As a professional, time is money. No matter how minuscule or enormous the project, we each want to do the best job possible. Here are a few tips to analyze what works and what doesn’t to make sure you become more efficient.
- Don’t Multi-Task
Don’t take pride in being a multi-tasker. Telling yourself that you’re an excellent multi-tasker is far from a compliment. If you are multi-tasking, you are not focusing on any of the items you are working on. This generally translates into spending double the amount of time performing each task rather than just giving each task a special allotted time.
- Delegate Your Tasks
If you are in a position of leadership, delegate the work. You can teach someone else how to perform a task that will free up time for yourself moving forward. Delegating a task will help you grow your leadership skills as well as help those in a role under you learn a new skill. If you are in a place of leadership, put the spotlight on others and set the tone from the top that you are someone that values the growth of others and your organization.
- Apply Structure to Your Schedule
Don’t let your schedule drive you; make sure that you are in the driver’s seat of your schedule. Give prominence to tasks that are most pressing. As technology advances, we need to remain disciplined to complete the tasks at hand. The better you control your schedule the more time you will have for unexpected events that will undoubtedly arise.
- Time Activities
In the public accounting profession we are required to time our work in order to bill our clients. While interning at another accounting firm in college, I learned an extremely valuable principle. If you set a goal for how much time it should take to complete a project and time yourself, you will maintain the focus to complete the project in a timely fashion more than you would if you hadn’t timed yourself. Productivity will increase when you time your activities.
Let’s put it all into action. I created a tool in college that I call the Accountability Chart. The adult human brain is wired to maintain concentration for approximately 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, it is a good idea to take a 5-minute break to get water to fuel the brain. On one side of the accountability chart, I create a to-do list for the next 90 minutes, and on the other side, I write down what I actually completed in those 90 minutes. For a college student, a lot of wasted time went to social media, but after implementing this tool, my efficiency significantly increased. As a productive professional, I stay focused by implementing this tool. Below is an example of my accountability chart.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex is a Staff Accountant with Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz. He specializes in providing audit services to for-profit organizations across various industries.