One of the best things you can do for your sales tax management productivity is to simplify your processes. If your desk and mind are cluttered with a perpetual sales tax to-do list, it can be a real hassle to focus on the task at hand and get your work done in a timely fashion. If you have to stop mid-way through a task to do something else, it’s easy to lose your spot and not know where you left off. One tool called a routine list can help you stay on track. A routine list is a checklist of all the sub-tasks that need to be done to finish one individual task that you do over and over.
For instance, if you’re in charge of sales tax filing having a list of the steps involved in that filing can help you get through it without missing a step or make it easy to walk away from a task while you’re in the middle of it if something else needs your immediate attention. New research shows that focusing on one task is the best way to be productive. Interruptions can reduce our effectiveness by 28%, and in a perfect world, there would be no multitasking. In the real world, we may not have a choice. When you’re at your desk working on sales tax, you might get a call from a boss saying they need a report immediately on expenses for last week or a person you manage might need help solving a problem.
Sometimes, you really just need to walk away from sales tax management. Another type of interruption is an internal interruption. This is when the sales tax calendar is calling to you as you try to accomplish other tasks, or vice versa. Worrying about one task while doing another can lead to errors in both. The next time you go through your sales tax process, write down every step you do in the fewest words possible.
Turn that list of steps into a checklist of tasks in your calendar with reoccurring dates for your sales tax filing deadlines and it’ll guide you through the process when you need to file next. As you go through the steps to complete your sales tax return, check off each step. If you need to walk away from sales tax to deal with another task under your care, you’ll know exactly where you left off and what remains to be done—no more doing the same task over when your attention gets called elsewhere.