Recently I had a conversation with a very good friend of mine about year-end tax prep. I told him I spent 6 hours gathering my expenses, categorizing, itemizing, etc…It was grueling for sure, but I felt accomplished in the end.
In the most gentle way possible, my friend asked for clarification as to why this task took me so long since, in theory, a little weekly automation and 10 minutes’ worth of routine attention would essentially yield the same information at the end of the year.
It was then I had to admit that although I am successful in many areas, sticking to a consistent routine for financial business accounting is not one of them. Had I stuck to a consistent routine throughout the year, those 6 hours would have been spent doing something, anything, more exciting.
Not only did that conversation have me ruminating on what I want to change from an accounting perspective in 2023, but I started evaluating other “year-end” tasks, that if we made them week-end tasks, would provide us a weekly routine yielding year-end success.
I know I was guilty of sending out the proverbial year-end list of inquiries:
- Areas in which you have personally grown this year are…
- Your main challenges this year were…
- The support you would like to ask for next year is…
- And on…
Those are great inquiries for year-end reflection, but they fall short of helping us focus, refocus, pivot, and change direction during the year, and they don’t keep us honest and track our accountability with a weekly routine.
In 2023, I would like to challenge us to transition from year-end accounting to weekly accounting, with just 10 minutes a week.
I put together a cheat sheet to help us in this process. Print it and keep it handy. (I made it small for desk purposes!)
Challenge yourself to account for your week and automate your success.
It’s 10 minutes now or 6 hours at the end of the year. Your choice.