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Before I start trying to help you with some tips of diary management I thought I’d take a moment to tell you a bit more about me and how I come to know about managing diaries! I was a traditional office based PA for over 20 years, with the last, almost, 10 years working with senior professors at Edinburgh University, this gave me the most knowledge and the greatest need to be really organized both for myself and the professors I worked with. You need to really care and have a desire to be organized in order to make it work most efficiently, only then can you see ways to help others!
In today’s busy workplaces it is more demanding and more stressful than ever before; if you are a sole trader or SME then you’ll be quite aware that things can get a little out of hand if you don’t plan properly! One tool has become indispensable when it comes to time and resource management and that’s a well-kept diary. A diary is simply where your daily magic happens. But, here’s the thing, diary management isn’t a walk in the park for everyone, that’s why it could be an option to outsource your diary management to a virtual assistant.
The magical allure of your diary lies in its ability to keep you on track, it’s where you strategize your time, draft your goals, and settle on the direction of your day, your week, your month and even your personal life. A shoddy diary certainly has the potential to ruin your day, but good diary management is more of an art than anything else. That in itself isn’t surprising at all as every diary calls for attention to detail and a lot of planning to ensure you are as productive as possible through the work day.
If you are a virtual assistant or a PA who manages diaries for your clients, then you know how things can get a little hectic! Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a few tips to help us keep a more efficient diary? Well, here are a few of my diary management tips and I hope they help make your life a teensy bit easier!
In managing a digital diary, one rule of thumb certainly applies and that is to never delete a recurring meeting, why? Because you don’t want to remove every record of prior meetings, as you may require specific appointment details at a later date. Instead, change the end date, this way, the previous meetings remain intact.
Try to think outside the box by gathering all your executive’s chief priorities, in doing this you’ll be able to make better and more succinct entries in the diary. With a solid trust and autonomy from your executive, you can manage the diary without hassle.
Block time out in your diary for all tasks you need to do; this could be client meetings, business development, phone calls, physical meetings or off-site meetings to name but a few. You may find it helpful to set a timer so that you move on to the next task.
By including travel time, your executive will know where he or she is supposed to be and how best to get there. If a meeting is scheduled 30 minutes away from the site, allow for this travel time by making a calendar entry. Pop it in as an extra entry; simply marked as travel time!
If there are any changes to the meetings or rescheduling, then your VA would handle that for you too; this saves you the headache of doing so. It could enable you to do more of what you should be doing! A VA can manage your diary and far more than that too. For instance, a virtual assistant can keep on top of your accounts, do data entry, general admin tasks, and even your basic bookkeeping.
A VA will take the hassle out of managing your diary, giving you more time to create more business leads.
Better Management Skills: Let’s be honest; a VA is knowledgeable when it comes to diary management; perhaps even more so than you and your VA has time to dedicate to it.