As the new year starts, we are inundated by messages on effective time management and other smarter ways of working. But deciding to “work smarter, not harder” is easier said than done. In fact, many accounting professionals today are at the risk of becoming workaholics due to the sheer amount of work that needs to be done.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
We listed down five ways you can work smarter this year, as well as tips on how to be more productive at work:
1. Start Your Day Right
Your everyday rituals in the morning can spell the difference between a sluggish and a productive day. How do you start your day? What’s your morning routine like? If you start your work day with a poor mindset and negative habits like pressing the snooze button as you get up from bed, your productivity might take a hit.
2. Use a Calendar Instead of Writing To-Do Lists
Many of us struggle with how to manage time effectively when we simply list down our action items for the day. When you use a calendar to set your daily agenda instead of a simple notepad, you'll have an easier time compartmentalizing your day.
This way, you can also set a time for the more important tasks of the day. The flow of your workday won’t have to be dictated by the tasks that come in throughout the day via chat or email. This will also help you set meetings and other appointments with ease, as you have a clear visibility on your workload for a particular day.
3. Avoid Multitasking
You might think that you’re saving time and accomplishing much when you work on two or more tasks simultaneously, but that’s not the case. As you may have already observed, the quality of your work declines as your focus on the task at hand diminishes. Work your way through your to-do list one task at a time.
4. Schedule Small Breaks Throughout the Day
Avoid burnout and mental fatigue by taking scheduled breaks. It will do you good to squeeze in a couple of fifteen-minute breaks throughout the day to rest your brain and your eyes.
Taking a quick walk or simply having a ten-minute break from your screen will do wonders in keeping you energized and focused for the rest of the day. Neglect this and you’ll find that you’ll get tired more easily, which translates to a dip in productivity.
5. Be a Smart Accountant
Find tools that save you time and effort. There are countless programs for your desktop computer or your smartphone that will help you manage your time and data easily. For accounting systems, QuickBooks and Xero are good choices. You can also explore productivity tools such as Slack or Trello to help you keep track of ongoing projects and impending deadlines.
You can also explore management dashboards that you can set up for your clients so they can have real-time visuals on their key performance indicators, without having to wait for your monthly financial statements.
Working smart is essential in today’s competitive workplace. When we proactively look for ways to optimize our workdays, we can continue to provide stellar services for our clients.
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