’t matter.
4. Revise the process and again question if improvements can be made. Make your changes and run through the process again. Look for ways to further improve. The key is to get excellent results with a minimal amount of time and grief. It might take several iterations to find the best process.
5. Look to delegate some or all of the responsibility. If you have your boss’s ear, you may be able to move this responsibility to someone else’s plate.
- Avoid using this strategy to just lessen your overall workload. You’re simply working yourself out of a job. Instead, use the additional free time to take on more important tasks and make yourself even more valuable.
6. Record the final process but consider keeping it to yourself. Once your process is perfected, write it down for future reference. Remember that it’s your process. You might not want to make it public. Do you really want someone else to be able to just slide into your shoes and do your job?
- Be valuable and indispensable.
7. If you’ve saved time with your revised process, look for the most effective way to use that time. Continue to make yourself more relevant to your boss and company. When it’s time to cut back, you’ll be one of the last people they would consider letting go.
8. Rely on the process but avoid being a slave to it. As you continue to do the task over and over, you’re bound to find new ways to streamline it even further. Go ahead and do just that.
- As new technology and job requirements develop, it may be necessary to go back and take a hard look.
Processes are a part of any job. Streamlining and perfecting a process is a skill that can make you more successful and valuable to your boss and company. Make your life easier by doing your job better and quicker. Your career will benefit.