There’s a war happening in many workplaces today: the war against productivity. Productivity is a hot topic these days. There’s so much to do yet so little time. With the kind of technology available to everyone, as well as hacks, it should be easy to start becoming highly productive at work. The problem is, many are still not winning this war. What could be the problem? It’s all about using your resources the right way. And it starts by careful planning so you can execute perfectly. That’s exactly what you’re going to learn from our CEO, Nick Sinclair, who has learned how win the productivity war. He’ll share with us the things he’s learned from his years of working hard — and smart. These are key information that everyone — from accountants to managers — can use to significantly improve their habits so they can do more in less time.
Proper time management
Time is a highly valuable non-renewable resource. You only have a certain amount of hours in the day to do everything on your list. The thing about most people is they’re focusing their time and energy on the wrong things, so they end up not accomplishing anything even if they’ve buried their noses in paperwork. One of the main problems people face is having so much time-consuming stuff, like answering emails and meetings, consume their day. They no longer have the time to do the most important aspect of their business which is taking care of the clients. Technology and paperwork keep accountants from communicating with their clients. They have so many priorities that they don’t even know where to start. The danger here is that client communication suffers. Worst case scenario: you lose clients. So this begs the question: Will you become buried with work or become better at managing your time? Here’s the thing: you don’t need to do everything. You can assign certain tasks to an offshore team.
“Time is what you make it. I had to learn the hard way which is either learn to become better or be buried.”
Strategic planning is crucial to any business. This means you are smart about the things you do. As a business owner, you don’t have to do everything. That’s what your employees are for. It’s easy for some to get busy by being busy with day-to-day operations that they forget to step back and actually look at the bigger picture. Don’t get both feet wet. You’re better off focusing your time and energy on things like strategic planning and client relations. Leave the rest to your team. Allow them to be responsible for the tasks they were hired for. For Nick, something as simple as answering email can be structured properly. Since he receives hundreds of email, he has devised a strategy where he gets to attend to everything without having to spend hours behind the computer. That’s because he has an executive assistant who helps weed out stuff he doesn’t need to attend to. Their smart strategy has allowed Nick to have more time for other important things. Structured planning will help you manage your work and life more efficiently.
Hiring the right people
Speaking of having an extra reliable hand, Nick highlights the importance of having an EA. His experience working with Ethel, his trusted EA, has allowed him to: (1) take care of his schedule which runs up to 18 months; (2) plan his personal travels and work trips; and (3) attend to all correspondences and even set up meetings. These are just some of the many benefits of having an EA. Getting the right people is a key element in winning the war against productivity. This also prevents organisations from promoting the wrong people just because of tenure. By getting the right people, you can be confident that whoever is on a leadership position can take care of the company.
“It’s really about getting the right people to do the right tasks and the right location at the right cost.”
Understand your numbers
Some businesses are naive around numbers. We discourage you from being intimidated by it because when you know your data, you will be able to make strategic business decisions to propel you to the top. You will be able to identify certain areas you can improve so that productivity improves. Data don’t lie and this means you will be able to make the right decisions. Don’t run your business blind. Our offshore data analytics team focuses on the key numbers and trends that help us learn more about the business.
Take advantage of technology
Technology can definitely improve productivity. But you need to know how to utilise it properly. One other benefit of technology is it allows you to show respect for other people’s time. Consider this: by using productivity apps, like Trello which Nick uses a lot, you can simply update the cards with instructions/enquiries without taking someone away from what they’re doing, which is what usually happens when you approach someone and talk to them. Technology makes our work easier. Ultimately, the key to winning the war against productivity is knowing how to do the following things efficiently:
- Planning your processes
- Managing your time
- Hiring the right people
- Understanding your company’s data
- Taking advantage of technology
Another key takeaway is to learn how to let go. Let your team excel at what they are great at. Letting go is the best thing you can do. The war against productivity can be easily conquered with the right tools. We can help equip you with the right skills and tools to improve your productivity.
The Outsourced Accountant helps accounting firms from all over the world grow their capacity, margins and profits through global outsourcing. Contact us to find out more about how we can help your firm.