Whilst managing a diary is most certainly not rocket science, neither is it something that everyone does well.
Really good diary management is about relationships at its core.
I want to know that if my client needs a meeting, then the Assistant of the person they need the meeting with is going to want to do whatever they can to make it happen.
For this to happen, I make sure every interaction I have with other Assistants is always professional, that I am flexible where I can be to accommodate the schedule of their executive and I make sure they are the first to know if something has to unavoidably change.
Why is having someone manage your diary important?
You need to optimise your time. You shouldn’t be spending your time arranging (and rearranging) meetings. You need your day planned out optimally. The people you want to speak to are in your diary with any notes you need, you have space between meetings and travel time is factored in. Your personal appointments are protected. When things have to change, your diary is reorganised for you.
You also need to protect your reputation. Forgetting about meetings as they didn't make it into your diary, is not a good look. You want to turn up for every meeting fully prepared and ready to make an impact.
In 2017 I set up my own company offering virtual assistant services and I am now successfully providing business support to Chief Executive Officers, Managing Directors and Consultants in a variety of companies across the UK.
As a Virtual Executive Assistant, I have a role that gives me the one to one working relationship with senior executives that I enjoy, the variety of work that I thrive on and makes the very best use of my skills.
But it took me a while to get to this point.
After university, my first job was as a PA to the Managing Director of an international FMCG company and my second was as PA to a Senior VP Sales for a global IT company where I was then promoted to a presales role. I then moved into an international recruitment career for another global technology organisation.
These roles have given me a wide variety of skills and a few years ago, I did a career audit and drilled down to identify the ones I enjoyed using the most. We all have a variety of skills but there is a world of difference between a list of the skills you have and a list of the skills that you really enjoy using. Once I had identified the skills that brought me the most satisfaction, I simply put those front and centre and so Integral Resource came into being.
I have found that when clients tell me they are overwhelmed and not enjoying the role as much as they used to, it’s “all the other things I have to do” that are getting in the way of the “actual work”. Strip a role back to its core and people often love the fundamental parts of it – after all that is why they started doing that kind of work in the first place.
So how do you do more of that core role you love and less of all the other “stuff” that slows you down or overwhelms you?