Make Your Time Work

“Where did the time go? I wish there were more hours in the day!”If you’ve ever found yourself echoing these sentiments at the end of a long workday, consider this: You may not need more time. You just need to find ways to eliminate less profitable tasks that rob you of the ability to complete the tasks that matter most.

Understand What Robs You of Time

How can you get the most out of every minute on the job? Audit your time.The best way to do this is to create a time log. With this log, you’ll monitor your current work habits–both good and bad–for 10 days.To set up such a log, divide a blank piece of paper into three columns. From left to right, label the columns “Hours,” “Activities,” and “Improvements.” In the first column, list all the hours you work in a day. Beneath each hour, draw a line across the page to create a row.

Where Did All My Time Go?

Each day, take a few minutes every hour to chart your activities in the “Activities” column. At the end of the day, examine the activities you’ve jotted down and the amount of time each one took. Then ask yourself some questions:

  • Which jobs got done smoothly today, and why?
  • Which jobs hit a lot of snags, and why?
  • What time-use patterns do I see?
  • What were my biggest time-wasters today?
  • What part of my day was the least productive, and why?
  • What didn’t I finish today that I should have finished, and why?

Streamline Your Day

After you’ve assessed your activities by using these questions, jot down ideas in the “Improvements” column on how you might have used your time more efficiently. By the end of the 10 days, you’ll have an excellent idea of exactly how effectively (and ineffectively) you’re using your time. You’ll be better able to target the areas that need most improvement and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re making every minute of your work time “quality time.”

Techniques To Make Your Accounting Work More Efficient

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