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Balancing Administrative Tasks and Key Projects: 10 Tips for a More Productive Work Day

By: Carson Tate

For managers, it can be hard to balance business-driving projects with business-maintaining administrative tasks. Following are tips to help you achieve an ongoing workflow that consistently keeps you at your most productive.

Tip 1: Time is a commodity. Invest time for the BEST payout. Do you know what an hour of your time is worth? Calculate your hourly rate and then ask yourself, “Is the project or task I am working on right now generating a return that justifies my hourly rate?” Sit back and watch your time investment decisions change.

Tip 2: You cannot manage time. Go with the FLOW

Focus—What is your strategic focus?

Location—Do you have places on your calendar to execute on your strategic focus?

Organize—Batch or group similar tasks for maximum effectiveness.

Work—Make it work for you.

Tip 3: Identify what you can stop doing.

The reality: There is more work to be done than time in multiple lifetimes.

The costs: strategic, revenue generating work

The antidote: Take a hard look at what you are really doing. Does it align with the company’s strategic goals and objectives? If not, stop doing it.

Tip 4: Say yes to clients, but don’t let them hijack your time

Budget your calendar; preserve execution time. It’s productive to devote your mental energy to a theme each day, developing that set of thoughts.

Tip 5: Two tools are better than one

Don’t use a calendar as a to-do list. The calendar manages hours and minutes; the to-do list manages activities that have to be budgeted into the hours and minutes.

Tip 6: Build a work load matrix

List your tasks, time investment, and the ROI generated from each one. Present to your manager(s), to help them prioritize the work and eliminate tasks that are not adding value.

Tip 7: Leverage email tools

Devise an automated tracking system for outstanding emailed items.

Tip 8: Turn Off that Email Alert!

Stop multitasking! Proactively plan and execute on your day. This pesky alert is distracting and can cause you to lose your focus on tasks at hand.

Tip 9: The executive assistant: Your life preserver

Drowning in work? Divide responsibilities, communicate, set up a clear structure and watch your assistant pull you to shore.

Tip 10: Delegate Effectively

Delegate one task at a time, be clear on a goal, open on the path and define follow up procedures.

Overall, remember this: Every time you say YES to something, you are saying NO to something else. Make sure that each yes has maximum impact on your business goals!