Time Management Tips to help you survive Busy Season are like GOLD!! I wish there were 3 of me to get all my work done. Each busy season seems to grow, which is great, but we need to revamp how we handle it. If we want to grow in business, we also need to learn to grow in process and operations!
So many entrepreneurs look forward to – but dread busy season. Busy season is the time that you get the least amount of sleep, you are the most creative, and you wish there were 3 of YOU to get it all done. I liked this article because of the tips are really simple and practical. Like the first tip – Use the phone. We may think that an email is more efficient, but the follow up and the “clarification emails” do suck up time.. Read on. I have many more tips like this (some I should take my own advice!) Read on!!
Article from AccountingWEB – tips shared by executives (me, I, etc.) and Accounting WEB Staff.
TOP 10 Tips for Busy Season – Business Resolutions
Last busy season, we checked in with many of our colleagues, including leaders in the accounting profession, and asked them to share with us their favorite time-saving tips. As you get into gear this busy season, we hope you’ll find their ideas, as well as those of our staff, helpful.
Tip 1: Use the phone. You can save time by sending fewer e-mail
Tip 2: Use a time management system. Find a time management tool that works best for you and one you’ll actually use, such as a time management software program, your iPad calendar, an e-mail calendar, etc. Use the tool’s reminder feature to stay on top of scheduled appointments and meetings.
Tip 3: Create a task list. Start each workday by determining what you need to get done that day. Prioritize each task and create a list. It’s important to do this every morning so you get in the habit of prioritizing. You’ll also get a sense of accomplishment as you check things off your list.
Tip 4: Establish a routine and schedule. “Routine” and “schedule” are crucial words when it comes to time management. As much as is possible during the whirlwind tax season, establish a routine and schedule. It’s helpful to get your entire family involved and together decide what each person can do to help out.
Tip 5: Put everything in one location. If you think your e-mail inbox is the one location, think again. Keeping action items in your inbox is the kiss of death because you’ll spend all day living in your inbox, reacting to things as they come in. You’ll never get anything done. If action is required, note that on your to-do list.
Tip 6: Keep a time-spent journal for a week. 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.
Tip 7: Use Outlook Rules. Use Outlook Rules to automate tasks and categorize your e-mail. For example, if you get lots of e-mail concerning a particular topic or person, create an Outlook rule to automatically move messages concerning that topic to a specific folder. You can create rules based on who an e-mail is from, what the subject line is, or what the content of the message contains.
Tip 8: Execute meeting notes in the moment. I always try to take really good notes and act on things that come up in meetings right away. I send any necessary follow-up messages immediately after the meeting. Taking good notes helps me make sure I understand the conversation and holds others accountable to it. Any actions I can take to keep things moving forward without me having to follow up again later saves me time and energy throughout my day.
Tip 9: Get heavy reading out of the way first thing in the morning. My job requires a lot of technical reading, and as I’m easily distracted during the course of the day, I’ve developed a practice of doing that reading first thing in the morning before I go to my office.
Tip 10: Set up working sessions for larger projects. I try to block out a few two-to-three-hour “working” sessions each week where I focus on larger projects uninterrupted. By turning off Outlook and my phone, I’m able to concentrate and do a more thorough job.