Productivity Techniques Women in Finance Should Try
Professional Development Women in Business

3 Productivity Techniques Women in Finance Should Try

Now that remote work is here to stay, you may need to adjust the way you work. Here we detail several tips that will boost your productivity, no matter where you are working from.

It’s official: remote work is here to stay for the foreseeable future. With that in mind it is imperative to stay productive especially for those in the field of accounting or finance. So, here are 3 productivity techniques women in finance should try.

Overview

Although many of us are working remotely in some capacity, the way it looks might vary: some of us are working in a sort of home office/office building hybrid, going into our communal workspaces a few days out of the week with our masks and hand sanitizer in tow.

Some of us have moved our offices entirely onto the kitchen table and aren’t looking back. Although the productivity myth about working from home has been debunked, it can get challenging to stay motivated around your work when all you’re doing is sitting at home day in and day out. 

If this sounds like you (because it sounds like me), then it’s time to get serious about your strategies for planning and carrying out your day efficiently and effectively. As women in finance, entrepreneurs, and in a lot of cases now, homeschoolers, it’s important to organize your day and avoid falling into a spiral of chaos week after week. 

So, we’ve compiled a short list of a few productivity techniques that might work for you. Depending on what you’re looking to accomplish with your days and your work style, consider trying out one of the 3 productivity techniques women in finance should try.

3 Productivity Techniques Women in Finance Should Try

The Pomodoro Technique

The intention behind this approach is to make time work with you and not against you. The basic process includes 6 steps:

  1. Choose a task you’d like to work on.
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes
  3. Work without any interruptions. No phone, no nothing. Immerse yourself in what you’re doing. 
  4. Once the timer goes off, stop working. 
  5. Take a short break! Get a glass of water or go for a quick walk—just make sure you’re not doing anything work-related. 
  6. Repeat! Once you’ve completed 4 blocks of time (or, pomodoros), you can take a longer 20-30 minute break. The idea is that this will give you time to rest and process all of the information you’ve just compiled.

With this method, you set your goals and learn how to handle them in more manageable chunks without any distractions. And all you need is a timer, a pencil, and a piece of paper.  The simplicity of this technique is the reason it made the list of 3 productivity techniques women in finance should try.

Getting Things Done (GTD)

The Getting Things Done method is a personal productivity practice that focuses on bringing order to chaos—very relevant and a must-include on our list of 3 productivity techniques women in finance should try. 

This method isn’t just trying to help you make your work more effective, but also your life.

GTD is broken down into 5 steps: 

  1. Capture: collect what has your attention. Write down (voice record, IG Live) any tasks, projects, phone calls, emails, chores, anything that needs to get done. 
  2. Clarify: process what the task means. Ask yourself a few questions. Can you start this now, or does something else need to get done before you can tackle it? Is it a big undertaking that can be split into smaller, digestible steps? Is it something you’ve been putting off for 2 months that you can finish in 5 minutes? 
  3. Organize: put it where it belongs. Make lists compiling the different tasks and archive them accordingly. 
  4. Reflect: review frequently. This step is self-explanatory. Make a regular effort of auditing your tasks, lists, and priorities so you can stay on top of your goals. 
  5. Engage: simply do. Enough said. 

David Allen, the creator of this method, describes the philosophy behind this approach for us: “Being creative, strategic, and simply present and loving don’t require time—they require space.”

Zen to Done

The Zen to Done approach wants to help you develop 10 new habits for working more productively and effectively. This method focuses on simplifying your process and addressing your focus.  While this approach contains several habits, we decided to include it on our list of the 3 productivity techniques women in finance should try.

It’s recommended that you practice, at most, 2-3 of these habits at a time. You should focus on one (or two, or three) for 30 days and then move on to the next. 

The 10 habits for Zen to Done are:

  1. Collect: Carry a small notebook around with you so you can write any tasks or to-dos that pop into your mind. The key here is that it’s portable, so you can do this as soon as the work pops into your head. 
  2. Process: Review your email inbox, notebook, anything that could involve a task, at least once a day. What you’re doing with this habit is developing the muscle that doesn’t let things pile up.
  3. Plan: Set 1-3 big tasks for the week and what you’ll need to accomplish these projects for your day-to-day. 
  4. Do: Focus on one task at a time, without distractions. 
  5. Simple trusted system: Simplify your life! The idea here is that all you really need is just a notebook and something to write with. Maybe a timer, too. 
  6. Organize: Make sure there’s a specific place for everything. 
  7. Review: Audit your system and goals weekly.
  8. Simplify: Evaluate your essential tasks and goals and remove everything else. 
  9. Routine: Here, you’re trying to get in the habit of developing routines and seeing what works best for you. (A morning routine before starting work? An early afternoon routine of getting to inbox 0?)
  10. Find your passion: The habit you’re working on here is finding what you’re truly passionate about and focusing your work there. When you love what you do, the idea is that you won’t procrastinate on what you have to get done. Or, hopefully, just procrastinate less. 

3 Productivity Techniques Women in Finance Should Try – Summary

We hope that this list of 3 productivity techniques women in finance should try will be of use to you. Check out our specific topic pages for more tips on professional development or articles for women in business.

Which productivity technique worked the best for you? Leave a comment and let us know!

In the financial services field for more than 18 years, Mrs. Williams is a Certified Public Accountant who started her career in corporate accounting as a Senior Regional Accountant in higher education accounting. She founded McClain, Harris & Associates in 2007; the full-service accounting firm was rebranded to CFO Benefits Inc., in 2014. In addition to its headquarters in Atlanta, GA, CFO Benefits Inc., has two other locations in Charlotte, NC and Miami, FL. Mrs. Williams is also President and founder of The Lady CPA Network, a non-profit organization aiding in the advancement of African American women in the accounting and finance profession. The goal of TLCPA is to provide a network and platform for African American women in accounting and finance as a support system and collaborative body of professionals; to offer scholarships, mentorship, internships, entrepreneurial assistance, guidance and opportunities for women who aspire to be in the profession, as well as educational support and continuing education. TLCPA goal is to increase the visibility of African American women at the executive and partner level within the accounting and finance profession.

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