Time management tips #2: Forming healthy habits for the workplace

Time management tips #2: Forming healthy habits for the workplace

Time management tips #2: Forming healthy habits for the workplace

Creating efficient habits in the workplace is one of the best ways to improve your time management.

Tips management tips #2

Creating efficient habits in the workplace is one of the best ways to improve your time management. But it can be hard to shake off the old, unproductive ones.

Here are a few tips to help you create effective habits in the workplace.

1. Turn key tasks into routines

My to-do list is a daily task for me. I update it every single morning, first thing over coffee. I have tried a variety of apps and use a combination of ClickUp (for larger projects), Microsoft To-Do (for little daily lists) and Google Keep (for personal thoughts, notes, links, pictures etc). I do love the concept of paper lists and journaling, but I’m trying to minimise my footprint on this earth.

It may seem like a massive undertaking for some people, but it’s very manageable for me now because it is habitual. I rarely break this routine. Because of this, my mind is in the habit of doing this task. It has become quite natural and enjoyable. After a short while – you may find it becomes enjoyable for you, too.

2. Get smarter about screen time

Time spent browsing social media, gaming or watching TV can be one of the biggest drainers or productivity.

Of course, we are not robots and need downtime – and the above are great for that. But being more aware of how much time you spend on these activities will help you create productive workplace habits.

Let’s say you’ve recorded the time and on average you spend 4 hours a day watching TV, online shopping and on Facebook. That’s your downtime. This is completely okay if you are happy with this amount of time each day spent as downtime.

It shouldn’t be a guilty pleasure. Don’t feel bad about trading some of your valuable time to recharge, particularly when you have been productive for the rest of the day. On the flipside, don’t complain about being super busy, not getting anything done or having ‘no time to exercise’ either.

What you do with your downtime is voluntary, and you have chosen to use it up on these activities.

3. Set yourself a time limit

Instead of just sitting down to work on a project and thinking ‘I’m going to be here until this is done,’ try thinking ‘I’m going to work on this for three hours’.

This time constraint will push you to focus and be more efficient, even if you end up having to go back and add a bit more later.

Putting a time limit on tasks can also prevent simply going brain dead and sitting there achieving nothing. There are many studies on how much time you should focus is one session and they are varied. What I learnt from these studies is that every individual is different. If you know you have a short focus span, then space your work out in 40 minute chunks. You will work more efficiently and get more done in the long run.

Putting a time limit on tasks can also prevent simply going brain dead and sitting there achieving nothing.”

4. Leave a buffer-time between tasks

When we rush from task to task, it’s difficult to appreciate what we’re doing and stay focused and motivated.

Allowing ourselves down-time between tasks can be a breath of fresh air for our brains. While taking a break, go for a short walk, meditate, or do something you really enjoy –  like a bit of that online shopping!

5. Don’t think of the totality of your to-do list

One of the fastest ways to overwhelm yourself is to think about your massive to-do list. The easiest way to avoid this one is not to have one that is massive in the first place. Make sure your tasks are in smaller manageable chunks so you can actually achieve something.

At each point in time, all you can do is focus on the one task before you.

6. Exercise and eat healthy

Numerous studies have linked a healthy lifestyle with work and productivity. Like getting enough sleep, exercising and eating healthily will boost energy levels, clear your mind and allow you to focus more easily.

Personally, I find this one challenging (though I do try!). If I am stuck in a rut and not being very productive, I do 20 minutes of something that moves my body either outdoors or even grocery shopping. I understand how hard it can be to get up and get going, but you always feel better afterwards.

Or sometimes, I get loads of tasks done and dusted with the company of a kit-kat and a coffee – whatever works! Moderation is key, right?

“One of the fastest ways to overwhelm yourself is to think about your massive to-do list.”

Be gentle with yourself when you’re implementing these – Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither were long-lasting habits. Commit to trying some (or all, if you’re feeling ambitious!) of these for 3-4 weeks. Then, reassess to see if any habits need to be tweaked or aren’t working, and what has become second nature to you.

I’m sure you’ll find they add a lot of value (and time!) to your day.

