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Is Your Task List Too Big and Out of Control?

In our fast paced, multitasking world where we are constantly inundated with information and competing priorities, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with things that need to be taken care of.  You cannot do it all and you certainly can’t do it all well.

There is a lot of great content and advice on how to be more productive.  I have read a lot of it and implemented in varying degrees.  As we all know it is a work in process!

One thing that sticks with me is to have a shorter To Do list.  I think it is great to pick 3-5 strategic priorities for the year. However, you must have 1 main focus/priority per quarter or month (depending on scope)!  The key here is to schedule time to work on the project.

Here are a few great reminders:

  • Pretend your Internet access is down!  Email and social media can be a distraction and we are often operating in the important and not urgent quadrant.
  • Imagine yourself at December 31 and what is the one thing you need accomplished to make it a double thumbs up year!
  • Just because you can do it does NOT mean you should!

What items on your to do list are urgent and which can wait?  We’d love to hear what methods work for you.

It’s Summer! To avoid the Summer Doldrums we need to engage our people

Hello.  I am re-reading a great book (and one that I recommend) by Dan Ariely (James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University),  Predictably Irrational.

predictably irrationalThe book is about decision making (behavior and economics).  Ariely has some very powerful examples on Price Anchoring and Price Relativity that I will share on our August call.  Ariely also has a free course which a CPA/CFO friend of mine has taken and said it is very good.

Finally, Ariely’s work led me to an interesting (TEDTalk) he did titled “What Makes Us Feel Good About our Work”.

Ariely has, not surprisingly, some very relevant findings about what makes us more productive and happier at work which is the reason for my post.  I believe his themes below are very consistent with our ongoing dialogue about how to engage our team members at more productive and higher levels. Read More…

4 Major Milestone Shifts

Many practitioners and partners experience a seminal moment as they move towards 50 or shortly thereafter where four major shirts occur

  1. time fliesYou realize your time on earth is finite! That is, you have had many successes, made many mistakes and for someone who ‘feels’ their time is finite you know there are some things that have to change! The sense of urgency you have been waiting for (or avoiding) has finally arrived.
  2. You have not made enough money. For the hours, stress and risk have endured you think you would be making more money. You have held onto that underperforming team member too long, held on to too many small clients, a good client went bankrupt or it always seemed like this year was going to be your breakthrough year. Did not happen. Read More…

Moving forward in tax ‘off season’

Congratulations again on the end of tax season! 

Tax 'Off Season'

Tax ‘Off Season’ kicks off right now

I hope it was successful and that you have a few days off (if not more) planned in the very near future!

Going into the “off season” one of the matters we are going to be focusing on and dialoguing about is how we allocate our time in a way that reflects our values, strengths and vision for our life and our firm?

We will also examine if we are holding onto old ways of thinking, or doing business that limits our abilities.

Just a few thoughts to ponder as you have some time to think!

Planning a tax season debrief with your team?

Hello and Congratulations on the end of tax season!

Office workers in meeting

Let your team get things off their chest

I know many of you are planning a tax season debrief with your team. The outcomes are typically two-fold:

  1. Let your team get some things off their chest.
  2. Develop an action item list.

Of course, the session needs to be constructive and do not let the team focus on the negative.  In order, to keep it positive always ask what went well with the function and ask that your team be constructive.

Here are some questions that you can ask.  This is not intended to be an all-inclusive list. It will get the conversation moving and you need to customize for your firm. Read More…

What TLAs and rodents have to do with managing your firm



I am not sure if this is original content but I was going back and forth with a firm and I asked would you like to address the issue now or ATS.

The Managing Partner asked me what is ‘ATS’?  I said After Tax Season.

He said, let’s do it RATS (Right After Tax Season).

My hunch is your RATS list of personal and professional items is gathering steam.  Well, now you have your acronym: RATS!