The Assistant’s Top 4 Resolutions for 2021

by Ersula Butler

2020 was a very strange and hard year for a lot of us, not just in the United States, but worldwide. Globally, we were all affected by the pandemic in one way or another. You may know of someone who has been affected, or maybe you yourself have been. Either way, this disease has impacted everyone’s lives. From shutdowns to testing, we’re all in the same boat. We’re all connected, whether you know it or not. So, let’s leave 2020 in our rearview mirror and charge forward to a new year. As a collective, we can provide support and knowledge during these times to help each other through this rough road. 

As a small business owner, I make it a habit to map out the year ahead of me and I would like to share some of my tactics with administrative professionals nationwide and globally. Think of this as a virtual resolutions vision board. 

Here are my Top 4 Resolutions for 2021: 

  1. Clean Your Desk:
    1. What does your desk say about you and your work style? Is it organized chaos or just chaotic? I understand if it’s the latter. 2020 was a chaotic year and you may not feel motivated to clear the clutter. But you can do it. Believe me, you will feel better once it’s done. 
    2. One way to maintain an organized workspace is to create your own “one touch rule.” Commit to setting a special time of the day to address whatever has landed on your desk. Only touch it one time (if possible)! Whether you need to file, trash, follow-up or forward it—get rid of it as quickly as possible. 
  2. Work Smarter—Period:
    1. Use your resources to complete tasks that may be a challenge for you. I do this with my business. As a virtual assistant, clients contact me all the time about projects they need completed that I have never done before. This is a great opportunity to learn a new skill or database/platform. I typically reach out to other administrative professionals, Google, or YouTube to learn what I need to get the work done. You would be surprised how much you can learn by just reaching out to others. Most of the time, people are very willing to help you learn what you need to accomplish your goal. 
    2. Do not commit when you cannot deliver. Remember the “No’s.” Sometimes it’s necessary to push back when you’re feeling overwhelmed. We’re all being asked to do more with less these days. 
  3. Tackle That To-Do List: Don’t allow it to bully you. I know I used to hide my growing To-Do list under piles of paper when I worked outside the home. Now that I have to look at my desk for 24 hours a day (well almost), I have committed to clearing the clutter (see Resolution No. 1), I now place my To-Do list in plain sight everyday—there is no running from it. It’s still there, even if you hide it. 
    1. Create only one list and add to it when necessary. 
    2. Commit to completing at least one task on your list every day, three items per week at the very least. And watch those red cross-through marks as they dominate the page. 
  4. Address Your Stressors: Breathe, think, repeat. #RechargeReset 
    1. Lots of work and demanding bosses, whatever it is, face it immediately. 
    2. Sometimes I walk away from my desk just to rest my eyes or take a power walk to clear my head. 
    3. Recharge and reset. 

Of course, this list could grow into a Top 100’s list for administrative professionals. However, the goal is to make a plan for yourself and stick to it if possible. Positive vibes for a fruitful 2021! 

e-butlerErsula Butler is the owner of Your Ultimate Virtual Assistant (YUVA) Business and Writing Services and is based in Atlanta, GA. Ersula has built her career as the ultimate Executive Assistant over a span of 20 years. She has supported C-suite executives in a variety of industries and credits this diversity to her success in providing stellar and agile support. Currently, Ersula provides virtual assistant services to independently sourced clients and is a published editor. Please check out YUVA’s website at or follow YUVA on Facebook: 

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