Lisa Hooton
Lisa Hooton is the founding director of Nurture Accounting in North Lakes QLD. She has 25 years experience in Public Practice with a passion for Small Business Compliance. Lisa is dedicated to Nurture’s clients and team, always learning, fun and spirited individual. Lisa is a guru in time and workflow managment. She is also an advocate for the development and implementation of automation and cloud systems in small business. Lisa is a supporter of women in small business and an active volunteer in the local community. Lisa lives with her husband of 24 years and 3 amazing daughters in Murrumba Downs QLD. She spends her downtime writing blogs and courses on business administration and management, is an avid gamer and loves a good road trip. BBus (hons). BArts (hons). CPA. MIPA. Registered Tax Agent. Registered ASIC Agent. Xero Certified Advisor and Xero Gold Partner.

Still have questions?

Perhaps you’d like to know more about this blog’s topic? Or perhaps we impressed you so much with our know-how on this topic, that you’d like to ask us about another accounting related topic?

Either way, feel free to drop us a line – we really are as friendly as we seem to be.

What’s new 21-22: Important changes for the new financial year

What’s new 21-22: Important changes for the new financial year

What’s new 21-22: Important changes for the new financial year

As July 1st approaches, it is vital that business owners and taxpayers alike, are aware of the key changes coming for the new financial year.

As July 1st approaches, it is vital that business owners and taxpayers alike, are aware of the key changes coming for the new financial year. The below information is likely to affect us all, whether we want it to or not, so please do read carefully.

Director Identification Number (DIN) legislation

The new Director Identification Number (DIN) system will see all directors confirming their identity, with a unique identifier for each person who consents to being a director.

This legislation, passed without amendment in June 2020, will be operated by the ATO. Its core purpose is to improve transactional activity between businesses and the government and to increase the accountability of corporations.

A few main points to be aware of:

  1. The DIN system will be rolled out with a vision to create a central Commonwealth Business Registry.
  2. The legislation aims to combat “phoenix activity” where companies are liquidated or abandoned to deliberately dodge debts and/or liabilities.
  3. A DIN will stay with a director throughout their lifetime, even if they cease to be a director in the future.

“A DIN with stay with a director throughout their lifetime, even if they cease to be a director in the future”

Changes in the Superannuation Guarantee Rate

From the 1st of July 2021, the Super Guarantee Rate will rise from 9.5% to 10%.

The upcoming rates changes are as follows:

1st July 2021 10.00%
1st July 2022 10.50%
1st July 2023 11.00%
1st July 2024 11.50%
1st July 2025 12.00%

 

When reviewing and planning staffing costs please ensure you include these rate changes as they are going to have a significant impact on the bottom line and cash flow for many small businesses.

By now, if you are an employer, you should be using software to process payroll to ensure you are STP compliant. Your payroll software should automatically update to incorporate the changes however we recommend checking when processing your first pay cycle for 2022 particularly if not using one of the major providers such as Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks.

As part of the 2021–22 federal Budget, the Australian Government announced it will remove the $450 per month threshold to expand coverage of super guarantee to eligible employees regardless of their monthly pay (although this measure is not yet law).

Award changes as of July 1st

The Fair Work Commission has announced a 2.5% increase to the national minimum wage. This will also apply to all award wages, with the award increase happening in 3 different stages. The first change is 1 July 2021. For more information CLICK HERE.

“From the 1st of July 2021, the Super Guarantee Rate will rise from 9.5% to 10%.”

ATO is chasing unpaid and late paid super

With the introduction of superannuation clearing houses and Single Touch Payroll (STP), the ATO has increased data matching capabilities and we are seeing the ATO being more pro-active in contacting employers about unpaid super.

What happens if super remains unpaid or you do not pay super or lodge a SGC statement on time:

  • Previously exempt earnings (like overtime) may become subject to SGC
  • Interest accrues until the SGC statement is lodged
  • Part 7 penalty can be as high as 200% of the SGC payable
  • SGC is not tax-deductible
  • Super paid late is not tax-deductible
  • You may be held personally liable for unpaid super & SGC.

This is a significant risk for employers not paying superannuation on time or not at all. Take action now and make sure you are complying with your superannuation obligations.

WorkCover Queensland changes

Get ready to renew your accident insurance policy from the 1st of July, 2021.

