Go to book on working with an assistant?
October 14, 2011 12:16 PM   Subscribe

I am a busy executive level position in a small consulting firm. Business is booming and I'm in high demand - as such I am beginning to feel the need to hire an assistant to take some things off my plate and allow me to focus on some higher level thinking. Is there a respected book, resource, or school of thought on how to incorporate a personal / administrative assistant in to my personal workflow?

I am personally a huge believer in David Allen's GTD methodology and like the conceptual framework it lays out for how to organize my personal workflow. I can't seem to find a good framework on how to work with an assistant.

I struggle with basic questions like - should they manage my email / calendar / task list or do I manage it myself? How to I decide what kind of tasks should or should not be delegated?

Surely someone has written a book on this exact topic, but I just can't find it. Any thoughts?
posted by jlowen to Work & Money (2 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I'd start with the manager tools 3 parter on utilizing your admin. There are other podcasts on this site covering specific things for your admin to do (e.g., travel planning) but the above set would be a good starting point.
posted by bfranklin at 12:29 PM on October 14, 2011

I found The Organized Executive helpful. It talks about the details of how to integrate an assistant into your daily routine. The downside is that it's a bit date.

However, for working with your inbox, mobile devices and a more modern, integrated take is Making Ideas Happen. I'm about three weeks into implementing the Action Method Online -- The apps and website and book (at least the first 3 chapters) have been helpful already.

I can't really advise about which is better - Action Method versus GTD. I understand that GTD is based on WHERE you are when you do stuff (eg: @work, @home), the Action Method is focused on projects. GTD focuses on the integrating email into workflow, but the Action Method views the inbox as a means of communication rather than a tool for action management. GTD is maybe better in a hierarchical office environment, but Action Method is meant more for creative types and people who work in teams on projects.
posted by rw at 5:46 PM on October 14, 2011

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