Read This to Keep Email From Taking Over Your Life

Lauren Krause
Posted by

Individuals in administrative and clerical positions provide a vital service for businesses. A career in this field requires professional to manage office procedures and personnel, organize client and company files, and provide assistance for both employees and customers. Constant emails and interruptions can derail the productivity of an administrative assistant. Achieve a work balance that is productive by prioritizing tasks and managing email so it doesn't take over your life on a daily basis.

Administrative and executive assistants who prioritize tasks can ultimately increase their productivity and provide optimal assistance for employees, managers and customers. It is important to work hard to achieve a work balance, but the myth that hard work is always rewarded is often false in many work environments, explains Karen Burns with the Seattle Times. Employers care about the value an administrative assistant brings to the services and products provided by the company. Distractions, such as excessive emails, can deter you from important job tasks and decrease the value you bring to the business.

Time management skills are essential to overcome distractions that throw off your work balance. Schedule your day to minimize interruptions and stay on task. Administrative assistants can plot out a 15-minute interval each hour to check and respond to emails so they are not constantly stopping one task to answer an email from an employee, manager or client. Reserve specific times of the day to manage email so it does not become your primary task all day long.

Consult with management at the start of each workday to obtain a list of priorities. Administrative assistants are expected to multitask, but without knowledge of top priorities, it may seem as if you are starting tasks without the opportunity to complete them. Create a plan at the start of the workday after consulting with managers, and create a checklist to keep you on track. Emails may continue to fill up your inbox, but if you stay on task with clerical duties and allot scheduled time to respond to the messages, you may find that your day is much more productive and achieve a better work balance.

Create an organizational system that is clear to employees and managers. An administrative assistant who has to stop and retrieve files or find client data for others throughout the day while responding to emails and completing tasks is less productive. Keep files and data within reach for employees and managers so they can access them without interrupting you. Provide an online database that is easily accessible to achieve a better work balance for both you and the co-workers you assist.

Each day in the life of an administrative assistant is different. Multitasking is a vital tool, and finding strategies to minimize interruptions and an overloaded email inbox is crucial to achieve a healthy work balance.

Photo Courtesy of patrisyu at



Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch