We’ve all been there. You get to your desk first thing in the morning, coffee in hand, with the best intentions of getting tons of things done. Then, before you know it, it’s 7:30pm and you’re wondering where the time went and why your to-do list is still full of, well, to-dos. And remember lunch? Nope. Forgot to “do” that one, too.

Ok, first things first — go grab something to eat and get your blood-sugar back to normal (before you get “hangry”!) Then come back here for some ideas on how to simplify your business. We’ll wait.

Now, let’s start finding ways to simplify your business day.

Deep-six the ‘to-do’ list

Do you accomplish every single item on your ‘to-do’ list by the end of every day? Yeah, I didn’t think so. We all love the feeling of crossing out those line items, but you’ve got to get rid of the detailed list. Instead, simply focus on your top two most important tasks. Let everything else go. This allows you to knock out the critical work rather than the spend your time on things that aren’t bringing cash into your business or getting clients through the front door (i.e. ‘Get paper towels from Costco.’)

Unplug

You’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating: The simplest and most effective way to get work done is by minimize interruptions. Close your door, turn off your phone, turn off notifications on all your other devices. Then close out of all the windows you have open on your computer that have absolutely nothing to do with your important task at hand.

Avoid the urge to check your e-mail, voicemail, texts, etc. This can be tough, but trust me, those little email refreshes are sending you off into the complex doom of downtime. Don’t go there. It sucks. As in monster time-suck. Here are some excellent tools for minimizing your digital distractions.

ANOTHER meeting?

Really? Do you really have to attend or even conduct yet another meeting? Meetings often delay decisions. They often include people who don’t really need to be in attendance (and you can tell because they are the ones multi-tasking.) Meetings often get off track because they don’t have a clear objective. Decide if a meeting is absolutely necessary. Sometimes they are. Most times they are not. Life will be much simpler if you KISS the majority of those business meetings goodbye — and we don’t mean “mwah.”

Outsource the ish

Remember those miniscule tasks I mentioned earlier? Somebody’s got to do them at some point, right? In today’s amazing gig economy, there are plenty of people who would love to pick up those Costco paper towels for you. They will also happily answer your phone(s), make appointments, conduct research, build presentations, or even bring you that lunch you keep forgetting to eat. There are numerous options for delegating these micro-tasks out. Take advantage of them and say ‘so long’ all those avenues of procrastination and ‘hello’ to easy street.

Is “Accountant” in your job title?

If you are a business owner, then probably not. When it comes to your company’s finances, you’re going to want to keep the work as simple as possible. And here’s a news flash: Accounting and invoicing don’t have to be complicated. There are alternatives to those hefty solutions like Quickbooks. Use an easy online solution like Sage One and you’ll feel the love, not the frustration.

Remember, simple is straightforward, uncomplicated and most importantly, painless. Reduce the difficulty in your day-to-day tasks and your workload will feel like a piece of cake. And who doesn’t like cake?!?

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Erasmus Pretorius

With over 23 years of unwavering expertise, I am a seasoned Chartered Accountant committed to financial excellence. My journey in the realm of finance has been marked by astute strategic insights, meticulous attention to detail, and an unyielding dedication to precision. Over the years, I’ve navigated the complexities of financial landscapes, providing invaluable counsel to diverse clients. My proficiency extends across auditing, taxation, and financial management, coupled with a profound understanding of regulatory frameworks. As a registered professional, I have consistently upheld the highest standards of integrity and ethics, earning a reputation as a trusted advisor in the dynamic world of finance.