If you have been keeping up with our blog, you will know that I am looking at various soft skills, and why they are important as an accountant. Regardless of your experience or skill set, being a successful financial professional requires a whole host of soft skills, including time management.
Meeting tight deadlines for financial reporting, audits and other tasks is essential in a financial environment. Without effective time management, you are unlikely to keep up, and you could end up falling behind, missing deadlines and needing to rely on your team more than you should. But, time management allows finance professionals to stay organised and deliver quality work on time, even on the busiest of days.
Why Your Team Needs Good Time Management Skills
● Increased Productivity - With good time management skills, comes increased productivity. Time management enables you to prioritise tasks and allocate the appropriate amount of time to each task. This leads to increased efficiency among your team, as everyone can focus on the most important tasks, reducing the potential for time being wasted on other things.
● Improved Focus - By managing your time well, it’s a lot easier to dedicate uninterrupted periods of the work day to important tasks. This improves focus and concentration, ensuring that the work is high quality, accurate and correct.
● Reduced Stress - Properly managing your time reduces the pressure of deadlines and rushing to get everything finished at the last minute. Instead, everyone can relax and take things at their own pace. This can lead to lower stress levels, contributing to a more balanced and relaxed workplace.
● Long Term Goal Success - Being able to manage time well helps to align your daily tasks with your long term, ongoing objectives. It helps you break down large and complex tasks into manageable steps, making it a lot easier to track your progress and achieve your goals.
How to Improve Your Team’s Time Management Abilities
There is a lot that you can do as a business owner or manage to improve your team’s ability to manage time well. Firstly, it’s important to clearly define team goals and individual tasks, and encourage your team to prioritise these tasks based on importance and deadlines. It’s also important to remember that good time management doesn’t come naturally to everyone, so offer training to help individuals develop their skills. You could provide tools and resources, such as task management software, or take the time to educate your team about effective planning.
There are a variety of time management techniques to help, some of which are sure to benefit your team. For example, the Pomodoro Technique focuses on interval working, followed by short breaks. It’s also a good idea to set realistic deadlines, as unrealistic deadlines can lead to rushed work, poor quality work and stressed employees. Instead, work with your team to set achievable deadlines for tasks, giving enough room for unexpected delays.
It’s hard to keep up in the financial and accounting industry without good time management skills, which is why it’s a soft skill that I always recommend having, improving on and displaying in the workplace. Check back next week to discover the next soft skill on my list.