As an NED, I’m sure you can list the benefits a PA can bring to your working life. However, helping you avoid burnout and overwhelm may not have been top of that list. The worry of working too hard and getting overwhelmed isn’t something most of us want to even think about – but it happens far more frequently than we’d like to admit.
The most effective way to minimise the risk of burning out, is for you to work smarter, not harder. This is where a PA comes into their own. You’re a busy person, with lots of plates to juggle – but often you’re juggling plates you don’t even need to worry about.
Here’s our top 3 reasons why you need a PA in your life – and it isn’t just about their organisational skills. The following are valuable skills a PA can bring to the table, that can also impact positively on the quality of your personal and professional lives too.
To give you more time
As a busy NED, you’re constantly bombarded with things to do. From emails and texts, through to phone calls and meeting requests, there’s always a pull for your attention and time – and that’s before you’ve started on any of the paperwork on your desk!
No matter how good you are or how hard you work, there is only so much you can do in a working week. You need to conserve your energy, for the things that matter to you and the things that only you can do. Otherwise you’re constantly reacting to everything in a rushed, overworked and stressed way. This is where a PA is worth their weight in gold. They can free up your time, clearing space for you to proactively deal with those things that need only your attention and time – whilst they deal with the rest.
To keep you organised and on track
A well organised diary is key for any NED. Unfortunately, many NEDs try initially to organise it themselves. Not only is this inefficient, due to the time restraints you already have, it’s also impractical.
Your skillset as an NED isn’t diary management – it’s to provide direction and counsel to the company on whose board you are appointed. Your diary needs to be perfectly maintained, to ensure you’re organised and fully prepared for those Board Meetings.
A PAs skillset is to keep your diary organised. They have the expertise to maintain it, to ensure you have time in your diary to review board papers ahead of meetings, to track diary changes and to decline invitations in such a way that if anything changes, those events can be pulled back down and added back in. Through their expert diary management skills, they can ensure you’re where you need to be, on time and fully prepared, so you can do what you do best.
To ensure your personal and your working NED life runs smoothly
Your personal and working life both have an impact on each other. No matter how great your NED role may be, if it’s over-spilling into your personal life, it’s going to have repercussions. If you’re stressed and overworked, both your personal and professional lives will be impacted – appointments may get missed, birthdays and anniversaries may be forgotten, and you may start showing up late and unprepared for important board meetings.
As an NED your top priority is your work – but your health and well-being needs to be up there too. One of my board clients travels a lot. Bottom of his priority list when travelling, was having a place to sleep. As a result, he would often be on the phone to his wife, asking for her help sorting out a hotel room for him! I’m sure I don’t have to tell you – you cannot do your job well, if you’re suffering from a lack of sleep or if you’re not looking after your own needs too!
PAs are well versed in managing your personal and professional diaries. Whether that involves booking in your car for its next MOT or ensuring you have somewhere to sleep on your next trip – and time to actually sleep when you get there. They ensure your life runs smoothly and, with a ‘Send to us and consider it done’ type of work ethic, they’re a valuable and indispensable part of your team.
Hiring a PA doesn’t alleviate the worry of burnout altogether. But by freeing up your time, keeping you organised and on track, and helping your personal and professional lives to run smoothly – they do an impressive job of keeping those risks to the absolute minimum.
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