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A lunch break hack to lure you away from your desk 🥙

January 25, 2023

Things that should be on your radar this month 👀

1. New legislation will bring major changes to pay secrecy practices, job ads and flexible working arrangements throughout 2023. Find out how these changes will effect your business.

2. Suburban micro-offices may be the next stage of our evolving work environment, with businesses pitching them as the answer to employees’ unwillingness to commute into CBDs.

3. We’ve been testing out which business processes can be automated with AI (and which definitely can’t) and this article was a timely reminder that any business assets created with AI programs aren’t protected by copyright in Australia.

4. Social media is the new playground for scammers impersonating the ATO, with many users falling victim to phishing sites after reaching out for help online.

5. In response to the trend towards decentralised work and the planet's growing demand for food, outback Australia is likely to be the country's next startup incubator.

6. 10 of the best and brightest women in tech have weighed in on the lack of gender equity in their fields and shared their ideas for how to address it.

Tech recs to help kickstart your year

📅 Reclaim.ai: This clever schedule manager helps you design perfectly balanced work weeks that have enough time for work, play, and everything in between.

🧘 Ten Percent Happier: We think it’s worth paying for a meditation app that works, and this app’s library is full of guided meditations that are approachable, enjoyable and useful.

🕹️ Kahoot: Use this app to run interactive meetings that people *actually* enjoy; it lets you design custom quizzes and polls that your team can answer in real time using their phones.

The highs 📈  and lows 📉 of small business life

📈 This month we flew down to the Mornington Peninsula and spent some time catching up with our accounting community. We love events like this; they’re great places to talk through shared experiences, challenges, and ideas with like-minded people who are passionate about doing great work. A huge thanks to The Rumbl for having us – we can’t wait to come back.

📉 In December, we had a lot to say about making sure you ease yourself into the new year. Jumping straight back to 100% after taking a break is incredibly jarring, and it’s nearly always a recipe for disaster.

Thing is, we might have taken our advice a little too seriously, and we’ve found ourselves chasing our tails a bit as January comes to a close. We’ve made a mental note to slowly ratchet up our workload after our next break instead of pushing larger tasks to the end of the month.

Productivity hacks 👩‍💻

  • It’s no secret that getting out of the office for lunch is one of the best ways to reset your day and boost productivity, but a $15 sandwich every day (not to mention multiple coffee runs) can start to add up pretty quickly.

    We all know how easy it is to spend the whole day at your desk if the only trip you need to make is to the microwave, so here’s a tip that’ll get you out of your seat for a little longer: Bring a lunch that has some assembly required.

    Spend a few minutes carefully layering the perfect sandwich, or choose something that requires a few minutes of chopping; these kinds of low-effort but high-concentration tasks will help move your mind away from work to make sure you take a proper break. Then, take your lunch and eat it away from your desk – by giving your brain a break, you’ll return more focused, with improved memory and better decision making.

  • ​If you’re determined to start the year strong but at a loss for where to start: Don’t waste time brainstorming and check out these 22 things we think you should add to your 2023 strategy.
  • If the rising cost of paper isn’t enough to convince you it’s time to go paperless, would more hours in the day get you over the line?
  • While processes like digitising documents and designing new workflows *sound* like they’ll take ages to perfect, the time you’ll save kicking them down the road pales in comparison to the time you’ll save in the long run. Check out this article from business.gov.au for resources to help your business with the transition, or ask us to help your business make the switch.

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It’s pretty common for business owners to start the year with a business strategy reset, but just remember: While it’s easy to make big plans, it’s much harder to set achievable business goals. If your business killed it last year but nearly killed you in the process, there's no point building a plan for growth that involves taking on more work. It’s just not realistic.

Instead, think strategically about ways your business can grow. For example: Can you raise your prices? Yes, you might lose some clients – but you could find that those who stay with you (and you might be surprised by how many do) end up covering the windfall from those you lost. This example won't work for everyone, but shifting your mindset away from high output = success will help you reclaim the time and energy you need to run your business well.

That's just our two pennies' worth.

- Liam and Amy, co-founders of Project Alfred

(changing the way people think about accounting)

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