Copy of Productivity Tips for Working from Home

Gone are the days when working has to mean slogging away in an office from 9am to 5pm.

Technology and a shift in societal expectations means that a lot of work can now be done anywhere at any time of the day or night.

This is especially true for bookkeepers.

Working from home has become commonplace and is a practice adopted by thousands of New Zealanders on a daily basis.

While working from home is amazing for many reasons, it does come with the potential for a whole lot more distractions!

So, focus and productivity are the keys to making this practice successful.

We’ve put together our best productivity tips for working from home as a bookkeeper so that you can maximise your output while embracing the flexibility on offer.

 20 Productivity Tips For Working From Home

1: Have A Plan

Know what you want to achieve each day and plan out what your priority tasks will be. Finish those key jobs first and then move on to the less important tasks. This will keep you on track and ensure no deadlines are missed accidentally.

2: Dedicate A Workspace

Designating a specific space in your home for working will help you to focus better. It may be a specific room or a desk space somewhere. Keep it organised and free from distractions. Try to make it somewhere that you can pack up and move away from at the end of the day to create separation.

3: Embrace Ergonomics

When creating that dedicated workspace, it is important to ensure you are going to be comfortable working at it. Consider ergonomic chairs and work areas to prevent discomfort, fatigue or possible injury during your hours of work.

4: Create A Routine

Sticking to a consistent routine can help you to elevate your productivity. If you can start and end work around the same time each day, it will help you to focus. This doesn't mean you need to stick to traditional working hours though, try to align your work time with when you are most productive.

5: Set Boundaries

People won’t always recognise that you need to focus when working from home. So, set boundaries with your friends and family to avoid them interrupting you when you are trying to work. You can do this by having designated work hours or some kind of signal that you are not to be disturbed.

6: Eat The Frog!

Basically, this phrase means to do your most difficult task first to create momentum, otherwise you could end up worrying and procrastinating about it all day, impacting your productivity. Once that task is completed, you’ll feel accomplished and can ride that momentum wave onward.

7: Minimise Distractions

With all your home comforts around, it can be easy to get distracted while working from home. Minimise the chance of that happening by removing distractions like turning off non-essential phone notifications, closing unnecessary computer tabs and setting boundaries with your friends and family.

8: Take Breaks

Did you know you can actually achieve more if you try to do less? Taking short breaks throughout the day can help you to recharge and reset. Working in set sprints of time can help you to maximise your productivity and stay focused.

9: Utilise Technology

There are literally thousands of different apps and software solutions to help you streamline your processes. You’ll likely already be using Xero or MYOB to handle your client records, but you don’t have to stop there. Digital tools like Trello or Asana can help you organise your workflows and catalogue your deadlines. Then, gradually introduce other productivity tools if needed.

10: Batch Similar Tasks

If you can group similar tasks together, it can increase your efficiency as you aren't forcing your brain to switch gears every time you pick up a new task. Marketing, invoicing and communication are perfect examples of areas where you can batch multiple tasks together.

11: Automate

Following the theme of technology, automation can save you hours of manual work every week. Utilise automation tools to streamline your repetitive tasks and workflows. That way, certain processes can happen 24/7, freeing up your time to focus on your core bookkeeping business.

12: Outsource

There will be aspects of your work that are not necessarily in your wheelhouse or that you don’t enjoy doing. If possible, outsource or delegate those tasks so they don’t create a bottleneck in your productivity flow!

13: Set Time Blocks

If you find yourself answering every email as it comes in or undertaking client meetings every day of the week, you could benefit from time blocking. This is the practice of assigning specific blocks of time for certain activities, such as clearing your inbox at set times of the day or grouping all your meetings into one day.

14: Communicate, Collaborate

There are plenty of tools that can help you to communicate and collaborate with clients, colleagues and other connections. Tools like Zoom, Slack or Microsoft Teams allow for easy communication on one central platform, and Google Workspace allows seamless collaboration and resource sharing.

15: Monotask

Multitasking was all the rage in the 2000s, but now multitasking is out and monotasking is in. It is actually far more productive to have your brain focus on one task until completion and then pick up the next. Switching between tasks constantly causes your productivity to plummet as your brain needs to reset each time you switch.

16: Keep Learning

Take the opportunity to learn new things by investing in your own professional development. This keeps your mind alive and your skills sharp. Learning opportunities come in many forms, such as online courses, physical workshops, webinars, or even reading industry-relevant articles and books. ICNZB has a range of Regional Meetings and our annual conference.

17: Be Realistic

Often, most people are guilty of planning too much in one day. Then, when you don’t achieve everything, it can be disheartening. To prevent that happening it is important to be realistic about what you can actually achieve and avoid overcommitting yourself. You’ll be much more accomplished and productive as a result.

18: Review And Reflect

Take time at the end of each day to review your accomplishments and plan for the next day. Reflect on what worked well and if there are any areas where you might improve for the future. This simple act can prevent you from being stuck in a rut or continually doing things the same way when there might be a more productive alternative.

19: Celebrate The Wins

Once you have reviewed, acknowledge your accomplishments and milestones as you achieve them. Celebrating your small victories can help maintain motivation and momentum. It can be as simple as celebrating a “frog task” once you’ve finally completed it or as big as finishing a client project with great feedback. Celebrate it all as you deserve to recognise your hard work.

20: Keep Healthy

When working from home it is really easy to fall into the trap of working continuously. But, it is super important to remember to put work aside at times to focus on your health. Take care of your physical and mental wellbeing by eating healthily, exercising regularly, and sticking to set work hours.


Bonus Tip: Get Support

It can be really easy to feel isolated when you are working from home. So, connecting with others in your profession can help. Not only will you have opportunities to gain advice and insight from expert bookkeepers, but you can gain value connections and collaborations.

Joining the ICNZB gives you a space to connect with others in your profession which can be invaluable for your own development. It also adds credibility and professionalism to your bookkeeping business, making your services more attractive to your clients.

If you’d like to find out more about ICNZB membership, you can head over to our website now.