9 July 2010

Taking stock

Whenever I finish a project I always ask myself, or get together with those who assisted me, and ask the question, "What went well and what could have gone better?"

It is always good to take stock and congratulate each other on a job well done, but also to point out areas that could be improved or brainstorm the best way to do it better.  On my most recent assignment everything went very smoothly.  I mentally checked off that the checklists of what to bring to the various functions were critical to have.  This meeting was held out of town and those are a bit more hectic because I can't easily go to my desk to get what I need. Before I left I went over my checklists a few times to make sure I had everything and it was stress free each day as I reviewed the lists and checked off the items to bring.

I also made templates for the minutes of the various meetings and those were wonderful to have.  I was in a meeting all day taking minutes and then had a side meeting scheduled at 4 that I had to take minutes at, but in this case the minutes had to be transcribed, printed and put in the  meeting packages for the next day.  I also had a reception and dinner to attend that night at 6.  By using the template I was able to accomplish everything with enough time to change, touch up my make up and hair and then off to the next event. 

One thing I noted could be improved was I found myself scrambling a bit to make sure I had information for the varioius participants that needed to be signed or given to them and decided folders with each of their names would work better.  Using coloured folders works great when you are busy in a meeting, you can just grab the colour you want.  For instance my signing folder is blue so for the next meeting I will be sure to make the appropriate number of blue folders with a clear label with the name of the person that it pertains to.  I will put things that need signing, but also other items that I need to give to that person.  It will make my life easier.

Planning ahead and being prepared is a necessary exercise for a busy admin and this meeting especially proved that to me.  The meetings were stress free and I was able to depend on my checklists and templates.  Now I am on holidays and preparing for a big move to a new home.  You can be sure I have checklists for that as well.  Did I phone to get my electricity turned on?  Whew!  Yes, it is ticked off on the checklist and the lights did turn on when I pressed the switch.

Have a great summer everyone and enjoy your holidays when they come.  Having down time is a needed time to recharge your batteries and change the pace from work.  My boss finds chopping wood relaxing.  I mentioned to him that that didn't seem relaxing to me, but he said it was something he could do that he didn't have to think about, just chop, chop, chop.  His job is all about thinking and strategizing so a task that is not related to work, seems like time out because it is not what he normally does week to week.  My idea of relaxing is reading a book on my new deck so I will leave the chopping to those better qualified than me :)

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