Handle Project Surprises
Useful tools are all around you–from the computer to your mobile phone. It is essential for you find out prior to a project what system you are going to use. Test all of the equipment and devices you intend to use on a minor project so that when you are working on an important project you don’t get caught unprepared.
- Use a voice-activation system if your cell phone or personal electronic device offers it. You can also simply carry a notebook to jot down your to-do lists, creative ideas that pop into your head, daily schedules and the items needing attention.Take your notebook at the end of the day–or check your handheld device–and transfer all of that valuable information into one or two calendars or computer applications. Make sure that your applications export to your phone or other handheld device so that you are able to access the information throughout the day.
- When you are planning the following day, arrange your errands so they are stacked in a logical sequence, both by where you are going and what you are getting. If you are closer to the city hall, but the architect is on the other end of town, for instance, you will need to work your errands out by what you will be picking up and dropping off, not by where your stops are located.
- Know the area. Take a day to drive around the job area and find offices that you or your assistant will visit regularly.You should be comfortable with the area down to the grocery store. The day the senior VP comes to town, you want to be sure you can find good food for an office lunch. If you are missing an item he needs, you will be able to recover it for him without missing a beat.
- Have petty cash at all times and know where it is kept. This sounds like such a silly requirement, but if you need to pay for a delivery and you are the only one in the office because the receptionist had to run an errand, you need to be an effective part of the solution.
- Have a reliable team. Unfortunately, many times you don’t find out your assistant's weaknesses until halfway through the project–you've past the training curve, and so replacing him seems like too much work.Take a deep breath and forge ahead. Warnings are great motivators, but the best motivator for you is having diligent representatives of your work.
There will be plenty of times you will run short of your planned assignments for the day. Pick up the list every morning and don’t be afraid to rely on your phone, computer, and staff to pull you through to a completed project.