Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
An administrative assistant can play a very important role within an organization. The position can oftentimes be very detail oriented and require managing many job duties simultaneously, especially if the person is an assistant to more than one person. A few tips for handling administrative assistant duties are to prioritize projects and tasks, keep work space organized, and keep up to date with new software that is critical to job performance. Learning keyboard shortcuts for programs can speed work processes up and help complete tasks in a shorter amount of time.
Many administrative assistant duties include keeping calendars for department executives or management. This entails organization skills to set up reminders for appointments or engagements if there are several employee calendars to manage. Organizational tips for administration assistant duties include optimizing time management. There are typically eight working hours in a day, and calendars should be scheduled for optimum performance. It is a good idea to leave a cushion of time in between appointments in case they run overtime.
Office strategies that can enhance performance for most administrative assistants are keeping an organized work space and prioritizing projects. Quite often, administrative assistants juggle many different projects at one time. This can be true especially for those who work as assistants for more than one person. The key to success in this type of position can be as simple as keeping an ongoing project list that prioritizes each in order of importance. An organized work space can create efficiency and bring order to a busy administrative assistant.
Being flexible when handling multiple administrative assistant duties at one time is key to maintaining the proper, prioritized schedule. Many tasks may move up or down the priority list according to the other tasks that pop up. Flexibility is an important trait and can help maintain performance in office operations. Administrative or clerical duties can become overwhelming when there is no flexibility.
Office software programs are constantly being updated. Technology can move at lightning speed at times, and it is important to set aside some time to update training for programs that are used frequently. Technology can enhance administrative assistant duties and make the job more efficient. Keyboard shortcuts are also a nice way to save time when handling work on the computer. Maintaining up-to-date software knowledge also typically includes the newest keyboard shortcuts as well.
A schedule is critical for an efficient administrative assistant. If there are things that he or she does on a daily basis, then having a set time during the day when these things are done is helpful. This also helps the boss know when the assistant is most likely to be free for other duties.
Some bosses are fond of wanting a task done yesterday, and it's the assistant's job to remind the boss (diplomatically) that a critical task must be done at this time, so which task would the boss rather have accomplished first? In many cases, the "urgent" task will suddenly become much less urgent in the face of delaying something really important.
There's no doubt that the ability to multitask is one of the prime qualities one wants in an administrative assistant. Depending on the kind of assistant they are, they will probably need to do a lot of different things. Most administrative assistants don't work for the executives. They have personal assistants or executive secretaries.
Most administrative assistants handle the more mundane office work, and indeed, may function as the titular office manager, even though they may not have such a title, officially.
A good admin assistant knows how to combine tasks. For instance, in my office building, the mailboxes and copier are in the same room. So, if I have to make copies, I will combine that with getting the mail for my department. That's just one example.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!