An Executive Assistant (EA) is responsible for ensuring that the Executive’s time doesn’t get wasted by maintaining a calendar. For that, an EA must possess the calendar, consistency, research, and time management skills. Here is the Executive Calendar Management Guide for Executive Assistants.
Executive calendar management includes planning and tracking various activities such as meetings, events, assignments, supervision, and other responsibilities related to the executives.
Importance Of Executive Calendar Management
The benefits of managing an Executive calendar are as follows:
- The main benefit of managing the executive calendar is that the executives have fewer chances of missing the opportunities and meetings, and they can ensure that they do not do the same tasks or mistakes again and again.
- Executive Assistants may try to find new tools to save time.
- They can prioritize their goals, find the areas to be controlled or improved, and act accordingly.
- Calendar management helps the Executives in prioritizing their tasks.
- This documentation provides a timetable about the time spent on different activities and pending tasks.
Steps For Executive Calendar Management
Working for busy individuals such as Executives is intimidating and time-consuming. The effectiveness of the Executive calendar management affects both the job of the EA and that of the Senior. Thus, here are some methods to manage the Executive calendar effectively:
Step 1: Understanding The Executive
Before starting with the calendar management, the EA must know a few things about the boss. The EAs must know about the scheduling system used by the boss currently or in the past, their ideas about calendar management, previous issues related to the calendar, and other individuals to be included in the calendar management. The assistant must go through a few of their previous calendars to understand their typical days and methods to maintain the schedules. Knowing the senior may also include keeping an eye on his/her daily activities for a few weeks.
Step 2: Choosing A Scheduling Method
An EA may maintain the calendar manually and/or use a software application through to the computer or mobile. Calendar software is useful for booking particular events, tasks, their information, and acknowledgments from the receivers that received invitations on behalf of the Executives.
Step 3: Understanding the Software
EA must choose the calendar management software according to the prior discussion with the Boss. EA must be well-aware of the features provided by the software. Setting reminders is the basic and efficient facility provided by the calendar management software.
Step 4: Beginning With The Templates
EA may begin with his work on schedule by creating a template in his free time or when the boss is away from the office. The EA must then make changes according to the senior’s schedule. The schedule may include the tasks to be completed by the senior in a particular period, important emails, phone calls, meetings, clients, staff members, research activities, and much more. The schedule must be made in a manner that wastes zero time and makes the boss feel comfortable. However, the schedule must be approachable, and the senior must follow it.
Step 5: Making It Reschedulable
Priorities of the Executives keep on changing according to the increasing tasks. Some important tasks may arrive in between and affect the schedule. Also, if the Executives are attending the meetings somewhere out of the office, their schedule may get affected by the changing weather. The EA must remember that the activities might get rescheduled. Thus, the EA must schedule the tasks accordingly, leave blanks spaces between every two tasks and keep updating the schedule regularly.
Step 6: Discussing With Other Individuals
The EA must ask the boss whether other individuals are to be considered for scheduling the tasks. So, the EA must be ready to collaborate with other individuals. Though other individuals are allowed to access or edit the calendar, the EA must be the only person to confirm and fully control the calendar. All the changes and suggestions related to the calendar must be approved by the way first.
Step 7: Reviews By The Executives
One-to-one meetings must take place between the Executive and its Assistant to review the Executive calendar. It will be helpful as the schedule may get updated regularly. The Executive will recognize the changes to be made in the calendar and the real tasks. These meetings must be conducted once a week or twice a month.
Step 8: Following The Calendar
The calendar has been made to get followed. The EA may approximately calculate how much time is required for one task. If the boss seems to take much more time than expected to complete a task, the EA may remind him about the schedule. If the task is too important and cannot be halted, the EA will have to make changes in the timings of the upcoming events.
Tips For Executive Calendar management
Entering records in a calendar for the Executive is not as same as dumping things in a storeroom. The calendar must be maintained effectively.
The following are some of the important tips to be remembered by the Executive Assistants for Executive Calendar Management:
- Ask For Priorities
The EA must be working on multiple tasks concurrently. So, if the Executive assigns an extra task out of the schedule, the EA must ask him/her about the priority and time-sensitivity of the task.
- Reserve Time Blocks
The Executives must carry on their daily activities along with the tasks. Some daily activities include breakfast, lunch, exercise, daily reviews, and much more. So, time blocks of fixed length must be assigned to such daily activities. These time blocks must be assigned for the same time slots every day.
- Only Productive Meetings Must Be Scheduled
The Executive receives many meeting requests a day, but all of them must not be scheduled. Some unproductive meetings can be held through the messaging systems. Still, if the meetings seem to be important for getting scheduled, a fixed time slot must be allocated to them depending on their productivity.
- Group The Meetings
The Executives generally work within and out of the company. So, to ensure that they don’t get off the company every day, the EA must group their outdoor meetings and phone calls for certain continuous days in a week. It will help them to perform their daily activities in the company on the remaining days.
