Being productive at work sounds simple. Do the best you can every day. Unfortunately, it is much more complicated due to the never ending demands that are placed upon us and by us. It is also extremely difficult because we get sidetracked by countless distractions while we are at work. From home responsibilities to virtual distractions like compulsive Facebook checking, sometimes we lose our way. We end up focusing on the not so important tasks and are days are filled with busyness not true productivity. I don’t know about you, but this bugs me. If I have a limited amount of hours in the day, I would like to accomplish the things that will make the biggest impact on my business while I am at work.
Staying focused and following through on high impact items take a solid amount of commitment and accountability – accountability to the owners and partners in your organization as well as accountability to yourself.
Whether you are working from a firm-wide marketing or strategic plan or focusing on your individual clients, possessing a commitment to personal accountability will change the game for you. Following are a few things I have found to be helpful:
Setting achievable targets like weekly blogging, meeting with three clients face to face, responding to requests within a day will help structure your time so that you have something in which to hold yourself accountable. Set the targets and measure how you are doing every day. One day you may not hit your target but you will know to make up for it the next day. This will help to keep you on task.
Another strategy is to have an overall plan. Set measurable targets for those things that have the biggest impact and then knock it out. Things that have the greatest impact are things that you can uniquely bring to the table. These may include doing high level technical work for a top client, mentoring staff on tough assignments, learning more about your prospect’s needs. Know how you should be spending your time to execute your plan. Then focus on these things every day.
Pass on the activities that are not making a significant impact. Words with Friends can wait until the evening hours. Look for ways to delegate those things that can be delegated. If you feel that others aren’t qualified to take on any of your tasks, train them. Training your team should become one of your high impact goals.
Allow yourself time to process the progress or lack of progress that you are making. Take time each week to evaluate what is and isn’t working. This will allow you to adjust your plan. Do you need more time for some tasks and more assistance with others?
If you are working all day anyway, then why not work even smarter so you can enjoy the fruits of your efforts?
About the author
Angie Grissom is the President & Director of Consulting at The Rainmaker Companies, www.therainmakercompanies.com, which helps accounting firms grow through consulting, training and alliance services. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.