Mapping Out the "Ideal" Work Week

Scheduling appointments is one of the greatest responsibilities of an assistant and can either be a difficult task or run smoothly. By answering just a few questions initially with our boss, we can help organize their ideal schedule and feel empowered to set appointments without getting written consent every time. 

Here are some items to discuss with your boss to time block their week: 

1. What are the "Big Rocks" or non-negiotiables you want to add in first? These may be activities they are committed to regularly, which can include anything like workouts, family dinners, board meetings, bible studies, or picking up kids from school.

2. Based on your job responsibilities, who are the people/what are the meetings that you want to make sure to set regularly? For example, my boss's primary responsibilities are communicating and casting vision, so every week he wants to meet with our communication team, our leadership team, and set aside ample study time to prepare a message. 

3. What times of day do you have your best energy? When are you most productive? Based on this answer, you can begin to map out their schedule, putting the (answer to #2) meetings at these times. This ensures that their greatest priorities get their best attention. As you work with your boss, you will also notice these rhythms and times. 

After locking in these meetings, here are some other helpful questions to streamline your boss's schedule even more: 

How regularly should we meet? The frequency of this meeting is different for every assistant/boss relationship, but DO NOT neglect this meeting or martyr it for others. You help move things forward and if you don't connect often, people will be waiting on answers. 

What hours can I schedule appointments? For example, I only schedule meetings from 9am-5pm during the week and on Sundays. He is willing to meet at other times, but I text him or his wife before scheduling any breakfast or evening appointments. 

What margin of time do you want between meetings? When a day is packed back to back with appointments, it is likely something will go overtime and you will end up needing to reschedule or frustrating people in the process. It is a good practice to have 15-30 minutes for your boss to travel, return texts, or regroup between meetings. 

Once you have created an "ideal" schedule, review it with your boss for any adjustments they want to make. Remember appointments are always written in pencil, but this is a good template to help arrange their week. 

Your Turn: What are your tips for scheduling appointments? 

Finish Your Race with Joy

These last couple of weeks have been wearying for me. Not for any particular reason, just the responsibilities of life can be overwhelming at times. One can only sprint for so long before needing a moment to catch their breath.

I read Acts 20:24 this morning and it brought strength and conviction to me:

 “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”

Lord willing, I am nowhere near finishing the race, but these thoughts came to mind: 

Finish- The importance of starting is one thing, but how we finish is equally important. Make sure to set a stride in life that you can maintain. Keep breathing, take water breaks, but don’t give up. We may fall & scrape our knees, but let’s be determined to FINISH. 

My race-  If I am honest, this is probably my greatest area of weakness. It is so tempting to watch others in their races and get jealous or compare or question what God has set before me. I need to finish my race. Stay in my lane. Do what I can, make mistakes, learn and grow, and run with those who encourage and push me to be the best version of myself (not try to be someone else). This course is about us running toward Christ and all the while being made into His image. 

With JOY- Oh, how easy it is to lose joy in the mundanity of life. My favorite runners to watch are those whose default facial expression is smiling. Sweat dripping and strained muscles, but through it all they are just grateful to be running. The race isn’t any different, only their attitudes are. Along the way, let’s commit to having fun and enjoying life. 

Routines

I am a woman of routine. I have habits that map out most of my days- choosing the week's outfits, making my bed, grocery shopping, entering the first five minutes of work, and enjoying family dinners. I love implementing new regularly scheduled activities to help keep me moving forward as well as keep me grounded when my day goes awry.

Routines bring me comfort in a world of chaos. When my dad died, I grabbed hold of a daily routine that helped my mom and me through each day. 

After 9 years of marriage, I have learned that my husband is not one for routines. They hinder his creativity and spontaneity. He prefers to do things as they are needed or whenever he notices. He doesn't have a set time to take out the trash or a specific day to pay the bills (as long as they're not late). He eats lunch when he is hungry or is finished a project (which may be 2pm). 

I have come to understand that routines have the potential to be both beneficial and suffocating. They can prioritize the most important things about your day or keep you from experiencing something extraordinary. They bring consistency, predicability, and stability, but may keep me too set in my ways, irritable of interruptions, and caught off guard by changes. 

Jesus, in his amazingness, is both a man of routine and anything but routine. The Word calls Him one who never changes and the same yesterday, today, and forever. Yet in the same pages, God speaks of His unpredictable healing process, His patience in every interruption, and his unexpected responses to questions. 

In all things, our aim is to be more like Christ. So today, if you find yourself to be a person of routine, I challenge you to change it up and do something spontaneous. Respond differently than your natural tendency. Consider each interruption as an opportunity to see God use you. On the other hand, if your lean is toward spontaneity, maybe consider setting a new routine in place that will help bring consistency and organization. 

Your Turn: Routines- do you love them or resist them?