How to be a PA Productivity Pro with Cpl Office Support

How to be a PA Productivity Pro, by Kristin Keogh, Cpl Office Support

BPFJ -Office Support NEW transparent

Within our Office Support recruitment team, I specialise in recruiting for PA/EA’s and know these roles inside out. Having worked as a personal assistant myself in the past, it makes my job a little to know what skills are needed and spot a good EA during the hiring process.

One of the main skills a good PA or EA needs is excellent time management and productivity, in order to get the job done. Although ideally, most roles are 9-5, a personal assistant often requires flexibility and to go above and beyond to get the work done. 

If you manage your time wisely and be more productive will help you obtain a much better work life balance and enjoy your role.

Some tips below that may help you with this.



Business woman writing on post-it notesAs a PA you will often be juggling multiple Executives and responsibilities at a time, this can make it difficult to prioritise. What you need is to have a good understanding of what is important in your company. 

Being aware of this will help guide you on the urgency of each task given. For example, things that will need to be completed asap to avoid any repercussions or that may have a negative impact on any Executive. 

Sometimes you may need to make that judgement call but if the important duties are building up and this is becoming different don’t be afraid to let your Executive know. Not everything will be as urgent as they maybe have initially implied.

Plan ahead

If you have a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly meeting or event, a lot of the time the content or structure will be the same. If this applies to your role, planning ahead will limit the time that will be required for the following meeting.

This may sound like common sense, but you would be surprised at how being extremely organised in advance will take some of the pressure off when the next event occurs.

Business woman pointing at white board in office

Communication is key

This is a huge part of being productive. If you don’t speak up when things are beginning to get on top of you, no one will be any wiser and everything will be expected to go smoothly. We all know that when you are stressed and overwhelmed this is when disasters can happen.

While mistakes can happen, they can also be avoided if you just communicate with your Executive or team if assistance is required or if you need guidance on urgent tasks to ensure everything is done correctly and efficiently.


Business woman at office meeting discussion

Taking control of your day & being ahead of the game

Obviously, as a PA your role and tasks will differ from day to day based on your Executives requirements, but you will also likely have a lot of things carrying over from the previous day. At the beginning of each day ensure you write up a to-do list and tick off your tasks as you go along. 

Print of a copy of your Executives calendar so you have to hand and are aware of what he has coming up ahead of the game. This will help to keep you on track and ensure that you are not missing anything. Being proactive can also ensure that you are working on the right things and completing tasks that are increasing your Executive’s productivity.


Person writing to-do list in notebook

Be assertive

As a PA you are likely to be inundated with tasks from your team as well as the Executive(s) that you are supporting. Don’t be afraid to push back a little. You are only one person and if you feel that your day is filling up fast with ‘urgent’ tasks from different people make them aware of this. 

Taking on too much will add to your stress and its likely that you won’t complete every task if this is the case. Being a little assertive will help you manage what is most important in your day.

It’s the nature of the role to be busy and for each day to bring its own unique challenges, but a good PA will be prepared and plan their time so that urgent requests can be met. If you’re struggling in your current role or would like to chat about opportunities get in touch – I’d be happy to advise. 

Rebecca Garvey


Rebecca believes that as a Coach, be it public speaking with Own The Room, coaching people on the gym floor or giving one to one consultations as a trained nutritionist, it is an honour to be involved in someone’s shift in mindset, to see their self belief grow and their confidence soar. 

In 2015, Rebecca received a Masters from Oxford Brookes in Applied Human Nutrition and became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Trainer. Since then, she’s worked as a health coach with Google and Spectrum Health, regularly leading 200+ person workshops at companies like Vodafone, Microsoft, Azzure and Siemens.  

From starting her own health pop up café, while living in Australia, becoming a trained phlebotomist (that’s right she can legally draw blood) to leading a global wellness programme in Dominica, Rebecca demonstrates her passion for wellness in everything she does. Although a New York City marathon veteran, Rebecca spends most of her free time power lifting, enjoying rugby and training for adventures such as climbing Kilimanjaro.    

Trish Butera

Patricia (Trish) Butera is an intercultural business advisor, executive coach and cultural competence trainer based in Sydney, Australia. She is the founder of 60ZONE Pty Ltd, a consultancy established in 2014 which brings together subject-matter experts to assist organizations in leveraging cultural intelligence for global strategic engagement.

Before 60ZONE, Trish was an international executive assistant to a HNWI. She has leveraged her extensive knowledge of the role and its stakeholders to develop cutting-edge global skills training programs for administrative support professionals. This content is now available through The Global Assistant Online an e-learning platform exclusive for executive support professionals in multinational organizations.

Trish has developed training programs for diverse organizations across industry sectors including banking, academia, finance, pharmaceutical and hospitality. She has partnered with HR specialists to provide customized L&D content and facilitated over 1000 hours of onsite and online training events in the areas of cultural awareness, cross-cultural communication, event protocol and intercultural protocol.

She consults to global mobility organizations in the US and EU, providing intercultural training and coaching for senior executives from Forbes Global 500 companies.

Trish holds an Executive Diploma in Soft Diplomacy & Cross-Cultural Communications from the International School of Protocol & Diplomacy, Belgium, Diplomatic and International Protocol credentials from Geneva, USA and UK institutions. She is a Certified Intercultural Consultant with Aperian Global and BGRS.

APAI February Networking Event

APAI February Networking Event

The first gathering in 2020 of the APAI was in Dylan Hotel, Dublin.

Members were treated to delicious canapés, both savoury and sweet as well as tailor made cocktails and mocktails – all made for a fantastic event courtesy of Dylan Hotel, and looked after especially well by the hotel’s remarkable staff. Special thanks to Vedrana (Event Sales Manager), Jennifer McKenna (Group Sales Manager) and Conor Dillon (GM).

The Association AGM took place where we saw the election of 4 new members, making the Executive Committee number a total of nine. The Chair gave a report the 2019 activities and the activities planned in 2020. Speakers on the night include Vicky Shilling and Lauren Healy from The Reset who focused on the art of a vision board and how it can help us all to re-focus our goals and aspirations.

APAI February Networking Event

Attendees also got to see all the special features of this beautiful hotel, not before we had a raffle and everyone left with a lovely goody bag courtesy of the Dylan Hotel!!

The mission of the APAI is to promote the success of career-minded administrative professionals by providing opportunities for growth through education, community building and highlighting the important work of administration professionals in Ireland. “We recognise excellence, set standards and provide educational, networking and professional development opportunities for those pursuing careers in the office administration field.”

If you would like to learn more about the Association, or join, please visit or contact


The Recent EPIC APAI Networking Event

Another fantastic evening was had at the APAI‘s Autumn networking event at the spectacular EPIC Museum.

We were taken on a journey through time with a tour from the fabulous and knowledgeable staff at EPIC, and experienced a tour like no other in this state-of-the-art award winning museum. We were then treated to delicious savoury and sweet canapes from the team at The Butler’s Pantry,  as well as the irresistible wine and drinks from Ely Wine Bar.


Roseanne Connolly (APAI Committee member) addressed the attendees before Gillian Horan of The Pudding Brand gave a hugely engaging talk on defining your brand, designing your brand and then how to showcase it both online and offline.

We finished off the evening with a fun scavenger hunt, and the team with the best time won!

The mission of the APAI is to promote the success of career-minded administrative professionals by providing opportunities for growth through education, community building and highlighting the important work of administration professionals in Ireland. They recognise excellence, set standards and provide educational, networking and professional development opportunities for those pursuing careers in the office administration field. If you would like to know more, or to become a member click HERE.