It’s official, January is here. For accountants, this means that the turkey, stuffing, mince pies and Christmas parties are long gone. Instead, a month of tax returns, deadline pressures and heavy workloads loom. Never fear however, below we have compiled a list of 10 top time management tips to help you get through January in one piece.
Pick up the phone
We all assume that emailing is the quickest way to communicate. By the time you have gone back and forth a couple times though, it actually would have been quicker to simply pick up the phone.
Keep a journal
For the first week of your time management journey, write down what you do each day. At the end of the week, use your list and look for obvious time wasters. When you see how you actually spent your time, you can identify areas in need of improvement.
Save the worst for first
Set aside time first thing in the morning to either complete tasks that MUST be done that day or to tackle the most difficult, time-consuming tasks. This will relieve a lot of stress from the rest of the day and stop you procrastinating about it.
Decide what isn’t urgent
Make a conscious decision about what not to do. Then be okay with the fact that it isn’t going to happen at that time.
Use a time management system
A time management software programme, your iPad/iPhone calendar or your e-mail system calendar can all be highly effective tools during busy times. Use the tool’s reminder feature to stay on top of scheduled appointments and meetings.
Start your day earlier
It might not be revolutionary or fun, but you will be amazed how even an extra hour every day can really help. You can use this time to clear any emails and write your to-do list so that your entire working day can be spent on the important things.
Write a to-do list
Start each day by determining what you need to get done. Prioritise each task and create a list. It’s important to do this every morning so you get in the habit of prioritising. You’ll also get a sense of accomplishment as you check things off your list.
Use post-it notes
Every morning look at your to-do list and take the five most important and doable items that you can get done that day. Write them out on a post-it note and stick it to your monitor. As well as acting as a helpful reminder, you won’t feel overwhelmed and ready to give up when looking at it.
Use your commute effectively
The time you spend on the train every day can be hugely valuable during busy periods. If possible, use your commute to sift through emails, respond to queries and get those little niggly jobs done.