If you’re like most accounting professionals, you probably feel like you have more to do each day and less time to do it. It seems there’s never been a greater emphasis on being productive, while the countless distractions of today’s connected world conspire to keep you from that goal. With this in mind, we’ve compiled the top 6 productivity tips to run your accounting firm, which will help you stay on track and keep your firm running smoothly.
What are the top 6 productivity tips to run your accounting firm?
Draft a daily to-do list.
Productivity generally requires more than just pure willpower coupled with an expense of energy —solid organizational skills are a must. To easily improve your organization you can create a functional to-do list.
It can be a simple list or a more complex and detailed composition. This allows you to follow a trusted and well-thought plan, and then to be able to focus on each task knowing it is well implemented in your day and beyond. You will also improve your to-do list over time, and it should become a system that works extremely well for you.
A notable tip that works for many people is to do what you like the least first. This way, this activity won’t drag down your energy during the day.
Spend less time on email.
The average U.S. office worker now spends around 6 hours per day dealing with email—almost 3.5 hours on professional emails and a bit less than 2.5 hours on personal.
Additionally, it takes about 23 minutes to get back on track after being interrupted by an email. That is time that could be spent getting real work done and needs to be allocated to more productive tasks. Email may be an important part of work, but there are many things you can do to keep it from ruling your work life.
Unsubscribing from mailing lists, turning off email notifications, or even closing your email completely for a certain period of time with an auto-reply message are all great ways to focus on ramping up productivity. Just about every email can wait for a couple of hours. If it’s something really urgent, the person can always call.
Take small breaks throughout the day.
We may believe that working non-stop enables us to be on top of things and be very productive. But there’s growing evidence that small breaks are essential to keeping us motivated, with a fresher mind to work at peak capacity throughout the day. Our brains simply function better this way.
You can work intently for 90 minutes and then take a short break, or you can experiment with the Pomodoro Technique, which consists of working on a task for 25 minutes, then taking a break, then taking a longer break after four bursts of working.
Whatever system you prefer, it is important to be consistent. Use your breaks to exercise, take a quick nap, or just do something relaxing and fun like chatting with a friend. You’ll find you have renewed energy and focus when you get back to work. And if you manage employees, encourage them to take breaks, too.
Know when to delegate.
Speaking of employees, this is also their function as team members. Assuming they possess adequate training and skills, trust your employees to handle some of your habitual tasks so that they don’t pile up on you. That way you can focus on the higher management functions.
Also instead of micromanaging employees, communicate each task effectively and provide some freedom. Doing so will help staff members gain more confidence and develop new skills.
It can be difficult to give up control, but knowing how and when to delegate is crucial to improving productivity and creating a healthy work environment. If you have more work than even your employees can handle, consider outsourcing some of it.
It’s tempting to think that juggling several things at once is helpful, and it almost feels like a job requirement for most of us, but really, how much are you getting done? Being busy is not the same as being productive.
In reality, your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. Numerous studies have shown that multitasking actually can reduce memory capacity, make it hard to differentiate relevant from irrelevant details, and can reduce productivity by as much as 40%.
Stick to one task for a certain length of time and ignore everything else, including emails and phone calls. You may be surprised at how much focusing on one task can boost your productivity.
Use a practice management software.
There are so many moving pieces involved in an accounting firm that you need a clear process to keep it from becoming overwhelming. Accounting practice management software can help you by offering document and project management features, as well as helping to improve client management.
By implementing practice management software into your firm, you’ll likely be able to eliminate other tools and software and instead access everything from one place. Plus, practice management software will allow you to automate many repetitive tasks.
Top 6 Productivity Tips to Run Your Accounting Firm – Summary
It is important that you run your accounting firm in a way that is the most effective and efficient. A way to do this is to make sure that you are being as productive as you can be. Try out one or a combination of these top 6 productivity tips to run your account firm.
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