As an admin, you’re responsible for keeping your executive and office running smoothly, which means identifying inefficiencies and developing the solutions to make them more streamlined and efficient. Just because something’s always been done a certain way, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best way!
You don’t have to set out to overhaul your entire office, either. There are a lot of places for inefficiencies to lurk in your own admin environment, including:
1. Your workspace. Are you right handed but your mouse tray is on the left side of your keyboard? Is your inbox in your line of sight? Do you have to turn around in your chair to reach frequently used items? One of the easiest ways to increase your efficiency is by making your workspace as organized and comfortable as possible. Remove things that you rarely use. Eliminate your visual clutter. Put the phone on your left side if you’re right handed so you can answer with the left and take notes with the right. Move files, papers, and other needed items within easy reach. Research better organizational tools for your desktop or desk drawers to support how you work best. Set up computer monitors so it’s easy to look from one to another. All of these adjustments will improve your efficiency, save time, and make you happier at your desk.
2. Your daily tasks. A lot of admin processes, procedures, and responsibilities can be repetitive. So it’s easy to set yourself on auto pilot and tackle them. But inefficiencies like to hide here. Pay attention to what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. When you encounter a task that could be more efficient, document how it’s done and how you could do it more efficiently. Then give your new approach a try. If it works, take your documentation to the person responsible for officially changing the process, whether it’s your executive, manager, or HR department. If you’re the one who can decide, even better – just do it!
3. Your executive. Speaking of executives, sometimes you need to say something when you see yours is doing something you could be doing instead. Remind him or her that you’re there to alleviate their administrative headaches. Managers are often in the habit of doing things just because they’ve always done them or they don’t want to bother you. When these opportunities present themselves, it’s OK to bring them to your executive’s attention. It might take some time to break certain habits, but it will save your executive time and stress in the long run.
If you notice an inefficiency in your admin job, something your executive is doing, or your office in general, speak up! Taking the initiative to fix it shows your initiative, leadership and dedication to making your workplace as efficient, productive, and positive as possible. And isn’t that what being an admin is all about?
We’d love to hear your tips on what you do to improve efficiencies in your office. Share them with us on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages using the hashtag #efficientadmin! Or you can email them to us at AdminSuccess@AllThingsAdmin.com.
© 2015 Julie Perrine International, LLC
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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at www.AllThingsAdmin.com.