Simple Time Management for Accountants

The transition to public accounting requires a whole new mindset regarding time management than any perspective you have taken previously, especially during busy season.  You will feel like you are entering a new world, which is expected.  During this time period, you will likely be challenged balancing your accounting work and your personal life regardless of what time management system you use, however one thing remains constant – keep it simple!

If your time management system is complex, you will likely end up spending too much time managing your time.  If this happens, you will end up neglecting the important things in your life.  The key is to…

Focus on Fundamentals

What are the big things in your life that you have to do outside of accounting?  What about as a part of your career?  Is there anything you can leverage to others?  For example, instead of doing a marathon gym session, you setup the most effective 30 minute routine you can do from your bedroom.  However don’t neglect working out, make sure to do it.  Once accounting busy season is over, you can always transition back into the more time consuming activities.

The first analogy that comes to mind for this would be fitting items into a jar.  If you have some large rocks, small pebbles, sand, and water – how do you fit them all in the jar without making a mess?  First, you take the large rocks and place them in the jar, then you pour in the pebbles, next the sand, and finally the water.  The large rocks represent the fundamentals in your life that you need to accomplish, and the water are things that aren’t that important but you would like to do.  If you fill your jar with water first, you make a big mess every time you try to add something new, and if you put the large rocks in last, they likely won’t fit.  Keep your eyes on the big rocks, the fundamentals, and everything else will fall into place.  Don’t forget to check out some other great ideas in our Busy Season Survival Guide!

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