If you employ workers in Queensland, it’s time to start preparing to renew your WorkCover accident insurance policy. Find out who you need to cover and what payments to include in your wages declaration. Make sure your contact details with us are up-to-date so you don’t miss our notifications. Also, please be sure to cancel your policy now if you’re no longer employing.

Please CLICK HERE for more information.

Although these are seemingly small changes, we know they can have big consequences on small businesses. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with these changes, or any other aspects of your business accounting, please feel free to get into contact with us. We genuinely care about you and your success, and will do all we can to support you.

Lisa Hooton
Lisa Hooton is the founding director of Nurture Accounting in North Lakes QLD. She has 25 years experience in Public Practice with a passion for Small Business Compliance. Lisa is dedicated to Nurture’s clients and team, always learning, fun and spirited individual. Lisa is a guru in time and workflow managment. She is also an advocate for the development and implementation of automation and cloud systems in small business. Lisa is a supporter of women in small business and an active volunteer in the local community. Lisa lives with her husband of 24 years and 3 amazing daughters in Murrumba Downs QLD. She spends her downtime writing blogs and courses on business administration and management, is an avid gamer and loves a good road trip. BBus (hons). BArts (hons). CPA. MIPA. Registered Tax Agent. Registered ASIC Agent. Xero Certified Advisor and Xero Gold Partner.

Still have questions?

Perhaps you’d like to know more about this blog’s topic? Or perhaps we impressed you so much with our know-how on this topic, that you’d like to ask us about another accounting related topic?

Either way, feel free to drop us a line – we really are as friendly as we seem to be.

Time management tips #1: How to increase your productivity at work

Time management tips #1: How to increase your productivity at work

Time management tips #1: How to increase your productivity at work

Managing your time and increasing productivity in the workplace is more valuable than ever.

Tips management tips #1

Managing your time and increasing productivity in the workplace is more valuable than ever. Thankfully, your approach doesn’t have to be arduous. Instead of being robotic and habitual in how I tackle tasks, I try to be thoughtful and always ask myself if something can be done more efficiently, delegated or eliminated altogether. 

Here are some time management tips to get you thinking more regularly about how to refine your own practices.

1. Complete the most important tasks first

This is the golden rule of time management. Each day, identify the two or three tasks that are the most crucial to complete and do those first.

Once you’ve done these (even if it’s just ‘make the bed’!) the day has already been a success. You can move on to other things, or you can let them wait until tomorrow. You’ve finished the essential items. When starting out, this can be very motivating. If your list is too long and not reasonable for the time you have available, you will ultimately fail.

2. Learn to say “no”

At some point, you need to learn to decline opportunities. Your objective should be to take on only those commitments that you know you have time for and you truly care about.

On a personal level, this is easy. If you do nothing else, make this change today.

It is more difficult however, when starting out in business as you can only really start to say no once you are established in the company. In my experience, I would suggest you can start being more selective at the 3-5 year mark. At this point, you can be more discerning about not only who you service as a customer or client, but what auxiliary things you get involved with in the local business community. At the start, it’s all or nothing!

3. Sleep at least 7-8 hours

Some people think sacrificing sleep is a good way to hack productivity, and add a couple of extra hours to your day. But, as countless sleep guides and adult-functioning studies will tell you, this is not the case. 

Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep for their bodies and minds to function optimally. You know if you’re getting enough sleep, so simply listen to your body.

Each day, identify the two or three tasks that are the most crucial to complete and do those first.”

4. Devote your focus to the task at hand

Spend a few minutes making sure you are in a position to concentrate on the task at hand. Make sure you have a quiet place to work, or a noisy place if that works for you.

Close out of all other browser windows – in fact never have more open than you need currently. Imagine if it was books spread out all over your workspace. Put your phone AWAY (out of sight and silent). And yes – go to the toilet, get a coffee, make that phone call and then FOCUS.

5. Get an early start

Nearly all of us are plagued by the impulse to procrastinate. It seems so easy, and you always manage to get it done eventually – so why not? I see some people who even seem to get a buzz from the panic of completing something last minute.

It is so much less stressful to get an earlier start on something. It isn’t that difficult either, if you just decide firmly to do it. Oh and I don’t mean an early as in 5am start (unless that works for you), I mean not doing it on the day it is due. There’s a difference.

