Spend your time on the right tasks.
What do you spend your time on? Research shows that half of working hours are spent on informal activities such as e-mail, telephone calls, small tasks, and chats with colleagues. If you subtract meetings from the remaining time, that gives you about two hours per day left for your actual work. That becomes a problem if you- like so many people - must make the most of your hours.
Extra time is extremely valuable to an assistant. The Pareto principle can certainly help you a step further with this:
The 80/20 rule
The Pareto principle is an important concept in time management. Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian sociologist and economist who lived in the 19th century who claimed that 80% of our ineffectual efforts are responsible for 20% of the result, but that 20% of our effectual efforts can be responsible for 80% of the result.
How can you put this principle into practice? The Pareto principle can be used as a reminder to spend 80% of your time and energy on that 20% of the tasks which really make a difference. This is because that 20% gives you 80% of your results. It is thus extremely important to identify those tasks which are really important in your work and to concentrate on them. When the daily routine start taking over, think about the 20% that is really important. The remaining 80% can probably wait until tomorrow.
Don’t forget yourself
Of course, you are probably not aiming to achieve 100/100, where every single moment of your working day is fully accountable and totally productive. You are not a machine. Interaction with colleagues is a healthy part of your day.
In addition, it is also important to time for yourself once in a while. If you take time to recharge your batteries (in whatever manner you choose to do so), everyone benefits: your manager, your family, and your colleagues. So take the diary and plan some time for yourself to do the things you enjoy doing. These appointments must absolutely not be sacrificed for the sake of work.
Pareto's Principle, the 80/20 Rule, should serve as a daily reminder to focus 80 percent of your time and energy on the 20 percent of you work that is really important. Don't just "work smart", work smart on the right things.
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