- Set Time Slots According To The Importance
Time slots must be allocated to the meetings according to their importance. For example, the staff meetings may require only 30 minutes, product review meetings may require 20 minutes, pieces of advice can be given through a phone call, whereas the meetings outside the company may not last for more than an hour.
- Avoid double booking
In case, an appointment gets canceled due to the busy schedule, the EA must reschedule the appointment after discussing with the Boss as soon as possible. Booking the same appointment again may lead to embarrassment for both, the Executive and the Executive Assistant. The Calendar Management tools can come to the rescue against double bookings.
- Applyi Color Codes
The EA may apply color codes to the tasks according to various factors such as priority, time length, wild-card entries, and much more. It must also include an index to elaborate the meanings of the color codes. The senior must understand, approve, and remember the color codes.
- Reserve time for emails
The Executives cannot check their emails after every hour. So, the time slot must be reserved for them to check their emails every day. For example, they may check their emails after arriving, before or after lunch, or before leaving. The EA may choose to group the emails according to the subjects so that the executives will decide what types of emails to check. It will reduce their burden but may introduce the loss of important emails. To avoid that, the EA must discuss with the Executive if he/she is not sure about the importance of an email.
- Synchronize The Calendar
The calendar must be synchronized with the Executive’s devices and shared with the key individuals such as their spouse, important clients, or business partners.
- Avoid Back-To-Back Meetings
They need some time to rest, think, and prepare for the next meeting. Thus, the schedule must not get packed with responsibilities.
Tools For Executive Calendar Management
It is too difficult for an EA to maintain the calendar while performing other duties. So, the EA must use efficient tools for calendar management.
The following are some of the tools made for the same purpose:
Trello supports teamwork both at higher levels and in-home offices. It provides cards, lists, and a board to customize the experience through multiple features provided by Trello. Most of the work is done by the Trello robots, and they help reduce the burden for the users.
Allows the users, their coworkers, family, and friends access the files from any device. It allows the users to manage tasks, keep the files secured and updated, track the files, quickly send the files, and stay in line with the teams. Still, Dropbox ensures file privacy by providing multiple protection layers.
This stool mainly helps to solve calendar problems. It saves time, increases productivity, prioritizes the tasks, and mainly avoids double booking. It provides Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance the user experience. Executive Assistants may provide the key individuals mentioned to their boss with shared access to the Calendar. The calendar also avoids conflicts with the pre-scheduled meetings.
The content can be scheduled and reviewed across all the social networks using the calendar view. It saves time as the users can use a single place to manage their posts. It also helps in producing quality content. The Hootsuite dashboard provides image assets and helps in tracking the brands, trends, and latest social conversations. Thus, the users can reply to the comments quickly.
The on-site and off-site meetings can be planned easily, the tasks and checklists can be maintained, due dates can be tracked, and the files and documents can be kept in a single place using this tool. The daily tasks can get managed by setting up the automation.
This tool provides productivity analysis, a time-tracking tool, block times, a data-driven to-do list, a track of the time slots, and format the emails perfectly. The account details and preferences related to the Executives can get stored in a single file.
This tool is mainly for scheduling meetings professionally. Users can set their preferences, share the calendar’s link with others, and pick a time slot for any event. This tool makes it easy to reschedule, have reminders, provide reminders, and avoid calendar conflicts.
All the insertions, deletions, updates, and edits must go through the Executive Assistants. The changes made by the Executives must also be known by the Executive Assistants. They must notice what works for their boss and what doesn’t to work accordingly. Using efficient calendar management tools will decrease their burden and assure efficiency in Executive calendar management.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What Skills Must An Executive Assistant Possess?
Primarily, the Executive Assistants must possess time management, communication, problem-solving, interpersonal, adaptability, collaboration, and project management skills. They must be able to prioritize the tasks and must dive deep into the details when required. Maintaining professionalism is also so much a must for them.
- What is the salary range of an Executive and an Executive Assistant?
The salary for an Executive Assistant in the US ranges from $52,000 to $146,000 per annum. It differs according to the level they are working at, their skills, and work experience.
The salary for an Executive in the US ranges from $60,000 to $229,000 per annum. It depends on the level they are working at. For example, the salary ranges are different for the Executive Directors, Executive Recruiters, the Chief Executive officers, and the Executive Administrators.
- What Are the qualifications needed to be an executive assistant?
The qualifications needed to work as an Executive Assistant are:
- The Executive Assistants must typically have these qualifications:
- A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and related certifications.
- Proven ability to handle calendar management tools and related software applications.
- Experience in project management.
- What are some of the tools for Video meetings?
The use of video meeting tools has increased a lot since 2020. Some video meeting tools are Cisco Webex, Zoom Meetings, Skype, Zoho Meeting, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meetings.