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5 Ways an Executive Assistant Changed My Life

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5 Ways an Executive Assistant Changed My Life

I used to believe working harder was the only way to achieve the best results. If you are nodding as you read this, then I am sure we share a lot of similarities.

Whenever I catch myself falling into this mindset rut, I am reminded of the great parable of the samurai. If you haven’t heard it, the story goes like this; Two samurais were given the task of clearing a bamboo field each, to see who was the most proficient.

The first samurai set upon the task like a man on a crazy mission, swinging and hacking as though his very life depended on it. As competitive as most samurais are, he happened to look over his shoulder to see how his rival was doing. To his absolute amazement the other samurai was sitting down resting.

Stirred on by this lack of effort, the first Samurai continued on his task. As he approached half way through the task, he looked again at his opponent, who by now was nearing the three quarter stage and sitting down again and resting. Incensed by this injustice, the first samurai added even more effort to his cause, hacking away like a madman at the bamboo.

However no matter how hard he tried, his opponent seemed to be ever nearing his finish line. Moments later and to his utter disgust, the second samurai had completed his side of the field. Unable to accept the result, the first samurai confronted his opponent and asked of him an explanation as to how he was able to complete his task, while it appeared to him that he had spent a bulk of the time doing nothing.

His response, “While it looked to you that I was resting, what I was actually doing was sharpening my sword”.

The lesson in the parable is that we have to work smarter not harder.

Nine months ago, I decided it was time to start working smarter. My solution was to look for an Executive Assistant (EA), someone who could help me achieve greater goals and get rid of some of the road blocks standing in my way.

What I discovered was the results were greater that I could have ever hoped for.

1. Time management

My EA keeps my schedule and appointments via a cloud based app called –Trello. Previously I was forever double booking myself, or forgetting appointments and I had this feeling that I constantly needed to be at work, just in case I had forgotten to put something in the diary.

Now I just check my Trello board each day to see what appointments I have. This has required me to give up some control but it has been worth it, as it has allowed me to concentrate on the bigger picture.

2. Efficiency/Productivity

My EA takes tasks off my plate that are not in my flow. If you are familiar with any of Roger Hamilton’s work, you will know that we are most productive when we are working on tasks that are innately suited to us.

My EA helps take away the burden of the tasks that I not only hate, but to be honest am not that great at doing. The best part is that the jobs I hate are actually the ones that are in her flow.

3. Partnerships

My EA is also great in proactively setting up partnership appointments for me. While having the meaningful conversation with our referral partners is something that I really love doing, having someone to create the connections and organise the meetings is a tremendous help.

4. Organisation

Whether it is planning an event, or researching an idea my EA is great at pulling together all of the pieces of the puzzle to make sure I have exactly what I need and when I need it by. I am able to create my visions through her organisational skills.

5. Work/life balance

While this might seem like a myth, or an unattainable goal. My wife and EA can both make notes on my Trello board to make sure I know exactly where I need to be and when. This means that I ultimately have more time with my wife and children.

It may seem hard to justify the expense of an EA, however when you find the right one they can make your business run smoother and the support they provide can be invaluable.

So hopefully my story has inspired you and helped you come to the realisation that you need a PA/EA. In just case you are getting any crazy ideas – no you can’t have mine.

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  • Tracy
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    Great read Karl, you certainly gave me a lot of food for thought.

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