5 Top Tips for Nailing Prioritising as a PA
Posted on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 by Top London PA — No comments
If you’re spinning plates with more whirl than a dizzy circus performer, then you need to nail prioritising. If you’re an office temp in London or a PA, you can find yourself overwhelmed with tasks that just have to be done. As a busy London recruitment agency, we know a fair amount about how to stop those plates from crashing down. So here are our top five tips for prioritising:
- Be best friends with your to-do list
Your to-do list is the number one tip we can offer. You’re nothing as a PA or temp without lists, but you need to use your to-do list a little more cleverly. There are a number of sub-tricks you need to know:
- Use categories: Think about the different elements of your role, then split these into different categories within the to-do list. Each area of your role may even benefit from having its own sub-list. You may find, for example, that Monday is used for email management and letter writing, Tuesday is dedicated to project work, and Wednesday is mostly devoted to travel and errands.
- Think about time: Consider how long each task will take. You may want to make yourself a schedule that is fed by the to-do list.
- Break things down: A to-do list is misleading if the tasks on it aren’t roughly equal in size. Be specific and break tasks down into their different components.
- Know the difference between urgent and important
Particularly if you’re temping in London, you may have multiple bosses. You need to quickly learn how to distinguish between ‘do now’, ‘do tomorrow’, and ‘delegate’. There are loads of hacks out there on how to do this. We particularly like the Eisenhower Decision Matrix.
Each time a new task comes in, make a decision on how important it is.
- Don’t waste time figuring things out
It’s not unusual for PAs to have items on their to-do list that have a name but no substance. They keep getting put off because, well, what the heck are they about?! Stop procrastinating, go back to the source, and find out exactly what needs to be done. You can then prioritise where it should go.
- Just get cracking
One of the best tips we hear from those doing PA jobs in London is to simply ‘get started’. Procrastination really is the thief of efficiency, and the easiest way to knock it out of the way is to just get started on something—anything. Switch off the email notifications and just plough on. Once you’ve done that for around half-hour or so, you’ll find that everything else will fall into place and in the meantime, you’re making progress.
- Give time to prioritising
A common mistake that many people make is attempting to rush the process of prioritisation. What you really need to do is dedicate a small amount of time each morning to revamping your to-do list and revisiting your priorities. This allows you to see what can be bumped to another time and what may need to be brought forward. When you’re at your busiest, it’s vital that you give a little time to the task of prioritising itself.
Want to know more about the skills needed for working in PA jobs in London? Check out more articles on our temping in London and PA recruitment blog.
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