Purpose of an Admin Day

A Day Off

I had the benefit of talking with many successful people early in my professional career. They have shared with me good as well bad advice. One of the best advice I received was to schedule a fixed administration day for my business. They credit administration days as helping them improve their office operations. You may ask, what is an administration day? An administration day is a working day for businesses to catch up on overlooked tasks. 

Complex multitasking is ineffective 

To be effective in our work, we need to dedicate uninterrupted time. I am not saying we cannot do simple tasks together. For example, we all could write an email message will walking towards the bathroom. But I doubt we can write the same email message while evaluating staff performance on the work floor. Either you will miss something you wanted to write in your email message or you miss a key event during the evaluation. 

Humans cannot multi task complicated tasks well. This is a scientifically proven fact. In fact, a Stanford study has shown that multitasking can actually damage the brain. Your ability to remember is limited when you are constantly thrusted with new stimulation. It is best to focus on one serious task at a time. Do you still think that you are capable of multi-tasking? Try this multitasking test from the Lab in the Wild. Caution: This test requires a laptop or desktop, please do not try to complete it on a smartphone.

Does the administration day need to be a full eight-hour day?

You decide the duration of your administration day. It varies by your type of work and the amount of work you need to accomplish. For example, you may choose to have two, four-hour administration days in the work week. I wrote that an administration day is designed to catch up on overlooked asks, but which tasks should you devote to an administration day? Below are some suggested activities that you may do on an administration day. 

Things to do on an administration day

This list is not exhaustive. These are some scenarios where it is best to temporary discontinue operations. 

  • Company gathering (e.g. summer picnic, holiday party)
  • Company fundraising 
  • Training or employment development
  • Meeting with a business professional about your business
  • Attending a professional networking event
  • Writing a professional letter for release to a large audience
  • Working with your creative staff on an advertisement or promotional campaign 
  • Conducting annual or semi annual staff evaluations
  • Preparing for a major product release or event
  • Organizing your office space
  • Moving your company from one location to another 
  • Making a field visit to oversee operations in another location 

Need help managing your business day?

Schedule a free-30 minute talk with Denise!

Out of the office notification message

Make sure you alert outsiders of your staff unavailability through all communication channels. Communication channels include your website, as well as voicemail and email. Personalize voicemail and email out of the office messages with the following: 

  • Your name (and if necessary, title)
  • The timeframe when you will be absent 
  • Where you will be (if necessary to mention) 
  • If you are able to respond to messages
  • Who to contact if they need immediate assistance 
  • When you will return back to the office. 

Below is a sample message:

This is Denise Lee, today on Thursday, February 7, I will be attending the managers emporium in Seattle, during this time I will infrequently check my messages. Please contact Amy Field at 503-434-3223 if this is an emergency. I will return back to the office on Monday, February 11.

Use your email signature line to alert people of your upcoming absence 

You can also alert people ahead of time of future major events in the signature line of your email message.  This does not eliminate the need for an out of office notification, but it prepares people of your impending absence from work. For example, last year I needed to travel to New Orleans for a business event. I included this information in the signature of my email message. 

Dear Sam,

I got the report. I will provide you comments by COB Tuesday.

Thanks,

Denise Lee

From July 15-25 I will be in New Orleans attending a business event, I will infrequently check my email or voice messages during this timeframe.

Do you need help restructuring your office time? I would be happy to help! Please send me a message and let’s discuss your issue offline. 

Got a comment or additional thought on this issue? I would love to read it! Please write it in the comment section below. 

Need help managing your business day?

Schedule a free-30 minute talk with Denise!

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