The daily routine of an executive assistant is never dull. It’s a fast-paced and dynamic role that varies every day. There are always a ton of tasks to complete. So an executive assistant’s daily checklist is essential to help keep you on track. Having a daily checklist can help you take charge of your day, prioritize your duties, and never miss a deadline.
What is the Executive Assistant Role?
An executive assistant is a high-level administrative professional. EAs provide dedicated support to a company’s executives. They help with various tasks, from calendar management and record-keeping to event planning and travel booking. Their assistance frees up time in an executive’s day to focus on big picture thinking. A great executive assistant can have a dramatic effect on a company’s success.
Executive Assistant Daily Checklist
The role of an executive assistant is a busy and diverse one. An EA needs to stay organized and on track with everything they need to do. An executive assistant’s daily checklist can help. Here’s what you need to know about prioritizing your checklist and having different lists by daypart.
Prioritization is Key
One of the most essential executive assistant skills is prioritization. A great EA knows exactly how to prioritize their daily checklist based on their executive’s needs and the organization’s strategic goals. This need is why it’s important to set up a system that categorizes tasks from most to least important.
The ABCDE Method
One way to prioritize your daily checklist is using the ABCDE method. This method categorizes tasks under one of five letters, depending on importance.
- “A” tasks are the most important assignments that must be completed and will have the most serious consequences if not.
- “B” tasks should be done but are slightly less important and don’t come with as serious consequences.
- “C” tasks are nice to do but not essential. They are things you choose to do.
- “D” tasks are tasks that you can delegate to other people.
- “E” tasks are unnecessary. You can eliminate them from your to-do list.
Color coding is another method of prioritizing an executive assistant’s daily checklist. This method involves categorizing tasks under green, yellow, and red. It may be a more helpful system for visual thinkers.
It works like this:
- Red – High priority tasks
- Orange – Medium priority tasks
- Green – Low priority tasks
You could also add in a couple of additional colors of your choosing. For example, blue might mean a task that you will delegate. But don’t turn your checklist into a rainbow of colors. It will just lead to confusion.
A morning routine sets you up for success. Giving yourself just 10 minutes to prepare for the day ahead promotes greater positivity and productivity. Rushing into the office 30 seconds before an important meeting only leaves you feeling flustered and stressed.
Tasks to add to your morning routine include:
- Setting up your workspace
- Removing any mess or clutter
- Filling up your water bottle
- Grabbing a tea or coffee
- Saying “good morning” to your colleagues
Work-related tasks for your morning checklist include:
- Checking your executive’s inbox to see if anything arrived outside of office hours
- Filtering emails into the correct folders
- Adding any new tasks to your to-do list and categorizing them by importance
- Deciding if there’s anything you need to discuss with your executive
The morning is usually when your concentration is highest, and you’re most creative. Allocate this time to tackle the highest priority and most mentally demanding projects. Completing difficult tasks first can also motivate you for the rest of the day.
High priority tasks to add to your morning to-do list may include:
- Creating presentations
- Conducting detailed research
- Organizing meeting agendas
- Responding to urgent client requests
- Implementing new organizational systems
Before starting your afternoon checklist, it’s always a good idea to check in with your executive. Find out if there are any new priorities or anything they need help with urgently. If not, you can move on to some easier and lower-priority tasks in the afternoon.
Simpler administrative tasks include:
- Sending out meeting invites
- Sorting purchase orders and invoices
- Preparing travel itineraries
- Taking inventory and ordering office supplies
Just because your primary work duties are complete for the day, that doesn’t mean you are. A good end-of-day routine will help you mentally sign off and set yourself up for a productive day tomorrow.
Tasks to complete at the end of the day include:
- Sending out final email responses
- Writing a brief end-of-day report for your executive outlining the tasks you completed
- Setting tomorrow’s agenda (include anything you didn’t get done today)
- Filing and sorting any emails and documents to reduce clutter
- Tidying up your desk
- Saying a quick “thank you” to coworkers who helped you throughout the day
There is Always Something You Can Do
A rockstar EA knows that there’s always something they can be doing. If you’ve finished your work-related tasks for the day, consider what else you can accomplish.
The purpose of creating an executive assistant daily checklist is not only to make sure you’re getting your tasks done but also to ensure that you’re effectively assisting your executive.
An experienced EA can anticipate their executive’s needs and predict potential issues. But it’s still crucial to have an open line of communication and check in at least once or twice a day. Allow your executive to tell you what they need. They should rely on you to jump on urgent tasks and reorganize your workload as needed. For this level of service, regular communication is key.
Stay Up to Date in Your Industry
Top-level executive assistants need to think like a CEO and consider the long-term vision and goals of the organization. Staying aware of recent news and updates in your industry will help you be a more strategic partner to your boss.
Make Your Job More Efficient
You should also stay on top of any useful executive assistant resources, such as project management tools or scheduling systems. Are there apps or software that could make you or your executive’s lives easier? Look out for new tools to help you save time, increase efficiency, and streamline workflow.
Think About Your Long-Term Plan
Focusing on ticking off your daily checklist isn’t enough to grow in your EA career. You also need to consider your long-term plan. Work together with your executive to set SMART goals. Then when you have some space on your to-do list, work toward achieving those goals.
How LifeSquire Can Help You Succeed as an EA
Having an executive assistant daily checklist ensures tasks are done and you’re working to your fullest potential. Although, every day as an EA is different. Urgent tasks can come at the last minute, and you’ll often need to rearrange your priorities. Flexibility is key.
LifeSquire can help you excel as an executive assistant with our assistant training course LifeSquire Academy. In the course, you’ll learn time management and prioritization skills for constantly changing days, as well as plenty of other soft skills needed in a support role.