If you’ve ever worked in a small company, you know that you often have to wear many hats. When you’re being pulled in multiple directions, it’s important to manage your time well. The secret is to work smarter, not harder. Here are some tips on how to be productive and manage your time more effectively.
a to-do list seems like an obvious answer, and it is; but what’s more important is how you organize your to-do list. Prioritizing your to-do list and grouping similar tasks together will help you to stay organized and meet deadlines.
Use your calendar! As an accountant, I have several tasks that I complete monthly or even quarterly. Setting calendar reminders is a great way to ensure you don’t overlook these tasks. Another way to utilize your calendar is to block off a period of time as “busy”, so you can work undisturbed. This is useful if you get invited to a lot of meetings but need time to catch up on your own work.
Make use of down-time and travel time. If you have down-time while you’re waiting for a larger project to complete, take care of some smaller tasks or respond to emails. If you’re sitting in an airport, use the time to submit expense reports, make phone calls, or finally catch up on that industry article you’ve been meaning to read. This is a great time to check your to-do list and catch up on the lower priority tasks you keep neglecting.
Minimize distractions. It’s easy to get distracted with dozens of email notifications and Skype messages popping up all day. When you really need to focus on a project, turn off email notifications and log off Skype.
Know when to ask for help. Be proactive and don’t wait until you are overwhelmed or a project runs off course. If you sense that you can’t make a deadline, ask for an extension or for more hands on deck. If you have too much on your plate, delegate smaller projects so you can focus on what’s most important.
With just a few small changes, you too can be a multi-tasking machine! What tips do you have for staying organized and on track?
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