Category Archives: Calendar Management

Invest In Yourself

It’s all about you

Today’s message is short and sweet. Short because this will be brief. Sweet because it’s all about YOU–it has nothing to do with being an executive assistant.

I’ve never met an executive assistant who didn’t have a goal, a dream, or a creative passion outside of the office, but she/he often felt too drained, overwhelmed, or unable to find the time to pursue this personal goal whether it was going to school, writing a book (mine), making a quilt, starting a non-profit, glass blowing…so many great intentions, ideas, and projects! So little time to execute!

So today, I want to share this post by Dan Blank, We Grow Media: Invest in Whitespace.

I’m a Dan Fan and credit him for most of the momentum in my creative life. The above newsletter will inspire you to invest in yourself, and his suggestions are all free. Literally, his recommendations can be followed by you at zero expense. I highly recommend subscribing to his Friday newsletter, and jumping at any chance to take his courses or participate in his Mastermind sessions.

But wait, there’s more for you.

Kelsey Browning, author extraordinaire, has a free beta-course to help you start and finish your Big Creative Project in January. The project can be anything–it’s your project–and all you need to do is click on the above and complete an application.

I hope this update pumps you up about your personal life. Let me know if you follow any of the recommendations or sign up for any sessions with Dan Blank and, or Kelsey Browning. I’ll most likely be there with you! And by all means, feel free to share this update with anyone you think might be interested.

Good luck investing in yourself and have a fabulous time wrapping up 2016.


P.S.: If you’re interested in learning more about my creative life, here’s my personal website.

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Filed under Calendar Management, Execution, Executive Assistant Competencies

One Way To Increase Your Manager’s Productivity

Ready! Set!  8 – 12 – 4 — FLEX!

Have you ever noticed how many meetings are scheduled to prepare for other meetings?

How many times have you heard your manager or a co-worker say, “I have so much to do, but I’m going to be in meetings all day.”

Unnecessary meetings and a lack of time to focus on goals and responsibilities is one of the number one reasons milestones are missed. Short of declining the meetings and looking like you, or your manger, isn’t a team player, how does one address this problem?

With calendar management.

After years of experience supporting an executive, I began blocking his/her and my calendar as follows:

Monday – Thursday
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.: FOCUS
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.: FOCUS
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.: FOCUS

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.: FOCUS
1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.: FLEX

FOCUS times are exclusively reserved for your manager to do his/her job and get stuff done, and therefore, make progress on milestones and goals. This is not time for meetings. It’s time designated for focusing and preparing for everything on his/her plate.

With technology and ‘open door’ calendars where we can and should be able to send invitations for meetings, some people, including other assistants, might be frustrated at these unavailable blocks of time. Your boss might even look at you like you’re crazy when you suggest the blocks. “How will it make me look? Like I’m not working!” he or she will object.

But here is why they are wrong and why it works.

  • It sends a clear message when your manager is available.
  • It sends the message that the departmental goals, and therefore, the corporate goals are the prize, and work needs to get done in order to reach the established milestones.
  • It sends the message to your manager’s direct reports that they, too, should mirror and establish times to focus.
  • It sends the cultural message that your manager wants his team to FLEX and get as much work done as possible every Friday afternoon so they can enjoy their weekends and come back refreshed the following Monday and accomplish even more.
  • It says, “You’re smart, you use your time wisely, and you are focused on the corporate goals.”
  • It says, “This is how goals happen.”

So talk to your manager, and make this suggestion. Give it a trial period. This simple change in calendar will increase productivity and team satisfaction.

Let me know how it goes, or if you need any help at

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Filed under Accountability, Calendar Management, Communication, Executive Assistant Competencies, Leadership, Problem Solving, SMART Goals, Uncategorized