Managing my time as a PA has taught me to look for ways to work smarter, not harder. Time is a great asset to a busy PA, and I’ve learnt to delegate time consuming tasks – no easy feat for a self-professed control freak. From travel management to email habits, here are my top tips for managing your time effectively:
Tackle the most daunting task first
Rather than avoiding the dreaded task at hand, get stuck into it first thing in the morning when you have the most energy. In the majority of cases, the job that you’ve been dreading for so long doesn’t turn out to be so bad, and it’s extremely satisfying to get it ticked off your to-do list. This relieves you of worry for the rest of the day and sets you off in a positive mood to tackle the ad hoc requests that inevitably take priority as the day goes on.
Partner with a TMC
Working with a Travel Management Company is a great way to delegate, safe in the knowledge that an experienced professional is taking care of your travel itinerary and budget. Working with a TMC removes the time-intensive burden of researching routes, venues and rates, freeing up your time to deal with more urgent matters. You can rest safe in the knowledge that your chosen TMC has access to the most competitive rates in the industry, getting you the best deal on the market.
Set limits on email habits
We’re all guilty of being slaves to emails, but it’s important to prevent them from running your day. Virtual clutter fogs my ability to focus on other tasks at hand, so I make a habit to sort, organise and delete emails as soon as they come in. Try setting up automation filters for spam, turning off distracting notifications and keeping your inbox practically empty.
Define expense management processes
Depending on the size of your business, try to delegate credit card reconciliation to a member of the accounts team, alleviating the burden of expense reconciliation. If you don’t have this option, it ultimately comes down to organisation and establishing a defined process. Tracking, analysing and documenting daily out of pocket expenditure throughout the month makes the monthly expenses deadline less daunting. This way, you already have the information and evidence, making the job at the end of the month quick and easy to review.
Network with like-minded professionals
As an active member of a PA network, I find sharing tips and ideas with other like-minded PA’s and EA’s invaluable. It’s a great way to reflect on your own practises, as well as find ways to self-improve. Conversations at these events help me to explore new ideas for managing my time more effectively.