We all have tasks in our business that we don’t enjoy doing.
Sometimes when you’re trying to figure out how to deal with business tasks you don’t like, it takes a little while to identify what the root cause of your issue is, and in that case, you need to dig deeper and take the time to explore your preconceived thoughts and feelings around the task.
We can learn so much about ourselves, and therefore take mindful, strategic action to make a tangible change (in our lives and our businesses!), when we are willing to be honest with ourselves and ask questions that get beneath the surface-level issues.
For example, for many years, I absolutely loathed doing any kind of bookkeeping tasks. I hated keeping track of income and expenses, documenting invoices and receipts, and dealing with all the admin work. Even sending invoices to clients (which is, of course, fundamental to getting paid for your work!) was something I dragged my feet on.
Finally, I asked myself, “What gives? Why do I dislike doing this so much? Why do I have this attitude about it that it’s such a chore?”
When I took some time to dig in and figure out what was going on, and what specifically I disliked about those tasks, I realized it came down to two things…
First, it was very time-consuming to catch up on those kinds of tasks when they piled up, and second, I didn’t have any set days for when I was supposed to those tasks, so I often fell behind on completing them. And the more I fell behind on those tasks, the more overwhelming and time-consuming they became, so I’d postpone them even further. Of course, that just made the situation worse.
Yes, I have to admit that there was a time in my business when I would only deal with financial stuff a couple times a year—and I was often behind on invoicing clients. Yikes!
But once I figured this out about myself, and understood my own personal issues and distaste for it, I realized that I had control to change the situation.
So I did.
These days, I have it set into my schedule that every single Friday, I do my bookkeeping. I review my bank account and Zoho software, and I screenshot receipts and add them to the relevant expense so that there are duplicates of all my receipts. I also have set days of the month when I invoice my long-term clients, and I have a system for when I invoice new clients.
And you know what? I actually enjoy the financial side of my business a lot more! It doesn’t feel like a chore. Instead, there’s something exciting about looking at how much money I made that week or how much money I can expect to come in the following week.
Plus, because I now do this on a weekly basis, it saves so much time. It usually takes less than 20 minutes every Friday to get it done… and it makes tax season a million times easier and less stressful to navigate.
With that in mind, here are 7 tips for how to deal with business tasks you don’t like:
- Remind yourself why this task is so important. This starts to shift your mindset around it. For example, when it comes to bookkeeping, it’s exciting to think about the amount of money you’re bringing in. Focusing on the benefits can help make it something you start to look forward to.
- Do the task more frequently. The more often you do it, the less time it will take and the less daunting it will feel. For example, this could include doing it on a weekly basis rather than annually or quarterly.
- Make it a habit. Include the task in a set time and day as part of your schedule, so it’s just another aspect of your routine. It’s not such a big deal when it’s just a regular thing you do.
- Combine it with something enjoyable. If it’s a mindless task, then perhaps you can listen to your favourite podcast or have a favourite TV show playing in the background while you’re completing that task.
- Identify ways to streamline, automate, outsource, or delegate it. Using our example of managing finances, using Zoho bookkeeping software rather than a spreadsheet really streamlines the process. You could also hire a bookkeeper to outsource aspects of it, so it’s not something you need to spend so much time and energy doing.
- Identify ways to make it prettier or more interesting for you to use. Continuing with our example of finances, Zoho makes keeping track of everything much more aesthetically appealing than just using an Excel spreadsheet. Similarly, I’ve also switched to MeetEdgar as my social media scheduling tool, whereas I used to use other scheduling tools that weren’t as aesthetically pleasing. The more attractive a tool is, the more likely we might be to use it. Plus, when you surround yourself with things you like the look of, it can have a positive effect mentally when you’re using it on a regular basis.
- Commit to a small chunk of time. Tell yourself that you’ll work on this task for just 10 minutes, and then you can do whatever you want. Set the timer if you need to. You might be surprised that you are able to complete that task within the 10-minute timeslot… or, you might discover that it’s not as bad as you thought, and you keep working beyond the 10 minutes until you get it out of the way.
It’s not always easy to pinpoint the root of why we dislike a particular task in our businesses, but the more that you analyze it about yourself, and the more that you change it to make it more appealing for YOU, the better you’ll get at digging deep into these things in the future.
And now that you know how to deal with business tasks you don’t like… you’ve got this!
Sagan Morrow teaches busy, time-crunched solopreneurs how to build their own successful home-based businesses—without the overwhelm—through her online courses at SaganMorrow.com.
Specializing in productivity tips and action-oriented strategic planning, Sagan has a decade of experience as a freelance writer and is the host of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Connect with her @Saganlives on Twitter or Instagram.
More content about how to get the right stuff done in your business:
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- Time Blocking Tips to Make You Laser Focused and Super Productive
- Be a Goal Getter
- How to Use Toggl to Track Your Time for Free
- 18 Tips for Busy Solopreneurs on How to Combat Burnout
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