It’s no surprise that those in the fast-paced industry of accounting and finance are expected to work efficiently and productively. However, proverbial burnout is proving that working harder is not always the best strategy for long-term career success. The alternative? Making the most of your time and resources to achieve and maintain peak performance. A.K.A.: working smarter. Here are some tips on how to do it.
If you’re noticing your productivity levels are depleting, the first step is to check in on your working conditions. Key descriptors of an ideal working environment include spots that are quiet, comfortable and free from distractions. If working remotely, try a change of scenery like a coffee shop or library. If you’re going into an office, try to make the space more enjoyable and comfortable with a plant or bring some nice headphones with you to “get in the zone.” The main goal is to achieve a state of mind where you’re completely absorbed in your work; that’s where you’ll be able to reach maximum efficiency. It’s also important to take regular breaks, stretch your legs and get some fresh air to help alleviate the risk of burnout.
We live in an era where digital rewards are plenty. One strategy to increase your productivity at work this summer: gamify your time. Apps like Forest turn focusing on work into a game, limiting access to distractions on your phone to reach a goal. The app rewards you by growing a virtual forest the longer you stay focused. You can even share your progress with friends.
If you’re more of a pen-and-paper person, consider tracking your daily accomplishments. Adding a quantitative element to your daily goals provides a sense of fulfillment, which ultimately fuels productivity.
One shared characteristic of those that work smarter: they maintain a positive mindset. The way you treat yourself via thoughts and reactions plays a big role in your confidence level. Focus on the positive aspects of your work and remind yourself of the ultimate goal that’s being met because of your efforts. Celebrate your wins, learn from your setbacks and continually find ways to learn and grow.
Finally, at the start of each work day, define what success will look like to you. Create a daily list of goals that could include breaking bigger projects into smaller, more achievable tasks. Also be sure to incorporate tasks that add a social element to your day, such as connecting with coworkers. Ultimately, by focusing on what’s truly important to you, you’ll boost the enjoyment of your work and be less apt to get distracted.
Find these tips a little too late? Check out these hacks on how to handle burnout.