8 Productivity Hacks for Finance & Accounting Professionals
Do you ever feel like you’re slowly drowning in an ever increasing workload? If so, you’re not alone. Finance and accounting professionals are frequently expected to deliver strategic results with fewer resources. To help you regain control of your time, here are some tips to help you identify where you’re spending your time, how you can become more efficient, and most importantly how you can increase your value within your organisation.
1. Improve your email practices
Love it or hate it, many organisations rely heavily on email. Undeniably it’s had a huge and beneficial impact on business, but it can also be a massive time suck. One strategy that can help you avoid wasting time by reading, reviewing, deleting or writing e-mails that offer no value is maintaining ‘Inbox Zero’. This is the practice of emptying your email inbox every day to avoid getting bogged down in mountains of emails. To become an ‘Inbox Zero’ master you have to be a little brutal: If the email is something actionable, do the task straight away, if it’s for someone else to do, delegate it immediately, if you do decide to do it later – flag it with a reminder, and here’s the important bit …. if you don’t need the email for later, delete it! Deleting emails is one of the most productive email habits you can adopt today. The other side of the coin is to avoid sending emails that are of little or no value. Ask yourself honestly, do you really need to send that email?
2. Manage your time effectively
Sometimes a little organisation can go a long way. Taking the time to organise your workload with to-do lists and project timeframes can help you save oodles of time in the long run. By breaking your projects down, you’ll be able to identify what needs to be prioritised and the deadlines that you need to work to.
3. Only schedule productive meetings
Meetings need to deliver a return on investment for your time. By fostering a culture of only scheduling meetings with an objective, you’ll be able to avoid those pointless meetings that’s only purpose is to schedule another meeting. With a goal in mind, you’ll be able to identify the necessary people for each meeting and avoid wasting valuable resources.
4. Manage the number of projects you work on
It’s all too common for managers to dole out an untenable workload, which in turn actually slows down progress across the board. To help you avoid this problem you’ll need to manage upwards and push back where necessary, working with your team to identify the key priorities.
5. Focus on quality and providing valuable insight
Whilst you might think that taking on loads of projects will impress your employer, your value to the company will be defined by the quality of your work and the insights you provide to help steer the direction of the company. Rather than spreading yourself thinly, take on fewer projects that will create a direct impact every time.
6. Organise your workspace
Organising your workspace is time well spent. By maintaining a tidy workspace, you’ll become more efficient and productive as you’ll be able to locate important items quicker, avoid working around endless clutter, remember important tasks, and focus on your workplace goals easier. It will also have the bonus of giving your workspace and you a more professional demeanour. Work out what is essential for your workspace and what clutter needs to be binned or filed away. Over time this practice should become second nature, and you’ll be able to work clutter free.
7. Learn new Excel tips that will increase efficiency
Excel is one of the most amazing pieces of software and it’s constantly improving. With it come a million and one time saving shortcuts and tricks to learn, so it’s totally worth devoting a small amount of time a week to trying out new tips. For some handy timesavers check out the ExcelTips site.
8. Be open to digital change
Technology is revolutionising the way we all work, but it is those early adopters who are open to digital change that will reap the biggest rewards. Try and keep up to date with the technology and software that’s available. If you’re not already filing to the cloud or using apps in your day to day life, you’re already one step behind. The right technology will undoubtedly increase your productivity and make your life easier, so what are you waiting for?
Written by Financial Staffing Solutions, specialist financial recruiters covering all accountancy and financial roles. If you’re looking for a new position within this sector, or need to hire a finance professional, then get in touch:
020 8532 2644