How Bookkeepers and Accountants should use their time
Time management for Bookkeepers and Accountants:
The way in which you manage your time will determine your overall efficiency. Time management will influence your ability to outperform your peers, and, therefore, will decide the level of success in the profession.
Time is key for any account’s individual to perform his or her a lot of duties. in this article, I will explain how you get on top of your time and use it wisely. you must remember, we do not get paid for out time. we do get paid for the value we put into the time, so the value is the name of the game.
Many of us don’t give much attention for planning our task to fit our time. you should know that every hour of planning will save you 3 hours and more of work (it’s called sharpening the axe). The importance of managing time get more and more significant as our task get more and more complex. the reason for that is, more responsibility comes when you get the better job, and the to get the better accounts job you must show the ability to manage your time. The more you use time management for your advantage, the better your overall accounts result. accounts professional that uses time management get things done better and manage to accomplish more.
Reasons why not to use time management tools:
- we don’t have enough time. if we only understood the rule of planning: failure to plan means planning to fail.
- past success without planning. the fact remains if you planned your time you would have accomplished much more.
- the business world has changed, the competition for every job is 10 times greater. the demands went up, but time remains to consist. we need to be able to do much more with our time.
- we believe doing is better than thinking. but that is far from the truth. thinking and taking the time to plan we save us so much time, and help us be so much more productive.
A To-Do List – time management tool:
The number one tool to use is a to-do list. this list acts as an effective barrier for unproductive tasks. it reminds you all the time to be productive rather than being busy. there are many professionals that are focused at being busy being busy. the key is being busy being productive. The to-do list will remind you what you need to do and the order of importance. the key is not only write down our tasks. the key is to plan the time needed to finish the task. this way we are putting a lid on the time we have and push ourselves to get it done. we must make sure we understand what is the overall time we have to finish all our tasks.
The A-B-C-D-E method for time management
This method focuses on the way you need to order your item on the list. you should make sure you focus on items A and B and try to postpone all other items for later.
Systematic approach to time management:
The system is based on you deciding to tackle the matter on a weekly basis. the most important part is consistency. you must plan the easy weeks first. by doing so, you will get into the habit of planning. then, tackle the weeks you will be very busy at. this is how you get into the habit of planning and getting good at. when you plan the weeks you need to have the month in mind. this is how you get into the right direction. the direction to fulfill your goals. we need to think like a builder. don’t start your week until you have it finished. just like a builder never start to build until he has the plans finished. you need to do the same, this way you will get better at planning. once a week write down your goals for the next 7 days. aim at doing this task at the end of the week when you are at your peak. make sure that your goals are crystal clear. take the month and quarter goals into consideration. this is key for not loosing your overall perspective.
- what is the task needed to be done?
- when should tasks be performed?
- who needs to take ownership?
- where should tasks be carried out?
- what is the level of urgency?
- how much time should be assigned for each task?
We need to take each goal and break it down to tasks. each task is a step in the right direction to achieve that goal. this is why you need to think about all the tasks needed. another thing we must remember is order. tasks must be performed at the right order to be effective. where we perform our task is key. if you need to make phone calls it’s better to make them in a closed office. can you focus on what you do best? can you focus on more valuable tasks? you must be able to delegate the easy tasks and focus on the hard ones. the tasks only you can perform.
The best way to conduct the time management allocation is:
- write down your goals at the top of the page.
- underneath write down all the tasks involved in completing these tasks.
- next you need to write down the order of completion per task.
- forecast the time needed for each task.
- which task must be performed alone and which can be done with another task at the same time.
- at the end of the task sum up all the time and see if that is achievable.
- then add some time for the things that are not under your control. like unexpected, interruptions and ad-hoc assignments.
Day to day time management planning:
This will be performed by a To-Do list. but you must be careful. most people have this thing done all wrong. they just write down all the tasks they need to carry out in a day. most of the tasks have no correlations with the overall goals. they just look like a grocery lists. therefore, they tend to be “not useful”. and you will find yourself moving items for tomorrow. this way the list get the opposite results. individuals think that it useless because they don’t get any of the items done on time.