6. Don’t allow unimportant details to drag you down

We often allow projects to take much, much longer than they should by getting hung up on small details. I’m not suggesting you drop attention to detail – it’s a very important skill. But, learning to recognise when and where it is required, and at what level, will be a gamechanger.

This is when you implement the ‘Do-Delegate-Dump’ rules. Remember, the task may appear unimportant or trivial, but it may just need to be done by someone (or something) else. Don’t repeatedly do something that you know is a waste of your time. 

Make sure you have a quiet place to work, or a noisy place if that works for you.”

These simple shifts in your daily routine can make a huge difference to how much you get done in one day. Try implementing one or two at a time, and see what works for you. You’ll be working smarter – not harder – in no time.

Be sure to stay tuned for our next installment of our Time Management Tips series – see how many of the above you can impliment before then!

Lisa Hooton
Lisa Hooton is the founding director of Nurture Accounting in North Lakes QLD. She has 25 years experience in Public Practice with a passion for Small Business Compliance. Lisa is dedicated to Nurture’s clients and team, always learning, fun and spirited individual. Lisa is a guru in time and workflow managment. She is also an advocate for the development and implementation of automation and cloud systems in small business. Lisa is a supporter of women in small business and an active volunteer in the local community. Lisa lives with her husband of 24 years and 3 amazing daughters in Murrumba Downs QLD. She spends her downtime writing blogs and courses on business administration and management, is an avid gamer and loves a good road trip. BBus (hons). BArts (hons). CPA. MIPA. Registered Tax Agent. Registered ASIC Agent. Xero Certified Advisor and Xero Gold Partner.

Still have questions?

Perhaps you’d like to know more about this blog’s topic? Or perhaps we impressed you so much with our know-how on this topic, that you’d like to ask us about another accounting related topic?

Either way, feel free to drop us a line – we really are as friendly as we seem to be.

Attention Businesses: Made a loss this year? Claim it now with Loss Carry Back.

Attention Businesses: Made a loss this year? Claim it now with Loss Carry Back.

Attention Businesses: Made a loss this year? Claim it now with Loss Carry Back.

Businesses: Loss Carry Back gives you the choice to claim your current tax loss against a previous income year. This could result in a cash refund for your business!

What is loss carry back?

The government recently announced a loss carry back measure to encourage new investments. This new law came into effect 1 January 2021 and could influence your company’s tax position in 2021 or 2022.

Your business could claim a refundable tax offset up to the amount of their prior liability. Cash refunds can be generated by carrying back allocated tax losses.

Your business may be eligible if:

  • Your business is a corporate limited partnership, company, or a public trading trust, and was registered as such during the year you want to claim the business tax offset
  • The business had an income tax liability in 2019, 2020 or 2021 financial years
  • The business made a loss in the 2020, 2021 or 2022 financial years
  • The aggregated turnover of the business was less than $5 billion
  • Your tax return lodgement obligations for the last five years are up to date.

When completing the 2021 Financial Year accounts, here at Nurture, we will be reviewing each potential business and be in touch to discuss the rules around eligibility, integrity, and tax offset calculation and how they influence your company’s business tax. You can only claim the tax loss once, so you must get advice about how and when to apply this measure to your business.

TLDR: Claim money back from previous tax years, if your business made a loss in the most recent financial year.

Feeling confused?

Not to worry, we’re here to help and make sure you can claim every possible cent back. We’re hoping that this government initative will help businesses in recovering from potential losses, and set them up for the future.

To find out more, go to: www.ato.gov.au/business/loss-carry-back-tax-offset

Alternately, please just contact us directly with any concerns you have, and we will do out best to help you out wherever possible. Look forward to hearing from you. 

