By Jenny Lukas, AVN.
One of the challenges that we hear over and over again is that accountants are really struggling with time management at the moment.
There are dozens of strategies to help you manage your time, but one of the simplest is also one of the most effective.
What do you want to achieve?
It’s essential to have a clear picture of what you are trying to achieve. You must have goals and objectives – what are you trying to do and how are you going to do it?
And these must be in writing… written goals are proven to contribute massively to business success.
Research shows that less than 3% of people have written goals. And even then, less than 1% review their written goals on a regular basis. But these are the most successful people.
When you write down your goals, think of what you want to do in both your personal life and your business. After all, they’re linked together and your business goals are the things your business will achieve to enable you to reach your personal goals.
Write down as many as you can, even if they seem impossible, and then rank them. Which ones are most important to you? These are your highest priorities and should be your focus.
If you find it difficult to express your personal goals, ask yourself questions like:
- “If I could guarantee that I would succeed at something I decided to do, what would I do?”
- “What would I do if I won the lottery?”
How will you get there?
Once you have set out your goals, next work out the steps you will need to take to achieve them. Include as much detail as possible so it’s absolutely clear at every stage what you have to do.
Of course, achieving your goals isn’t always a straightforward process. So ask yourself, “What are the obstacles in my way?” Write these down too. When you look at them closely, you’ll probably find that some of them are factual (so write down the steps to overcome these) and others are really mental obstacles, i.e. beliefs about your ability to achieve your goals. Past experiences often influence our perceptions of what we can and can’t do and fear of failure can be very powerful. Challenge your own assumptions about what’s possible.
Never lose sight of what you set out to do. A visible reminder – e.g. on the wall in your office – will help to keep you on track. And then make sure you do something every day to move towards your goals. Even if it’s a tiny step, when you consistently take action you will make progress.
With every task you’re faced with, ask yourself “Is this taking me towards my goal or further away?” It makes decisions so much easier when you think in this way.
When we work with AVN Members, one of the first things we do is to find out about their goals so that we can ensure that the actions they set are moving them towards that goal. This is part of our ‘Clarity’ Roadmap.
To find out more about how AVN helps accountants to achieve their goals, give us a call on 01246 571191 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.