Business Tips for an Executive Assistant

business tips

Today’s blog is one in a series on education, best practices and industry hot topics related to careers in Administration, including but not limited to those working as Executive Assistants, Admin Assistants and Office Managers.  Today’s Admins handle duties that have no limits in scope and as the greater Philadelphia’s most trusted Corporate Transportation partner, Kevin Smith Transportation Group is invested in supporting those who work to make sure their companies run smoothly every day. 

Every Executive Assistant is looking for organizational tips to help make them better and their jobs smarter.  Some of the below tips were shared by those working with some of the largest and smallest companies in the greater Philadelphia, PA area where each company has their own challenges.

Organize Your Emails

As an executive assistant, you must manage not only your own inbox, but your executive’s as well. This can get overwhelming with so many emails flowing.  You probably have accepted that reaching inbox zero is nearly impossible, however there are other options to defeat this challenge, and simplify that inbox!

Consider organizing emails in a quadrant based template with the four quadrants labeled based on their priority.  Urgent: Requiring Reply.  It is critical that you give these emails your utmost attention. Reply to them ASAP.  Do not leave the office without this quadrant nearly empty.

Less Urgent: Replies.  You need to reply to these emails eventually, but you have bigger priorities for the time being. It is recommended that you put a due date on these emails so you do not forget about them as they are still significant.

Follow-Ups.  Set due dates for when to follow-up with these emails as these tend to slip through the cracks.

To-Do’s.  A designated spot for those emails that list tasks that must be done. Set due-dates on these as well.

Make tomorrow’s to-do list before leaving the office

Don’t waste any time! Before stepping out of the office, create a to-do list of tasks that you need to focus on tomorrow while everything is fresh in your head. The extra 5-10 minutes you spend to do this will certainly pay off when you enter the office in the morning because you will have a good idea where you stand.

This ensures that you do not waste any time because you know what a top priority is and what needs your focus first.

Visualize What You WILL Accomplish

When you walk into the office, start your day with the end in mind.  Take 5 minutes to think about what results you need to achieve today. THEN, consider what tasks will help you get there. At this point, revise your to-do list from the night before making sure each of your tasks on there are in the right place.

If you want to hire your own Personal Assistant to book ground transportation, call 610-222-6225 and speak to one of Kevin Smith Transportation Group’s Corporate Concierges who can assist you with everything from Airport Transportation, Executive Black Car Service and Employee Shuttle Services.

Use a tool

To stay organized, consider using an online platform or project management software to keep you as well as your team in the loop.  A wonderful project management solution can make all the difference in the world.

These tools can keep track of tasks, emails, and documents all in one place. In addition, you can read detailed reports so that you can make sure that your team is on track, or that your team is not making progress so that you can step in right away.

Here is how you can use these tools with your executive.  The executive can delegate tasks directly to you through the platform (making you the ‘owner’) which means that you always know what you need to do! If there are any questions, you can chat within the task so you can quickly reference it later. No more confusing email threads or miscommunication about responsibilities!

Anticipate your executive’s needs. If you see that he/she has a full day of meetings, have a meal from his/her favorite restaurant waiting. If he/she is leading a big meeting in the AM, order those bagels and coffee in advance before even asked.

Keep good records of a variety of places, such as hotels and restaurants, that your executive has been to in the past. Make sure you keep contact information such as phone numbers and addresses as well as an area which states whether or not he/she enjoyed their last experience.

This way if your executive is looking for a place to stay in the L.A. area, you can pull up hotels that he/she has stayed at in the past and make some calls!  You can keep track of this information in an Excel spreadsheet, Microsoft Access, or other tracking tool.

Executive Assistant Skills

  • Communication Skills: Excellent written and verbal communication skills are critical in this field whether speaking on the phone, writing an email, or voicing an opinion.
  • Time Management Skills: One must be able to prioritize to determine where time is best spent not only for their position, but for the executive they work for.
  • Organization: With files and information floating everywhere, one must be able to develop a strategy to keep everything in its place.
  • Multitasking Abilities: With so much going on, it is likely you will have to attend to multiple tasks at once.
  • Problem Solving: Plans, strategies, and schedules change – it is your job to react quickly and be resilient, finding the best alternatives when these changes arise.
  • Independent: Possessing independence to get your own job done, ensure that your executive is on track, as well as the team members that you supervise.
  • Proactive: Your mind should be thinking far into the future so you can step in when needed.
  • Detail Oriented: The little things really matter like typos, schedule changes and even the minute info about how the executive needs to dress for an upcoming marketing meeting. You must have an eye for even the tiniest of details.
  • Technology: An Executive Assistant should have knowledge about prioritization software, presentation software, graphics software, Microsoft office, etc.
  • Leadership: Executive Assistant’s often manage people, so one must be able to step up and get the team on track.

If you want to hire your own Personal Assistant to book ground transportation, call 610-222-6225 and speak to one of Kevin Smith Transportation Group’s Corporate Concierges who can assist you with everything from Airport Transportation, Executive Black Car Service and Employee Shuttle Services.

Thank you for reading today’s blog on the Administrative Professional industry.  Please visit us every week as we continue to publish tips, industry news and strategies that directly impact every Administrative Professional. 

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