Lisa Hooton
Lisa Hooton is the founding director of Nurture Accounting in North Lakes QLD. She has 25 years experience in Public Practice with a passion for Small Business Compliance. Lisa is dedicated to Nurture’s clients and team, always learning, fun and spirited individual. Lisa is a guru in time and workflow managment. She is also an advocate for the development and implementation of automation and cloud systems in small business. Lisa is a supporter of women in small business and an active volunteer in the local community. Lisa lives with her husband of 24 years and 3 amazing daughters in Murrumba Downs QLD. She spends her downtime writing blogs and courses on business administration and management, is an avid gamer and loves a good road trip. BBus (hons). BArts (hons). CPA. MIPA. Registered Tax Agent. Registered ASIC Agent. Xero Certified Advisor and Xero Gold Partner.

Still have questions?

Perhaps you’d like to know more about this blog’s topic? Or perhaps we impressed you so much with our know-how on this topic, that you’d like to ask us about another accounting related topic?

Either way, feel free to drop us a line – we really are as friendly as we seem to be.

Time to work smarter: three bad habits you need to break

Time to work smarter: three bad habits you need to break

Time to work smarter: three bad habits you need to break

Time management is the process of planning and dividing your time between specific tasks. Effective time management allows you to get more of the important work done during the day. Without it, stress levels surge and productivity plummets.

Time to Work Smarter

Time management is the process of planning and dividing your time between specific tasks. Effective time management allows you to get more of the important work done during the day. Without it, stress levels surge and productivity plummets.

While one of the most integral skills in the workplace, it’s easy to fall into bad time management habits. Thankfully, there are easy-to-implement strategies that can add hours to your day. Here are three of the biggest time wasters we see, and the best ways to work smarter.

“Time management… Without it, stress levels surge and productivity plummets.”

Time Waster #1 – Managing Workflow

Stress isn’t linked to the amount of work we have. Stress is linked to the way you manage your workload.

How to manage it: The 5-Minute Rule

The 5-Minute Rule, also known as the ‘One Touch One Decision Rule’, is a method I use on a day-to-day basis both at work and home. It’s easy to implement and can have a significant impact on your productivity and stress levels almost immediately. Sound appealing? Thought so. If you can practice this principle until it becomes second nature it will be extremely valuable.

The logic is simple. You must make a decision as soon as you touch an email or a document or think of an idea. You don’t necessarily have to complete the task at that time, but you need to decide what you’ll do and when.

If the task is less than 5 minutes? Do it immediately. More than 5 minutes? Decide when you’ll do it and estimate the amount of time you’ll need to complete it. Then, go into your calendar, task app or notebook and schedule the tasks for a specific date and time. Simple.

Once you’ve decided whether to do it now or schedule it now, remove the email/piece of paper and advise the person of your intention. A quick response with your timeframe can stop future headaches – and who wouldn’t want to stop headaches?

Make the decision and either delete or file the document. The only items in your inbox or in-tray, should be items you have not yet applied this rule to. When you arrive home do you check the letterbox, open the letter, read it and then put it back to deal with later? I sure hope not. Treat your work inbox the same way, and give yourself the gift of time. You deserve it.

The 5-Minute Rule

 

  • If the task is less than 5 minutes, do it immediatley.
  • More than 5 minutes? Decide when you’ll complete it and estimate the amount of time you’ll need.
  • Go to your calendar and schedule it for a specific date and time.

Time Waster #2 – Lack of Focus

Focus is productivity’s best friend but interruption and distractions love to interfere. It’s important to know the difference between the two; interruption is caused by someone else, and distraction is caused by you.

How to reduce interruptions

It’s your time, so YOU decide how to spend it. If someone appears at your desk when you’re in the middle of something, ask them to come back or agree on a time to discuss things later. Start a list or set up daily, weekly or monthly calendar items to designate focus to a specific task.

Don’t be a slave to notifications. If you’re working on a key project or doing something that will have a high impact on your business – turn off your phone, close your inbox and focus. You won’t regret it.

How to reduce distractions

1. Capture it or write it down

Picture this: You start to work on something and suddenly remember a phone call you need to make. You make the call and completely break focus or decide to do it later and let the thought keep playing in your mind. Sound familiar? Our lifestyles are busy – and distractions are abundant. But there’s an easy fix.

As soon as you think about something you need to do, simply write it down. Don’t let the thought set up camp in your subconscious. Instead, offload it in a mini notebook you carry everywhere or an app in your phone. On a daily basis, review your list while in your office. Apply the 5-minute rule.

