Person covering face with handsI’ve found that one of the main personal changes on becoming a mum is that I have gained a huge ability to feel guilty.  I feel guilty that I’ve not managed to get my girls spoon feeding themselves yet, that I don’t spend enough time doing crafts with them, that I use the TV at least once a day to let me get stuff done – the list goes on and on.  And I know from reading other blogs, forums and books, and from chatting with friends, that I am not alone.

I also now feel more guilty about stuff that didn’t really bother me before.  That my house isn’t as tidy as I would like, that I’m not up to date with my filing, that the roses didn’t get pruned, that I’ve not finished any of the craft projects I started this year.  So I’ve made a pre-New Years resolution that I will sort my life out and feel less guilty.

Cartoon character trying to close the door on clutterI read a lovely blog by motivating mum called Project Declutter: the Plan which really resonated with me.  Debbie went round her house and made a list of 90 different contained areas that needed to be decluttered, and is gradually working through that list.

This gave me a good burst of motivation and I did the same, although instead of focussing only on decluttering, its a sorting my life out list.  I now have a list of 75 items, all non work related, and so far I have managed to tick off a satisfying 12.  Just imagine how smug I will be if I make it to the end of the list.

Already I can feel some of the guilt lifting.

So what’s all this got to do with accounting hints and tips??

A lot of people put off doing their books, to the point where it becomes another nagging source of guilt.  Why don’t you take a leaf out of motivating mum’s book and make a list of bite size achievable actions, and try to cross off one a day.

Instead of viewing your accounts as a mountain, turn it into a series of molehills.  One day you could write a list of all your business trips and work out the mileage.  The next day you could work through a business credit card statement.  Then you could organise and file your receipts.  It doesn’t sound quite as difficult, does it?

If you manage to work through your own plan and get on top of things then the next step is to change your habits.  Instead of putting it all off until the last minute, set aside a few minutes a week to keep your books organised.  Not only will you shift that nagging sense of guilt, you will also be in the best possible position to understand your numbers and to apply that understanding to running your business more effectively.