Some business owners are a whizz doing their accounts.
They just do them.
If you’re feeling, ‘really, that doesn’t happen to me’, I’m with you. Me neither.
It’s not the best and most comfortable experience for doing my accounts. Which of course, MUST be done. It’s the law.
I get my accounts and tax return done well on time (July – August) so I have the busy autumn and Christmas FREE OF MY TAX RETURN! Just because I help one man bands do their own tax returns and accounts doesn’t mean the joy of getting mine submitted is any less 🙂
Here’s my guide to how to avoid your accounts successfully (and what I do about it)
1. Pretend Your Accounts Don’t Exist
Also known as head in the sand.
I can debunk the myth about head in the sand being a good strategy. It’s not. Head in sand means you suffocate; it’s hardly effective if you’re dead and you have a to-do list and chocolate to eat, shoes to buy.
Instead use your energy to remind yourself frequently that your accounts don’t need to be done yet, there is lots of time, and energy spent on avoiding rather than taking action is energy invested wisely.
2. Allow Bad Patterns To Take Control
This is a core strategy.
It’s well known that the best response to fear in non-dangerous situations is to nurture and encourage it to take control of your actions. Do all you can to remember why you’re scared, why you’re avoiding the boring data entry, why you aren’t asking for help to kick the fear butt.
Taking action? Pah! Where’s my duvet? I want to crawl under.
3. It’s Boring So I’ll Do It Later
No, I really am going to do it.
No, I am. Later. I need to wash the windows first/pick lint off the carpet/empty the cat litter tray/go on Facebook.
Boring tasks are much better put off then got out of the way.
(This tip is sponsored by a visit to Damsels In Success facebook group when I got bored of yet more WordPress formatting hell).
4. I Don’t Want To Be A Person Who Is Organised
Does your belief (e.g. organised people are boring/scary/not-creative) get in the way of getting stuff done?
Are you afraid of what will happen (you know, like be successful) if you get your shit together?
Create chaos in your life to stop you getting your dreams achieved. It’s a corker this one. Make sure to create as much disorder and chaos as possible for maximum stress.
Procrastinate hard. Mention it a lot so people say reassuring things and you feel soothed without changing anything.
5. A Mountain Of Paper Is A Joy Forever
Have records everywhere with no system.
Be unsure what you need to do, why you need to do it, how you need to do it, and when by. Low confidence works wonders.
Keep all your receipts in carrier bags that are falling to pieces. Keep them in your purse until the laser ink fades. Use a complicated system you don’t understand so you say ‘to hell with that!’ and go back to comforting normal of avoiding.
6. It Will All Go Away If You ‘Sort Of Manage’
Clue: No. It won’t go away. It’s your taxes. You’re probably losing money too.
How Do I Stop Avoiding My Accounts?
I’m the first to say I am a born organiser. On the other hand, I HATE the stress from deadlines and time pressure so I have created many easy to use systems that work in my life so it doesn’t happen as much as I can prevent it.
Even if you are naturally a last minute person, there are better ways you can use your energy than doing your tax return in January. Life gets in the way and a tax return deadline does not move. It’s not worth it. Seriously.
It’s essential to have an easy bookkeeping system that works for you
and that rewards and nurtures you.
How I Schedule Avoiding Into My Accounts
I’m not perfect. Avoiding is what we do naturally when we don’t want to do a task (it’s boring/stressful/we’re afraid/unsure).
I know I am going to spend time procrastinating and avoiding. I also know I don’t thrive when I do that. The solution is planned procrastination.
Here’s my annual schedule:
- Helping clients do their own tax returns and accounts, and take control of their bookkeeping
- Keep up with my bookkeeping
- Helping clients create a bookkeeping system that works
- Client coaching
- Have a rest
- Official accounts avoidance (no stressing about my accounts. I give myself full permission to do nothing except keep up with my bookkeeping)
- Helping clients do their own tax returns and accounts
- Client coaching and Create a bookkeeping system that works
- Write a new information product (2013: The Tax Return Toolkit. 2014: From Blog To Business 30 Day Challenge) and speaking
- Do my accounts and tax return using my system including lots of nurturing and rewards
- Annual accounts review and financial review
- Review what I avoided and why and how I can support myself better in the coming year
I work a lot better when I give myself official avoiding procrastination time.
Are you getting in your own way and sabotaging your success by choosing chaos?
If that’s you, let’s talk.
Why don’t you try giving your accounts-avoiding the official treatment?