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Ten Skills Small Business Administrative Assistants Should Have 
 
by Robbi Erickson September 19, 2005

10. Multi-tasking Skills

While some studies have shown that too much multi-tasking can actually impede productivity, when it is used appropriately it can help to dramatically improve your administrative assistant’s productivity. Many of the tasks that an administrative assistant performs requires a lot of time waiting. For example backups, once initiated, require no further actions until the backup is completed. During this time the administrative assistant can do other things like file charts, type out letters, and answer the phones.

Knowing what can be done while certain processes are being completed by machines can help to reduce inactive periods. A list of activities that can be done while there is an inactive period should be drafted so that the administrative assistant will always be doing something productive. For example while waiting for a large batch of copies to be made the administrative assistant can: straighten the reception area, file charts, answer emails, answer the phones, update files, shred documents, etc. Keeping active will help reduce boredom and it will keep the office running smoothly

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