Planner Tips for the Busy Accounting Professional

Career Development

Back to back meetings, projects, emails, and unscheduled calls are all part of an accounting professional’s day.

Sound familiar?

I know when I let the day happen to me with a flurry of these types of activities, it’s unlikely I get to any of the important work on my desk–it’s easier to kick the can down the road and deal with it another time.

But when we neglect the important work, it catches up with us at some point. And I’ve learned the hard way.

Here’s a suggestion for you that I’ve learned from trial and error: plan your day, week, and month and experience what it’s like to take ownership of your schedule.

MONTH VIEW

At the beginning of each month, in a calendar view, write down key dates, projects to be completed, and your goals for the month, both personally and professionally.

WEEKLY VIEW

At the beginning of each week, preferably Sunday evening before your workweek begins Monday, do the following: reflect on the previous week and how you’ll improve, write down one personal & professional goal, and the 3-5 projects that must be accomplished this week.

DAILY VIEW

The daily view is where the hard work starts. The monthly and weekly planning helps set the boundaries. You know the key goals and projects, so now it’s time to plan your day accordingly. Including the following in your daily planner:

  • Today’s top three priorities. The top priorities are the non-negotiables. Your day isn’t a success until you complete these.
  • Task Parking Lot. List all of your ongoing tasks in one spot that, if you finish your priorities, you can tackle next.
  • Daily schedule. Write down your schedule for the day, including meetings, calls, breaks, and project time. The key here is scheduling time for your top priorities instead of fitting it in when you have time.
  • Reflection: Write notes about how your day went, what you accomplished, and how you’ll improve or work towards your goals for tomorrow.

SELF-CARE

We’re busy professionals and burnout in our industry is a real concern. Practicing self-care is a must-do activity, and it belongs in your planner. Add overarching self-care goals, such as meditation, exercise, or diet for the month/week/day, and make sure to schedule in your daily planner.

Your planner is a great place for reflection on how our days, weeks, and months went. Ask yourself, what’s going well for me right now, what am I grateful for, and how did today go?

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