Hitting Deadlines – 4 Time Management Tips for Accountants
As an accountant, you work with deadlines regularly. Whether it be filing taxes or creating quarterly and annual financial reports, you often have to compile and present financial information by a determined date or time.
Aside from delivering high-quality work, you have to see to it that you are meeting these deadlines. Your punctuality will further prove your professionalism and efficiency, ultimately helping you grow your accounting practice.
With all of that said, hitting deadlines isn’t as easy as it seems. While you may be feeling fired up to deliver reports earlier than expected, your plans may fall apart at times until you find yourself cramming your work.
If that describes your current situation, we’re here to help you out! Learn how to meet deadlines easily with these 4 time management tips for accountants.
1. Discuss Deadlines and Negotiate (If Necessary)
Deadlines are essential in helping you set your priorities and be productive. However, it pays to remember that not all deadlines are helpful—especially those which are unrealistic and unfeasible.
If you find yourself working towards such target dates, don’t hesitate to negotiate. You may either suggest alternative dates or propose that other tasks be put on hold to focus on the task in question. The sooner you do this, the better; this gives everyone enough time to shift gears.
2. Take Note of Your Deadlines
There are various digital tools available today that you can use to record your deadlines and important dates. Make sure to utilize these to help you stay on top of your deliverables.
After creating a timeline view of all your projects with digital calendars, prioritize tasks according to their urgency and importance. If it helps, you may break down these tasks into smaller chunks and create your own deadlines for these. Doing so will help you work in a more organized and efficient manner.
3. Choose One Task to Focus on at One Moment
Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. Considering this, multitasking is not a smart practice to uphold. It will only reduce your efficiency and performance—it can even diminish the quality of your output.
Rather than trying to do many things at once, choose what to work on for a certain period. When you have two or more urgent projects, consider tackling the more important project first. If you’re swamped, you may also ask for help from a colleague—but don’t forget to return the favor in the future!
4. Remove All Kinds of Distractions
One possible reason you may be struggling with meeting deadlines is that your attention is divided. A straightforward way to address this is to remove all kinds of distractions from your workplace. Put your notifications on silent, let your phone go to voicemail, and work in a place free of noise and interruptions.
Furthermore, let people know you are on a deadline, especially those asking for your time but aren’t a higher priority than your project. Being intentional about your time and attention will go a long way in helping you accomplish your tasks well and on time.
Deadlines often give off that terrifying feeling that looms over you as each day passes. However, deadlines aren’t that bad; in reality, they help you organize your time and keep pressing on. On that note, you can make your work at least a little less stressful by picking up habits that will help you meet deadlines more easily. Take note of the four time management tips for accountants mentioned above and you’ll be well on your way to never missing a deadline again!
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