2. Keep it clean

A clean work environment equals a clean mind. Thankfully, Outlook is a much better task manager than your desk. Your desk doesn’t tell you when to do something and how long it will take – so don’t burden it with your to-do list.

Be sure to also apply the 5-minute rule to your incoming work, and don’t let it distract you from what’s really important.

As soon as you think about something you need to do, simply write it down… On a daily basis, review your list while in your office. Apply the 5-minute rule.

Time Waster #3 – Ineffective meetings

This is a big one. Filling up your diary with unnecessary meetings is a surefire way to kill focus and create ample interruption and distractions.

How to make your meetings smarter

  1.  Eliminate unnecessary meetings. You need to be protective of your time and carefully select the meetings you will accept.
  2. Assess the right amount of time required. We so often book one-hour meetings for items that can be discussed in 15 minutes.
  3. Have an agenda and stick to it. Focus on one task at a time.
  4. Keep everyone accountable. After a meeting make sure you take five minutes to plan your next steps, so everyone knows what they are doing. Remember the 5-minute rule.

Homework!

Be honest with yourself. Identify the 2 or 3 time wasters most applicable to you and write them down. You can do it both for home and for work. Once you’re clear on what you need to work on, write down what you’ll need to do to improve.

Improvement doesn’t need to be complex. Simple strategies often get big results. In 21 days’, time, see how you’re going and if you notice changes to your stress and productivity. If not, then go back and review the strategies to identify what may be stopping you from improving. Make sure you inform those around you of your intentions; colleagues, friends and family. Having support is the key to making any changes to behaviour.

Good Luck!

Lisa Hooton
Lisa Hooton is the founding director of Nurture Accounting in North Lakes QLD. She has 25 years experience in Public Practice with a passion for Small Business Compliance. Lisa is dedicated to Nurture’s clients and team, always learning, fun and spirited individual. Lisa is a guru in time and workflow managment. She is also an advocate for the development and implementation of automation and cloud systems in small business. Lisa is a supporter of women in small business and an active volunteer in the local community. Lisa lives with her husband of 24 years and 3 amazing daughters in Murrumba Downs QLD. She spends her downtime writing blogs and courses on business administration and management, is an avid gamer and loves a good road trip. BBus (hons). BArts (hons). CPA. MIPA. Registered Tax Agent. Registered ASIC Agent. Xero Certified Advisor and Xero Gold Partner.

Still have questions?

Perhaps you’d like to know more about this blog’s topic? Or perhaps we impressed you so much with our know-how on this topic, that you’d like to ask us about another accounting related topic?

Either way, feel free to drop us a line – we really are as friendly as we seem to be.

Accounting for time: creating balance in your business

Accounting for time: creating balance in your business

Accounting for time: creating balance in your business

As accountants with a soft spot for small business bookkeeping, we know a thing or two about the importance of balance.

Creating balance for your business

As accountants with a soft spot for small business bookkeeping, we know a thing or two about the importance of balance.

And I’m not just talking about the kind of balance that applies to your books (though, let’s be honest, I’d be happy to) – I’m talking about the kind that applies to your time. It’s the most valuable and finite resource we have, but all-too-often the first thing we neglect to nurture – and thus lose sight of.

Working HARD means working SMART

I hear constantly from my team and accounting clients that one of their biggest frustrations is finding themselves at the end of a busy work day and still feeling completely behind. They work hard through a frenzy of stress and small crises, and before they know it the time to work on their big-ticket items has evaporated. From the outside they seem busy, but in reality they haven’t progressed – like a hamster on a wheel.

So many of us spend our time working hard – and are committed to performing well – but we don’t work smart.

 

“Before they know it, the time to work on big-ticket items has evaporated. From the outside they seem busy, but in reality they haven’t progressed… So many of us spend our time working hard – but we don’t work smart.”

If this sounds like you – you’re not alone. But you’re also in luck, because I’m about to add more hours to your day. Here’s how:

1. Make it personal

As bookkeepers, we know all-too-well that the time we spend being ineffective and/or inefficient in the workplace, is time that we lose from our personal lives – where it matters most.  But this applies to everyone. When I ask people what they would do if they were more in control of their time, the most common responses are:

  • Come home earlier to see my kids
  • Have more time to look after my health
  • Avoid bringing my work stress home
  • Avoid waking up at night thinking about what I forgot to do

You’ll notice that none of these reasons are to do with a better bottom line or revenue stream. As workers, I believe our general goal is to get our job done so that we can spend our time doing other things. If you’re struggling with motivation, make a change and set a personal goal, instead of a business goal.

