An administrative assistant's favorite topic â€“ organizational skills! To some it comes naturally and is even enjoyable, to others it is like speaking a foreign language. Whether you like being organized or not, it is a critical skill that every administrative assistant must have. It is important to note that if you are the second type, you must practice being organized until it is comfortable to you.
Some administrative assistants tend to think that if they have a clean desk, it shows their boss that they aren't busy. How this idea came about is baffling. Think about itâ€¦one of the most important skills an assistant can have is being organized. How can that be proven to your boss if your desk is always messy? An organized workspace instills confidence in your boss that you are on top of your assignments and you know your priorities. It's also a sign that you are professional and you take your job seriously.
A Couple of Tips to Get You Started
One tip to improve and practice your organization skills â€“ take 10-15 minutes at the end of each day to straighten up your desk for the next day. It doesn't take long to put things back in their place or to do a little bit of filing. In fact, if you get into this habit of doing it each day, your time will be less stressful and stuff won't pile up to the point that it's overwhelming. Plus the psychological effect of coming into work in the morning to a clean and organized desk can have a positive impact on the rest of your day.
Another tip for administrative assistants is to keep all your information in one place, preferably something portable like a binder, notebook, or planner. Sometimes there are urgent tasks that need to be done immediately, and assistants are not always able to pull out their notebook and neatly write in it. They need to grab the first Post-It note they find and scribble whatever demand is thrown at them. When this happens, simply stick the Post-It in the notebook or binder until the information can be transferred later (for example to Outlook or a list). This way you don't lose the information and won't have to scramble around for it.
Find someone in your office that you noticed is exceptionally well-organized and ask them for advice. Organized people tend to be very proud of their skills and are usually willing to offer their expertise. If the person is mean and doesn't want to help you, then find the second most well-organized person in the office and ask them!
When it comes to organizing, don't be afraid to try new methods. There are many innovative ways of organizing that are inexpensive and uncomplicated. Keep in mind that if it doesn't work, you can always go back to the old way of organizing or try something else.