Do You Make these 5 Productivity Mistakes?

Posted on: December 15, 2014


Topics: General

Productivity Mistakes


You have it all together – the calendars sync’d, the project planned, the expenses tabulated. When it comes to CFO responsibilities, you pride yourself in your productivity and organization. But are you slipping up on the details? Test your executive staff with the eight productivity habits below.

1. Do you touch an email multiple times?

Email is one of the busy CFO’s biggest time wasters. Minimize its impact on your schedule with a firm “once and it’s done” rule. Answer it when you read it, then delete it or file it immediately. No need to waste more energy on one communication.

Bonus points – Do you have a super-simple email filing system? Thanks to today’s fast email searching capabilities, major email programs like Gmail and Outlook do not require an extensive filing system to find what you need. Simply search or even filter within the search bar to call up that important information. Simplify your life with one main file to save anything you are afraid to delete, and label it “Important” or “Saved.”

2. Do you have too many to-do lists?

The more lists you have, the less likely you are to call up the information in a timely manner. Try to combine as much as possible, perhaps with one master “personal” list and a master “work” list that you view daily. If multiple work projects require separate lists, assign an owner of each to champion its cause and make sure all the shareholders stay on task.

Bonus points – Do you schedule tasks on your calendar rather than dumping them on a list? Scheduled tasks get done, and schedulers get productive!

3. Do you neglect to write things down?

Some professionals think that the casual “I’ll remember” makes them look calm and in control. But forgetting commitments or deadlines makes a busy CFO look irresponsible, instead. Make a commitment to write down every promise and to schedule every appointment immediately.

Bonus points – Do you actively take notes during meetings and presentations? Whether helping you remember insights or keeping you engaged on a sleepy afternoon, note-taking works your memory and creativity, keeping you sharp when you need it most.

4. Is your phone always on?

In today’s hyper-connected world, the busy CFO strives to be reachable and responsive. But the “always on” phenomenon takes a toll on:

  • Sleep
  • Relationships
  • Health

Set personal boundaries, like “no phones during dinner” or “no work communication after 9pm” to protect your sanity – and that of your loved ones.

Bonus points – Have you taken a vacation from your phone lately? Show your loved ones you care and demonstrate responsible work/life balance to your staff by leaving work completely behind for a weekend or even a week-long family vacation.

5. Is your planner packed from pre-dawn to midnight?

A day with no margin is a day set up for failure. Productive executives are ready for the unexpected with a good cushion around:

  • Meetings
  • Lunches
  • Major events

Stay cool, calm, and collected by giving yourself wiggle room in the agenda.

Bonus points – Have you blocked off “down time” in your week and even your year? Productive executives give themselves leeway with one day of rest a week and firm vacations throughout the year.

Productivity isn’t a goal, it’s a tool to accomplish what matters most. Did you notice any productivity habits missing from your daily life? Start practicing them now to achieve your goals with confidence.

We want to see you achieve those goals. Contact us today to see how we can make your business more productive with TGO’s professional development webinars and training.