Five myths of good time management
The need for good time management never goes away. This 2005 AccountingWEB contribution from training professional Viv Cole came challenges some commonly held assumptions about time management.
Always have a tidy desk
While a tidy desk can help you work more effectively by eliminating distractions, you need to weigh up the time spent tidying against the cost of being untidy. Consider your desk “healthily tidy” if you can find what you need quickly and can easily direct a colleague to find relevant information, for example when you’re out of the office.
Going home at 5:30pm every day shows that you don’t have enough work to do
If you are confident that you are on track to meet your objectives and deadlines, why feel guilty about going home at 5:30? Partners should assess you on what you actually achieve rather than how much effort you put in.
Plan all of your tasks using To Do lists
If you can complete a task immediately and fairly quickly, just do it! Putting things onto a To Do list may take longer than they’re worth.
There is no point becoming more efficient as clients pay by the hour
In the short term this is true as your clients have agreed a fee. However if your competitors are more efficient and can therefore quote lower fees, at some point you will have no clients left. Use the time that you save to enhance the quality of service you provide.
Never let yourself get interrupted by your colleagues
While it is difficult to come back to a half-completed task when you’re interrupted in the middle of it, colleagues are one of your most valuable resources.
Appraisals are a huge waste of time
Not so. An appraisal is one of the best ways to use your time. In a good appraisal you will agree and set objectives which balance your career aspirations with the firm’s business plan.