As an Accounting Marketer, I’m often wearing many hats and keeping track of many initiatives at once. I’m sure you’ve heard it before: work smarter, not harder! It’s a common saying, but the words themselves are pretty abstract. Here are some specific examples of how you can improve your efficiency and do more with the time you have.
Find Your Structure
Whether you’re in the office or working from home, your schedule has probably seen at least some changes over the last few months. Take a step back and look at how your day or week is structured. When are you most productive? Do you have a lot of meetings on your calendar? I personally find it useful to have time built in each day to make progress on any ongoing projects, and I find myself most productive in the mornings so I try to block that out on my calendar. I also like to limit the number of meetings I have on any given day, although since that’s not always possible I have one day a week dedicated to more meetings (and shift the expectation that I’ll make progress on other projects). This obviously depends on you and your firm, but it is valuable to take the time to determine what works best for you.
Centralize Your Information
It’s a common theme – the more data we have, the more places we have to keep track of it. While it may not be possible to pare down your data to a single source, the more we can do to streamline, the better. Maybe that just means keeping organized folders and lists within your email. Or, if you have a tool like Microsoft Teams there are a number of ways you can use teams as a hub for your meetings, notes, documents, and action items. You could also use a project management tool like Asana, Monday.com, or Airtable to organize your data. These tools can also be set up to send notification emails as well so that you don’t even have to leave your email to complete tasks and move on with your day.
Whenever you can, automate tasks to save time. As I mentioned above, automated email notifications are a great way to do this. Whether using an outside tool or even just setting up rules within Outlook or your email client of choice, think about what repetitive or regular tasks you perform every day and how you can automate them. You can also use tools like Zapier or Microsoft Power Automate (previously Microsoft Flow) to set up automations between separate platforms. As an accounting marketer, you know the value of marketing automation, but often you can apply that same concept to your own internal processes to work smarter, not harder.
Learn New Skills
Online learning is having a moment, so use it to your advantage. Many training courses are available for free or at very reasonable costs right now, all from the comfort of your home or office. Maybe you’d like to learn how to set up workflow automations or how to host a successful webinar. It’s easy to think that you don’t have time, but sometimes investing some time in learning something new can pay off in the long run.
However you choose to use your time more effectively as an accounting marketer, AAM has resources that can help. Check out AAM’s upcoming events or start a conversation in the members-only community to help find even more ways to work smarter, not harder.
About Sarah Stage
Sarah Stage is Director of Marketing at Insero & Co. CPAs where she focuses on digital marketing strategies for firm growth.