Three executive assistants shared their most powerful tools for staying organized, on track, and productive, according to The Hustle…
- Start with your calendar—avoid small, unproductive blocks of time
- Take assessment of your meetings—make sure your priorities match the meeting’s priorities
- Stay organized—use a combination of such platforms as Asana, Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, and Notion
- Know your needs—know when you are at your best and most productive state
- Find your balance—“If you wait for the inbox to be empty, you’ll never leave work.”
Why it’s important
Many top executives have assistants that handle smaller tasks such as scheduling meetings, planning trips, and organizing schedules.
Assistants handle the leaders’ day-to-day life allowing them to fully focus on their work and put all their energy into meeting their business goals.
Assistants are often a driving force behind executives that handle day-to-day tasks allowing the leaders to use their time and energy to focus on business.
Many other people in business are also trying to work hard, budget their time, and meet goals but do not have the luxury of an assistant to take care of the smaller tasks.
Three executive assistants have shared the most powerful tips and tools to keep executives organized, on track, and productive.
All three assistants said the key to staying organized is to start with your calendar.
“Make sure you’re really intentional about how you spend your time,” says Kristina Rogers, an executive assistant to the CEO of a climate tech company.
Rogers says her key is to stack meetings where there is no small block of time in between because those pauses most often turn unproductive. She also says not to schedule meeting blocks longer than two hours, and she aims to have no more than six hours per day of meetings.
She states that if everything goes to plan, executives should have at least 90 minutes of free time per day and one completely meeting-free day per week.
The next key to staying organized is to take assessment of meetings. Assistants claim being purposeful about what does and does not go on the calendar is important.
Ashley Langlais, an executive assistant to the CEO and COO of a venture-capital firm, says you should take assessment of every meeting invitation and make sure your priorities match the meeting’s priorities.
She states “high-energy” meetings where members are driving agenda or will have important conversations should be prioritized, while low-energy meetings that can be unnecessary should be deleted.
Langlais also says that it is important that all meetings have an agenda. Meetings with no plan can be unproductive, and an outline should be created to ensure productivity.
Another major key—staying organized. To stay on top of everything, nothing should be falling through the cracks, including emails, calendar meetings, and phone calls.
Many assistants claim to rely on technology to stay organized with the many different things executives need. Rogers states that she uses a combination of Asana, Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, and Notion.
Reminders are also a good asset to use. Most calendar systems allow you to set reminders for months in advance, which can be beneficial.
Assistants say it is important to know your needs.
Dahlia Welsh, an executive assistant working in the tech industry, says that the most important step to maximizing productivity is to be honest with yourself and be in touch with your strengths, weaknesses, and needs, according to The Hustle.
This can be especially important when planning and coordinating a busy work schedule. Welsh says it is important to know when you are at your best and most productive state. It is no use scheduling an early morning meeting if you are unproductive until the afternoon.
The last important tip is to find your balance. Top executives at advanced companies still have to find balance because even the busiest people have a life outside of work.
“In a remote world, work seeps into everything,” says Rogers. “It’s up to you to set boundaries on how much of it you let come into your life. For an executive who’s the founder of a company, this is his life. So it’s hard not to think about work after 6 pm.”
Assistants suggest adding things to your work calendar, such as going for a walk, getting lunch with a friend, or going to a sporting event after work to prioritize things outside of work.
“The inbox is always full,” says Welsh. “If you wait for the inbox to be empty, you’ll never leave work.”