The best approach is to make your daily list based on the weekly plan. make your aims for the day. write down all the activities needed to be carried out for the day. put them in order of importance. allocate time as you see fit. now add to the list the items that are more likely to be added during that day. by doing that, you will always have your top task on top, no matter how many task come in every day from outside the list. make sure you make this list at the end of the day. this enables you to be productive. because you are at “working” mode. if you postpone for the beginning of the following day, you will need a lot of effort to make this list.
How to set a schedule to your action items?
Planning is to decide what to do. timing is when to do it. every day you must time your work (and there are many apps to help you: Accomplish: To-Do list reborn). timing will enable you to find the golden path. the balance between too much time and too little time per action item. you must make sure you can improve on timing as you go forward.
A timetable is not a To-Do list. your timetable will start with your action items on your to-do list. using your weekly plan and your to-do list, you must assign action items to the goals. your focus is on the main goals. to start, begin with your meetings and all the action items you know of today. block them on your calendar. you must understand, meeting are important in organisations, although not productive they do have a purpose, so you must attend.
Be flexible to time management changes:
The biggest mistake is planning every minute of the day. in practice, it’s virtually impossible. it will set you for failure. when creating your time schedule, you must make time for unexpected items. interruptions are part of a day to day organisation work.
What is the level of flexibility needed? it depends on. how many people usually take time from you? what is your level of self-discipline? what is your “noise” level?
The best approach is to leave your afternoon free to work on long term goals. this way you can have the overall goals in mind and be more productive.
How to succeed in timing:
Write your time schedule on a paper. no one can remember all the things he needs to do. in a busy day with many items under unexpected, you must have a written list. writing down your tasks will help you focus. it will help you sort out your thoughts. it will enable you to correct errors. it will increase your commitment to achieving your goals. when you have a ready list, your productive will rise. all you need to do is put it in a well-seen place. look at it a few times a day. tick off done tasks. make sure you are on time. the list must be a constant reminder of the things need to be done.
Related items. if you need to make a repetitive task, batch it together. make sure you are making this task at a good time for you. for example phone calls. make sure you are doing them one after the other and not here and there. it will prevent mental pauses.
Make sure you have time for thinking every day. you need to think things over. so making time to think will make you more productive.
The time between tasks. make sure you are productive on this time. instead of waiting for a new task to begin try doing something that creates value. try to read a professional material.
Focus on your goals. try to avoid traps during the day. don’t be bothered with random tasks. before putting an action item on your list, think about the aim of this task. use the time schedule to create better working habits. if something happens during your day, ask is it more important than what I’m doing now? always work on your top priority. always stick to your basic guidance.
If possible, ask someone else to create your schedule. other people can be more objective when coming to decide about a level of importance of an item. and they can decline easily on things you will find hard to resist.
Plan for a “me hour”. people in offices needs one hour of quiet time to focus on the most important tasks. make sure the quiet time is:
- without any disturbance.
- No phone calls.
- No meetings.
- at a place, you won’t be interrupted.
What kind of a person are you? are you better at morning or at night? morning people focus better at morning. night people focus better in the afternoon. but make sure you are a morning or night person before making your schedule.
Make sure your schedule is ready before you start your day. you must be ready to work when you arrive at the office. if you enter the office without a proper schedule prepared the day before. you will be vulnerable to the risk of starting the day with unimportant tasks. you might react instead of acting. reacting is working without your list. the best approach is to go through your schedule on your way to the office. this way you stay concentrated on the things you planned.
Plan your day around major items on your list. if you have a goal for the day put it first. and then focus on all the tasks needed to achieve this goal. now all the other items on your list are less important. this way you can tackle the main item and free you for the rest of the day.
Building the skill of creating time schedules. in order for you to get any better. you must review your results. Every day check what have you planned and what was the results. in time, you will be more able to allocate time for the unexpected items. the key here is to understand that it is possible to make it. you must believe that you can a chive more for less time.
Time management is a key skill for the new economy. you will be tested on your ability to manage time. that will be done by reviewing your work done at the end of the day, week and month. if you start early and commit to managing your time. you will be able to outperform your peers. and that will enable you to get higher on the corporate ladder. the people that produce the most are getting paid the most. they are the ones who get the promotion. so why not try it. be discipline, create a habit for your long term success. start today.