Every accountant must master time management. Learning how to prioritize, use technology, plan complex projects, and streamline meetings is essential.
Many accountants have periods of intense work followed by periods of slower work. It’s common for accountants to work longer than regular hours in the busy season. This can result in a week from 40 hours to 60 to 80 or more.
You need to improve your time management skills to reduce your time in an office or on the computer.
You can master your work schedule by following these tips to get more done and enjoy life outside the office.
- You need to accomplish many tasks, but some are more important than others. You should:
- Identify your most important tasks
- Review your daily studies before starting work.
- Divide large tasks into smaller chunks.
- Colour-coding your tasks is an excellent way to organize them. Use red to indicate urgent tasks and green to indicate non-urgent charges.
Use technology to streamline tasks
58% of accountants responded that technology has helped them increase their productivity and efficiency. You can save a lot of time if you strategically use technology. Consider the following options:
- Cloud-based solutions allow you to work from home more easily
- Automate as many tasks as you can.
- Use time trackers to understand how much each task will take you.
- Software shortcuts are easy to learn.
- You’ll save time in the busy season and beyond.
Keep meetings brief
Can you have your meeting via email? Meetings take up a lot of time and are one of the most common complaints of workers. When you attend meetings daily, staying on task and keeping up with deadlines can be challenging.
Follow these guidelines if you need to hold meetings:
- Before a meeting, create an agenda.
- Meetings should be kept to a minimum amount of points
- Meetings must be strictly scheduled
- If you find that the meeting is unnecessary, cancel it.
- Send out materials to everyone in advance of the meeting
This will require time if you want to have brainstorming sessions or allow others to ask questions in a meeting. You can either allocate time for these sessions or allow everyone to submit their questions in advance or after the meeting.
You can answer questions one-on-one if you accept them virtually.
Block off time for more complex projects
Some tasks and projects are more complicated and require greater research, concentration, or calculation. Block off time if you know a task or project will be in-depth. Turn off all notifications and minimize distractions during this time.
You can work uninterrupted on these projects if you set aside more time.
Consider using time blocks as a habit. Consider setting aside 30 minutes each morning to review emails. Then, after an hour of reviewing returns, you would move on. Setting aside specific time periods to accomplish different tasks can help you focus on one task and avoid task-hopping. Jumping between tasks can save time and effort.
Do not forget to take Breaks
It can be tempting to tackle all the tasks on your list without taking a break. This approach can lead to burnout.
Take regular short breaks to allow yourself to relax. You may need a quick break to feel more energized or solve the problem you’ve been struggling with all morning.
Take your breaks outside of your desk. Take a 10-minute stroll outside. Take a break and grab a coffee in the break room or stretch out at your desk.
You can feel more refreshed if you take a short break to recharge.
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Plan for interruptions
You can expect interruptions throughout the day. Life is unpredictable, so you can only prepare for some things. Instead of trying to avoid disruption in your schedule, plan for them.
If you plan out your entire day, including all calls and tasks, you will likely feel overwhelmed and frustrated when interruptions happen.
What can you do to prepare for unexpected interruptions? Pad your schedule. Plan on 10-15 minutes between tasks. Overestimating the time it will take to finish an assignment is another way to reduce stress.
When you create your schedule, keep interruptions in mind. This will make it easier to deal with an unexpected call or when a member of your team needs assistance with a particular task.
Your staff and clients are also likely to have questions. As well as planning for interruptions, I suggest adding time to your calendar to answer questions from clients and staff. You should answer questions during that time. However, you must also know that other questions will arise outside the allotted time.
Every accountant must master time management. You can make your day more efficient by learning how to prioritize tasks and plan complex projects. Remember to take breaks and plan for interruptions. Days may go differently than scheduled.
Follow these tips to get more done in a day without feeling overwhelmed or stressed.