Nothing tests your ability to crunch deadlines quite like the end of financial year (EOFY). The weeks leading up to the last day of June are often ruled by mountains of paperwork and an endless series of tasks. However, employing a few clever strategies can preserve your sanity and help you optimise the hours you spend at your desk – especially if it’s your first as a full-time tax professional. Here are four top time-management tactics to apply this EOFY.
1. Embrace the Pomodoro technique
Conceived in the 1980s by the entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro technique is a foolproof trick for enhancing mental clarity and saving time. Using a timer, work solidly on a task for a 25-minute period before rewarding yourself with a five-minute break. Adhering to strict time increments can help you power through your to-do list. It also chases away the urge to procrastinate. And no need to place an egg timer on your desk – there's an app you can download straight to your smartphone.
2. Keep a daily task list
When you’re faced with serious deadlines, it’s important to know what work to tackle first. Whether you prefer to use the to-do list function in Microsoft Outlook or old-fashioned pen and paper, outlining the tasks you need to accomplish each day and ranking them from low priority to high priority is a clever way to take control of your time. Although the power of the to-do list is well documented, it’s equally important to consider the things that can wait until after 30 June. When compiling your daily tasks, strike out the non-essential items and relegate them to a work period that’s lower pressure.
3. Tackle the most challenging task first
When you’re faced with a daunting project complete with administrative hurdles, it’s tempting to put it off. But if you start your day by addressing the most difficult task on your agenda before moving on to less pressing things, you’ll stand a higher chance of managing your time and energy effectively.
4. Batch-process tasks
Multitasking might be a modern phenomenon, but you’ll be far more efficient if you focus on one thing at a time. Whether it’s responding to an overflowing inbox or reconciling urgent accounts, blocking out time to batch-process your duties is a powerful tactic for bolstering productivity and conserving your hours.
From working within short increments to completing your most difficult task first, mastering the art of time management can make for a smooth lead-up towards EOFY. What’s your favourite time-management trick?
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