You know those tasks that make you go “urgh”? The ones that burrow into the recesses of your brain at every waking moment but will prompt you to do a deep clean of your house (including the oven) just to avoid tackling them? Those tasks. Get. Rid. Of. Them. Asking for help does not make you a failure and forcing yourself to do things that sap your energy is not a virtue.
I once paid a personal trainer friend to force me to train for a 10K. Getting out of the door three times a week to run was urgh-inducing so I needed help. I also paid her to run the race with me in case the urgh made me resort to walking. She alternated between shouting motivational commentary and running behind me mooing (being chased by a cow is my biggest fear until I made it across the finish line. I can now say I have completed a 10k. Do I feel this is any less of an achievement because I had help? No.
Here is my non-exhaustive list of “urgh” tasks:
– Filing purchase orders
– Recording expenses
– Chasing payments
– Making sure my accounts are ready for the accountant to do my tax return
– Anything involving data entry, forms or numbers
As luck would have it there are people for whom the tasks that make me want to cry are a superpower. Who knew?! These superheroes are bookkeepers and for a small fee they will fight the urgh for you! Not all heroes wear capes.
Your biggest priority is to achieve flow state so you can focus, be productive and provide your clients with the benefit of your expertise. That’s what they are paying for. Flow state is impossible without positive emotion. Ruminating on urgh tasks is a sure-fire way to leave you emotionally depleted. Make no mistake, the opportunity cost of martyring yourself to do this stuff yourself is high.
If you can’t afford a bookkeeper, at the very least invest in a user-friendly invoicing system. I use Sage, or should I say my bookkeeper does. It allows her to seamlessly dispatch everything to the accountant without my having to do anything! I even get a neatly assembled file containing all my invoices and expenses in hard copy at the end of each tax year.
No more last-minute searching for purchase orders at the end of the month, no more infuriating email exchanges about late payments, no more head-scratchingly baffling data entry at the end of the financial year. Best of all I no longer live in fear of having to rummage through the shoe box of doom in my closet to justify an expense from 10 months ago.
I bet you’ve already thought about getting a bookkeeper haven’t you? What’s stopping you? You don’t need anyone’s permission to make your life easier but if you feel that you do then consider this post your green light. What are your ‘urgh’ tasks? Do/could you outsource them?