Share this content

Working on Saturdays

Working on Saturdays

Really helpful response on my client complained thread has raised some wider issues for me that I need to face. Once again helpful AW community I would appreciate your feedback/response.

Every Monday I say to myself I will take the whole weekend off. I will not work on Saturday. I end up working on Saturdays. I do not think I do any more work than people who take the weekend off. They are probably get more done. I think I am not that efficinet. One reason for this I do not yet standardised templates/procedures for dealing with the same issues.

I was the same in my full time employment.

I have now seriously just started to  systemise. It is really time consuming and I know I will get the rewards later. I just received my evaluation copy the TaxCalc hub. This I am sure will be a great help.

I also just had a call from a potential client who want a meeting on a Saturday. I cannot turn new business away so I said yes of course.

Systemising I am sure will help a lot.

I need  my weekends to recharge, away from work. I am not doing this. Time for me to change.

I would apprecaite any pointers on efficient working methods for an accountancy practice.

Before I get any comments about the time I  spend on AW posts -Lets get this out of the way. The time I spend on posting questions on AW. It really helps with my work. On more than a few occassions it has saved me time and also it has meant I avoid making mistakes and wasting money. I just post issues as they occur rather than wait at the end of the day. Perhaps I should come to AW just once a day and post once a day?


Please login or register to join the discussion.

By aadil
22nd Oct 2010 14:36

May not be possible at the beginning

I am in the same boat as you - also find myself working at odd hours and several hours saturday and Sunday. But I am also in full time employment so I have to make up.

But even if you are fully self employed I personally do not think you could switch off entirely for two days, what may be possible is to reduce these extra hours as you get more efficient and standardised, have good employees/subbies etc.

As far as AW is concerned I fully agree with you, but I would add that you should postpone reading other posts until your breaks, as these can absorb lot of working time!

I am wasting time right now! But its Friday afternoon!!

Thanks (0)
22nd Oct 2010 15:48

Set time aside

Try setting Saturday mornings aside for doing practice development work.  Even now if I have a complicated letter to write I tend to do it in the evenings - in other words when Im not going to be disturbed by phone calls, clents, staff etc.

As for AWeb - check how many times I post in a day - and you'll know how many cups of coffee I have :)   I find 10 minutes on AWeb relaxing and a good way to unwind for a few minutes. And yes - I learn things too - the day you are too old to learn is the day to retire.

Systemising is something that you shouldnt rush into.  First see what you actually need, then decide on the sysatems that will help you. What you dont need is to spend lots of time devising systems that you really dont need. 



Thanks (0)
By pembo
22nd Oct 2010 16:53

I assume

you are a sole practioner are you ? Best way around this is to have loads of staff so that you never need to but that probably doesn't help does it ?

Number 1 never assume...just because your client wanted a meeting Saturday doesn't mean you have to...there are very few cases like that that you can't work around and you can create a rod for your own back by giving in to requests like that.....

Best management/time tip I've learnt to use is Coveys 7 habits and in particular the quandrants...assess the situation honestly...if its important and urgent (sometimes subjective I know) then do it...if its urgent but not important then work around it or ignore it (e.g a must call us back request from HMRC or a client who you detest and would like to go)..if its not urgent but important put it on the backburner to be done at a future date...if not urgent or important then forget it...

Certain systems and the right software can save huge time...these days most emails/letters that go out with accounts/returns etc are copied from last years...this is why I make sure that 100% of all emails etc are stored electronically....

The only time I've been in the office on a Saturday was to get my mobile other than when I worked for the slavemasters that were C & L in the seventies when I was keen to impress...trouble is nobody that mattered went in anyway so it was pointless really...



Thanks (0)
By pawncob
22nd Oct 2010 17:51

Saturday Morning

Wake up.


Make coffee, get paper, go back to bed and listen to Sounds of the Sixties on R2.

Have breakfast.

Go fishing.

Go to club for a beer.


Thanks (0)
22nd Oct 2010 18:41


I was immediately thinking of Covey's seven habits when reading the question so would reiterate pembo's advice.

