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10 Things to Do When You Have Nothing to Do

10 Things to Do When You Have Nothing to Do

One piece of advice that I give to every up-and-coming administrative assistant is this: Never sit idle! If you have nothing to do, then go out and find something to do. Occasionally, though, you do find yourself temporarily at loose ends, so here’s a list of 10 things to do when you have nothing to do.






1. Clean Up/Reorganize Your Desk

Go through your whole desk. Clean out the inevitable junk drawer, move things around to make them more accessible, toss out old pens that don’t write, clean your keyboard, monitor and phone (in my experience these always need cleaning), move your deskpad and clean under it, clean the crumbs and dust from your keyboard tray. In other words, just give everything a good sprucing up and make everything nice and organized.

2. Review Your Files

Go through and review all of your files. Start with your working files. Make sure everything is current and appropriately labeled. Make sure no labels are falling off and need to be replaced. Move any no longer current files to your reference/history files. When you’re done, do the same thing for your main files, moving older items to archives. If you haven’t already done so, type up a file structure for handy reference for when you’re looking for a file but can’t remember where you filed it (that’s saved my buns a time or two).

3. Read Through Your Contacts

Whether you keep them hard copy in a Rolodex or electronically in a program like MS Outlook, you should periodically review your contacts and update the information. I’m not just talking about phone number and address, but also little details you learn over time like the assistant’s name and number (vital information), spouse and children’s names, likes and dislikes. Also any negatives that you might need to know about next time they visit or call, like we had a major glitch on their account last year and really, really want to keep them happy. These are the kinds of details that help cement relationships and make clients feel appreciated.

Next page: Tips 4–6 →


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