Typically speaking, numbers are our remit at Active Accounts. We’re here to help you with your tax returns, management accounts, forecasts and pretty much anything you can think of that you’d want from a stellar accountant.
With that said, we’re always trying to think of ways to provide you with as much value as possible, so today we are going to tell you three of our favourite productivity hacks. Of course, none of the below is original and we certainly can’t lay claim to the concepts but after trying countless techniques over the past few years (probably wasting more time trying to be productive than actually being productive), we have identified three tips that work really well for us.
Find Your “One Thing”
We’ve nabbed this tip from “The ONE Thing”, written by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan (a highly recommended read for business owners/anyone trying to up their productivity). Gary and Jay recommend identifying the “one thing” that if you were to complete today would benefit you the most in the long-term pursuit of your goal. This is a great way to better prioritise your to-do list, allowing you to focus on the truly important stuff in the context of your overarching goal (which is surprisingly easy to overlook). This is akin to Eisenhower’s principle of prioritising your to-do’s as follows:
- Important and urgent
- Important but not urgent
- Not important but urgent
- Not important and not urgent
We often forget to prioritise number 2 over 3 in the face of urgent and attention-grabbing yet unimportant matters.
Eat That Frog
An oldie but a goodie. Mark Twain once said that if you were to eat a live frog first thing in the morning, you could then go about the rest of your day safe in the knowledge that the worst was behind you. Your “frog” is your worst and most difficult task, and it usually just so happens to be your “one thing”. Identify it and attack it early doors.
In this modern age it is ridiculous how often we find ourselves being distracted, be it by social media, emails or the constant stream of notifications from the 10 WhatsApp groups we’re in.
Time-blocking is a very simple yet effective concept.
Now that you have identified your “one thing” and have committed yourself to cracking on with it first thing, you need to put yourself in an environment conducive to productivity. Enter the time-block. Set aside a certain amount of time and switch off to the world. No mobile phone, no email and no human contact (if possible)! Grab a snack (you know you’ll want one), get your coffee and put the headphones in. For the next four hours nothing exists but the task at hand. It might seem difficult at first with the inevitable mind-wandering and temptation to check your email (or Instagram) but after a while you’ll be impressed with your renewed levels of productivity.
If you’re someone who benefits from brief, periodic breaks then we personally like to use the Pomodoro Technique for even more productivity gains (https://cirillocompany.de/pages/pomodoro-technique).
We hope you find our favourite tips helpful and, as always, if you have any questions please drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the form on our home page and we’ll be in touch!