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Didn't find your answer?

I took two weeks off over Christmas and new year and had a great time, but at the back of my mind I knew January was looming. Now its here and I have so much work to do before the 31st. I have been working for myself for around 7 years now and count myself very fortunate to be my own boss. In the early years I was enthusiastic and motivated but now I am finding preparing one set of accounts after another quite dull and rather than getting on with it, I put things off. The pressure is mounting and I know I've got to spend the next 3 weekends preparing accounts and returns. Does anyone have any motivation to spare? 

Replies (10)

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By frustratedwithhmrc
09th Jan 2014 14:45

You need to stop working for your business - be a capitalist

If you are only ever going to be the front-line resource for your business then you are always going to suffer from this day-to-day grind with no end in sight.

This is why the best way of doing things is to build up a staff underneath you and move into a more supervisory role, gradually as things progress you will still be earning money even when you are on the golf course.

Not everyone can do this, but it is a perfectly rational and achievable goal for anyone who is running their own business, has a good handle on costs and can deal with the staff issues that arise.

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By murphy1
09th Jan 2014 15:27

Totally agree with 'frustratedwithhmrc'.

I feel the exact same as you Pauld, and actually said during the holidays that I could not face going back. Then, I sat back and thought about what I enjoy, what I hate etc. I have one staff member full time, and one part time.

However, every VAT return, SAGE work, every client basically has to come through me. My full timer took over payroll from me around June and this made a fantastic difference.

So, as mentioned above, I plan on trying to remove myself from the day to day crap, that makes me feel the same way as you.



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By Rachael White
09th Jan 2014 16:01

You could have a read of the Simple Steps to Smart Self Assessment guide - there's some good, logical tips in there for structuring the run-up to the deadline. 

And you always have February to look forward to - why not promise yourself a treat to have something to soften the blow of all the hard work this side of the month?

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By Moonbeam
09th Jan 2014 16:01

And or change the work you do

I've been an offsite Financial Controller for much of my working life, and only ventured into the tax arena in a small way in the last few years.

I couldn't bear just to do tax. And others have far more experience and knowledge than I do when it comes to the larger clients. I have decided to keep working for the 15-20 person companies who need someone to supervise their staff and prepare management accounts. I find that much more interesting in many ways.

So if you could find another niche I think that would help as well as all the other advice above.

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By Glenn Martin
09th Jan 2014 16:31

A entrepeneur once told me.

if what you want out of life is 4 holidays abroad per year the best way to do it is book them then work hard to make sure you have the cash to pay for them. I thought he was a bit bonkers at the time but his track record is immense. If you enjoyed your time off at Xmas why don't you go and book your next holiday to give you something to look forward to. Then working your socks off in January to fund it all wont seem so bad when you are lying on a beach in Benidorm in your Budgie Smugglers.

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Man of Kent
By Kent accountant
09th Jan 2014 17:01

Lost Mojo

I felt like that up until this morning.

Mojo now back in place, well and truly. Ticking the tax returns off as I go - another 34 to file by the end of the month.

With a bit of a push I reckon I could get these all done by 20th.

My advice for what its worth:

1. Set time for work and free time and stick to it as far as possible.

2. Draw up a list of work for the month and tick it off as it gets done.

3. List the work you want to do the next day as the last thing you do for the current day. I find this means I don't waste time thinking what to do when I get to my desk in the morning.

4. And especially for January - plan some free time in February. I'm planning to catch up with mates for beers/lunch in February and to book a holiday for the summer next week. 

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By Tosie
09th Jan 2014 19:28

Week end of 31st jan
I have booked a week end away in snowdonia .may snow but so what complete peace.agree list next days work and break it down so you deal with the most complicated first.tick them as you go and plan a treat at various stages.Good luck You are not alone

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By Jim100
09th Jan 2014 21:20

Janaury Blues

January is the worst time of you not just for accountants but just for everyone else.  It is quite depressing with the weather coupled to the fact you had a great time in December.  Its is hard to get back into routine but sure slowly you will make some progress.  Its akin going for a two week holiday and then facing up to a backlog of work.  It is natural to feel demotivated and lethargic so dont worry about it. We all have our moments where everything comes on top of us.  Anyway its only four or five weeks of slog and then normality resumes

I have only been working for a year now so for me January isn't particular a problem but hope I am do get so busy next year when I have to work weekends like you.  Yes a good idea is to have something to look forward to like some have suggested some time in the Sun. Feb is the best time for a holiday as the weather here is likely to be most miserable.  Keep smiling

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By pauld
10th Jan 2014 10:07


Thank you all for your positive thoughts and suggestions. They have certainly helped me focus on sticking to the task in hand for January and to look forward to February. Also long time I definitely need to consider employing someone so I can hand over the day to day mundane tasks. Not sure about Benidorm and Budgie Smugglers though ! ('Glenzy')

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Image is of a pin up style woman in a red dress with some of her skirt caught in the filing cabinet. She looks surprised.
By Monsoon
10th Jan 2014 10:21

Another vote for employing staff!

I've had staff for 4+ years now and it's the best move I ever made. Not only can I take holidays, and delegate the less fun work (routine bookkeeping and payrolls etc) but I'm actually going to get a proper maternity leave in the Spring! Proper extended time off!! That's how bloomin' awesome they are.

I remember all too well the drudgery of busy periods and putting it off, and being overwhelmed, and sleepless nights. Haven't had it in years!

Oh, and I have 8 tax returns left to do on my list *smugs* ;-)

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