There are two steps to making a change:

1. Own it: Take note of inefficiencies and ineffective practices in your work routine. Tip: Are you spending so much time in reactive mode, that you run out of energy to be proactive?

2. Fix it: Work on simple ways to improve performance and work/life balance by challenging your daily habits. Tip: Try spending the first hour of your day on a big ticket item, before checking your inbox.

Two Steps to making a change:

  1. Own it: Take note of inefficiencies and ineffective practices in your work routine. 

  1. Fix it: Work on simple ways to improve performance and work/life balance by challenging your daily habits.

EFFICIENCY VS EFFECTIVENESS

Efficiency – doing things right (how)

Effectiveness – doing the right things (what)

 

2. Declutter your workspace

There have been numerous studies that indicate our brains are most efficient and effective when there are less distractions. A clean, productive workspace equals a clean, productive mind – equals more time for the things you enjoy.

So, time for a bit of tough love.  Personally, I’m a minimalist (to the point where my friends have told me to write a book about it, as my place looks like we have just been robbed!) and as a general rule, I believe that if you need to buy boxes and storage items to help you organise – you need to declutter.

And by declutter – I don’t mean put it in the cupboard or the garage where you’ll forget it exists. I mean donate, or dump. Get rid of it!

Clear the desk

As tax accountants, we review a lot of documents. But our North Lakes office is paperless, which means there’s no need for trays, no random unused stationery and no outdated reports taking up precious real estate on our desks. If you’re working on an electronic document – spare our planet the footprint and don’t print it. If you insist on sipping a tea or coffee as you work – don’t leave it sitting there for long enough to grow its own ecosystem. You’re better than that.

Feel like a boss

We tax accountants tend to be pretty logical folk, so I believe that your electronic filing system should be so logical that you could navigate it in your sleep – but I know this is easier said than done. When designing your system, relate it to how you see your role and the different hats you wear in your job.

  1. Be honest: Will I need it?
  2. Be ruthless: When was the last time I used it?
  3. Be smart: Can I find it easily somewhere else?
  4. Be clear: How can I name it so that I don’t have to open it to know exactly what’s inside?

That last point is very important. Also, keep in mind that you may need to search your computer  so naming 100 documents ‘client workpapers’ isn’t advisable.

If you’re an employee who is not in control of the electronic filing system in your workplace and it’s inefficient, be the one to instigate change. Make it your project!

When designing your system:

  1. Be honest: Will I need it?
  2. Be ruthless: When was the last time I used it?
  3. Be smart: Can I find it easily somewhere else?
  4. Be clear: How can I name it so that I don’t have to open it to know exactly what’s inside?

3. Outsource your bookkeeping and accounting to professionals

Business owners and managers have so many balls to keep in the air – so why not leave the numbers to the accountants? One of the smartest ways to scale your business – and reclaim your time – is identifying tasks that you can outsource.

We’ll help you grow, and you’ll have more energy for the things that matter most. Why not contact us to find out more.

 

Apply these three steps to restore balance to your life in no time – so that you can have more of it.

Lisa Hooton
Lisa Hooton is the founding director of Nurture Accounting in North Lakes QLD. She has 25 years experience in Public Practice with a passion for Small Business Compliance. Lisa is dedicated to Nurture’s clients and team, always learning, fun and spirited individual. Lisa is a guru in time and workflow managment. She is also an advocate for the development and implementation of automation and cloud systems in small business. Lisa is a supporter of women in small business and an active volunteer in the local community. Lisa lives with her husband of 24 years and 3 amazing daughters in Murrumba Downs QLD. She spends her downtime writing blogs and courses on business administration and management, is an avid gamer and loves a good road trip. BBus (hons). BArts (hons). CPA. MIPA. Registered Tax Agent. Registered ASIC Agent. Xero Certified Advisor and Xero Gold Partner.

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