Another reality of entrepreneurship is procrastination. Switching from the organised and disciplined world of employment to that of an entrepreneur can be distressing. Suddenly, you have all the time in the world and all the tasks too! It can get overwhelming that you find it hard to start on anything. Curb procrastination before it becomes a habit. Here are nine effective tricks I use to maintain my focus on work as a bookkeeper in Brisbane;
- Eliminate distractions. First, know what’s distracting you from work. Is it social media? Chit-chat with other team members? Even work-related tasks like answering emails and replying to instant messages can be distracting. Second, eliminate the source of your distraction to optimise your productivity. Do not open your social media accounts during work hours, let your co-workers know you’re at work and schedule a time to check emails and messages all at once.
- Create a checklist of tasks. Your To-Do List should not only include all the tasks you intend to finish, it should also be organised according to its importance and your schedule. Organise your tasks and your time. Lump together similar and/or relevant tasks. Having a checklist will also help you monitor the things that you’ve been putting off.
- Break down huge tasks into smaller chunks. Often, we feel overwhelmed by huge tasks that we put off working on it. As a bookkeeper in Brisbane, I try to break down huge undertakings into smaller and more manageable ones. Instead of listing – Audit XYZ Company, I list (1) Check if documents are complete. (2) Read the company profile. (3) Meet the owners… and so on.
- Set hard deadlines. Completing tasks on time is a challenge, especially if you’re the head of the organisation or you’re the one setting deadlines. Setting hard deadlines means binding your tasks to other’s schedules. Set a deadline for your report a day before your Brisbane bookkeeper needs it or complete the order form before the end of the business day. Hard deadlines are unmovable and will give you no choice but to finish the task.
- Take quick breaks. Continuously working for a long time is not healthy nor it is productive. You must give your body and mind a break. Taking regular breaks will keep the mind alert and the body the reviving it needs. Take a walk, indulge in a coffee break, take a shower, play with your cat or have a stretch of guiltless social media time. Just make sure to limit your breaks and get back to work when it’s up.
- Focus on your goals. Go back to the reason why you started the business. What were you trying to accomplish? Goals are our dreams that drive us to work hard and strive. Is it a better life for your kids? Do you dream of one day be recognised in your industry? Do you aim to make a difference to the society you’re in? Recalling your mission and your ‘whys’ will give you a new lease of energy to pursue them.
- Forget perfection. Dilly-dallying on a task can also be a result of indecision or hesitation of launching, approving or submitting something that you think is less than 100%. The most productive and successful individuals do not wait for the perfect product or design because sometimes it never comes to be. They go with what they have and continue working on its improvement.
- Reward yourself. Instead of focusing on the repercussion if the job is not done, give yourself a good reason to stick to the task until it is finished. Promising yourself a reward will give something to look forward to and encourage you on finishing the task. The reward should be something that you really love – it could be an extra hour of sleep, a favourite dessert for dinner or a movie night out with a special person.
- Delegate as necessary. If you’re working hard, but still see unfinished tasks on your list, it might be that you’re taking on work that you abhor or not trained to do. It would be more productive for you if you focus on the ones that you do best and enjoy doing. Delegate time-consuming and specialised tasks like bookkeeping, payroll or quality control to the more adept bookkeepers in Brisbane.