Brett Owens continues his practice management productivity series with some suggestions to help you get more things done.
Most accountants probably have hundreds of things they needed to have done yesterday. Tasks can pile up in a variety of places – from emails that land in your inbox, to Post-It notes on the computer screen, items in your to-do list and even residual niggles that take root in the back of your brain.
The best way to organise yourself so that you don’t spread yourself too thin is to streamline your to-do list by focusing on your most important tasks. Here are a number of steps to set you on that path:
Get everything in one location
If you think your e-mail inbox is that 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.
Try to file e-mail messages after you read them rather than letting them fester in your inbox, where you’re likely to reread the same e-mail multiple times. If action is required, note that on your to-do list. Don’t have that set up yet? No problem.
Setting up your to-do list
You can set up your list electronically on your PC or mobile device, or you can go old school and use a handy pen and notebook. Whatever works best for you is fine; just make sure you only have one master list.