When my mom slipped on the ice a few winters ago, we quickly realized that procedures aren’t just for the office.

Since my mom was the primary person who managed the household finances, insurance, and medical matters, my dad and I had to quickly get up to speed on how to take care of things while she was hospitalized and recovering in the weeks that followed. When mom was diagnosed with cancer a couple years later, our documentation got even more detailed when we learned how short our remaining time together was going to be.

Procedures make sense at the office for dozens of reasons. But they are just as important at home.

If you have children, you probably leave emergency contact information or instructions for your kids’ babysitters. Those are procedures. If you have pets, you probably have care instructions for your pet sitter or family member. Those are procedures. If you’ve ever had a water pipe freeze, an appliance break, or a home repair come up unexpectedly, who you called and how you got it fixed should be part of a procedure you capture for future reference.

When my husband and I travel, we have checklists for packing that include the list of things we do before we leave (e.g. stopping the mail, sending travel itineraries to family members, watering the plants, changing voicemail greetings, etc.), things we check as we are walking out the door (turning down the heat, checking to make sure we have our photo I.D.s and keys, etc.), and things we do when we get home (e.g. picking up the mail, dropping off dry cleaning, checking voicemail, etc.).

After years of travel, we’ve figured out it’s simpler to create a complete checklist that guides our preparations than it is to have unneeded panic attacks at the airport and beyond. Our travel procedures make our trip planning and execution more relaxed and enjoyable from start to finish!

Procedures (and systems, which are comprised of related procedures that work together to help you get big jobs done) are crucial in every aspect of your life. This week, we’re sharing useful tips and information regarding systems and procedures on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. And our feature article discusses the difference between a procedure and a system, as well as detailing why you absolutely need both!

Whether we’re talking about a smooth-running office or an efficient functioning home, there’s a foundation of established systems at the heart of both. Getting the procedures documented that create those systems helps others help you when you need it!

Supporting your administrative success,

Julie Perrine

P.S. Office systems are key to your success as an administrative professional because they enable you to provide consistent service, gain credibility, establish trust, and build confidence with those you support. They help you navigate change – both expected and unexpected – and course-correct more adeptly. Systems also improve your efficiency. Are you ready to start creating your office systems? This webinar will help!