Mia L. Hazlett
Desk time. We’ve heard about it. Talked about it. We’ve even scheduled it. But does it exist?
Desk time takes discipline from both the C-Level Executive (CLE) and the Executive Assistant (EA).
EA’s it’s up to you to ensure CLE has proper desk time. How does this work? It works on the calendar. With a disciplined calendar routine, CLE will get their required deliverables completed. CLE if you view desk time, as free time, you and EA are going to be stressed and miserable when your deliverables are due.
I worked for someone who had Mondays as their desk time. No appointments. If it was an absolute emergency he would meet with someone, but Mondays =no appointments. I had another boss who used the first two hours of every morning as his desk time. There were only three meetings which were an exception. I also had a boss who worked from home three times a month. It was supposed to be once a week, but three times a month was good enough. Although he was available by phone, only I knew that. Although he responded to people’s emails if they tried to stop by his office, they couldn’t interrupt him.
But I will raise my hand here and say, I’m an offender of shortening that desk time. I’ve allowed it to shrink away to nothing. CLE would say, “Oh just put it there for 30 minutes. That still gives me plenty of time.” And I would. But 30 minutes here are there can eat up an entire day, especially when CLE knows there is no meeting after the impromptu.
CLE, you cannot run around crazy, going from meeting to meeting and expect to complete all your deliverables with short little windows of time throughout your day. Writing and editing your speech in 15-20 minute increments throughout the day is not going to produce quality or allow you the required focus.
And EA beyond just adding the desk time to the calendar, make sure you label the deliverable that’s coming due. If there is a presentation in three days, make sure it is noted in the desk time that week. Even if it is done, it allows CLE to double check before moving on the the next task.
Obviously these are just suggestions and things that worked for me. I hope I’ve conveyed the importance of quality desk time. If you live in a constant state of procrastination eventually you will miss an important deadline.
© 2016 Mia L. Hazlett