What’s really important? 

What’s really important?

May 3, 2023

In today’s world, it’s easy to get bogged down by the constant news surrounding the economy, interest rate uncertainty, and high inflation. With so much going on, it can be challenging to focus on what’s truly important – the health and welfare of you and your loved ones.

At Seagrave French, we understand that the current situation can be overwhelming. The mix of inflation, recession, high debts, and energy shocks can make it seem like the crisis is out of our hands. However, it’s crucial to remember that we have a choice in how we respond to these events.

As the famous singer Celine Dion once said, “Life imposes things on you that you can’t control, but you still have the choice of how you’re going to live through this.” So, what can we do to keep a level head during these trying times?

Firstly, it’s essential to focus on what you can control – your life and those close to you. Set long-term goals to give yourself a sense of agency and control. Secondly, list the things that make you happy and safe, and focus on the good things in your life. Finally, take time out to do things you enjoy, as this reinforces a sense of self-worth and purpose.

If you own a business, it’s crucial to take a step back and review your personal objectives. Your business should be there to provide you with what you want from life, not the other way around. Look at where your business is currently positioned, its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This will give you a clear understanding of the marketplace, the competition, the systems, and the way things are done.

Once you have a clear understanding of your business’s position, it’s time to focus on what it will look like when it’s “complete” or running profitably and successfully. This will help you determine priorities and the significant issues that need to be addressed.

It’s also wise to plan for a range of “good and bad” scenarios so that you can be flexible about the direction you should take. At Seagrave French, we’re here to support you during these challenging times. If you need help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Together, we can weather this storm and come out stronger on the other side.

Can you create more ‘productive’ time? 

As a small business owner, it’s likely that you’re familiar with the feeling of not having enough time in the day to get everything done. You work hard all day, but at the end of it, you can’t help but wonder what you actually accomplished. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Many small business owners struggle with time management.

At Seagrave French, we understand how important time management is for small businesses. That’s why we’ve put together a list of techniques that can help you and your employees free up time for productive and focused activities.

One of the simplest techniques is to set aside time for completing tasks on your “To Do List.” This means putting yourself into a “Do Not Disturb” (DND) mode to avoid interruptions from external and internal sources. By doing this, you can focus on your tasks without any distractions. It’s like working from home, but in an office environment.

To implement the DND mode, you should agree on a period of 1 to 2 hours every day where there will be no external phone calls, no internal phone calls, no disturbing employees internally, and a discipline to switch off emails other than for those relevant for the “To Do List” of the individual employee. Many businesses rotate their DND time amongst their employees.

The benefits of implementing the DND mode are numerous. It increases productivity, reduces stress, and provides a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. It’s a win-win situation for both employees and employers.

In addition to the DND mode, there are other time-saving techniques that may work for your business. For example, delegating tasks to others can help free up your time. However, it’s important to delegate with supervision and feedback to ensure the process is under control. Moreover, if you ask somebody to do something, there has to be an assumption that it will be done, unless they tell you otherwise.

Another technique is to have emails sent to another supporting source whose job it is to read all emails and decide whether to delete, forward to the relevant employee with the words “Please read but no action required,” or forward to the relevant employee with the words “Please read – action required.” This technique reduces the number of irrelevant emails that land in your inbox.

The “One touch” only rule is another technique that can save time. This means dealing with an email or letter directly instead of having to re-read it, which is generally considered inefficient.

Finally, something as simple as removing chairs from your office space can help reduce the time spent in meetings. If you don’t have a chair, people are less likely to sit and engage in long discussions.

By adopting some or all of these techniques, you can create an additional amount of productive time that may also improve employee confidence. At Seagrave French, we understand the importance of time management for small businesses, and we’re here to help. If you need assistance with time management or any other accounting-related services, feel free to contact us.

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