I'm the same - every week I swear i won't work on the saturday but I invariably do,  you can get so much done in 2-3 hours that you would never be able to do in the week.

Thanks (0)
22nd Oct 2010 22:05

I know this problem

For seven years I struggled with this problem. I vowed every week I would take the weekend off; it very rarely happened. The more I worked, the more I needed the time off, but the less I believed I could take the time off. In the end I cracked. My advice would be to find a hobby that forces you out of the office, something with a serious commitment rather than a choice commitment. Such things as Special Police Constable, TA or the Samaritans comes to mind.

Keep well.

Albert Camus

Thanks (0)
23rd Oct 2010 10:20

Get some perspective/s

@FirstTab –efficient will only get you so far, focus on being effective and remember, the “inner game” is a key part of being successful.

Be conscious of your self-talk. “Trying” to do something is not a good idea; try walking through a wall and see how it goes - much better just to open a door to a new way of thinking. Saying “I will not work Saturday” is not doing you any favors because your subconscious does not understand negative, it just hears “work Saturday”. So, don’t think about changing yourself talk and improving your results.

There are some small things that can make a big difference but understand you cannot manage time, only yourself. Be conscious of your behaviour every minute of the day, most people operate on habit and the day "just goes".

Turn off your email and phone to complete important tasks. Be decisive about everything and be prepared to accept mistakes and accept 80% - it is usually good enough. Perfectionism is an excuse; some try and turn it into a virtue.

How many hours are you working in the week? Three two-hour sessions from 6am to 8am gives you a full day. How much television are you watching? How fit are you physically? Go to bed early and get up early – the two days you are not working early in the morning do some exercise. You are serious, right?

Pembo makes an important point. Maybe you are under resourced . Perhaps because you are under-funded and my question is how is your pricing?

If you are too cheap you will end up being too busy and unable to invest in the resources you need and stop taking clients on and get the operations sorted because you are making the situation worse.

Bob Harper

Portfolio Marketing

Thanks (0)
23rd Oct 2010 10:30

It's Saturday & I'm on here, ironic or what?

The others above are right, this is more a physiological issue than a problem over work ineffeciency. 

Take it from someone who now produces tax returns and accounts, blindfolded with one hand tied to his foot, whilst listening to the radio; systemising does not guarantee you'll not carry on working over the weekend, in fact, as I am now able to handle twice as much work per day than I could 10 years ago there's more pressure to use up all hours available.

How many times do you pack up on Friday with the 10 "must be dones" playing on your mind to come back in Monday morning to find that the world is still turning and that, yes, they are still there, but you now have a whole week to deal with them?

I am not strong willed enough and so, as mentioned above, I too deliberately plan personal stuff for the weekends and, once Saturday morning has been used up, the desire to "just login for 30 mins" vanishes.  I'm about to take "the bitch[***] who must be obeyed" out for a long walk in the woods which is a great distraction and for longer term distraction, am booking an OU course for next year.

There is also the case of being realistic about how much work or how many clients you can or should handle.  The big question for us all I think (Mr Green talking now) is "when is enough enough?" and the answer "when you actually feel you have enough, it's too much".

I'm at the other end of the career path to you and have dramatically reduced work/clients over the past couple of years and, in theory, my income is hardly sufficiant to cover overheads and living but I don't actually feel any worse off and have quite a bit of money in the bank, so again it's my mind telling me I need to generate £X pa rather than looking at what I need.

Finally, on handling client expectations and the "NO" word, I agree with the comment above, set a rule that you do not see clients over the weekend and that maybe only leave clear one evening a week to say yes.  I gave a talk several years ago about "looking after number 1" in which I suggested that, at worst, your efforts at keeping everyone happy and content should be split equally between "you & yours" and clients.

One way to get the ball rolling on redressing the balance is to say no to a client even though you could say yes.  eg when a client says "must see you tomorrow" say "sorry I'm tied up all day but I'm free all of xxxday & yyyday", do it 2-3 times and it will come naturally, remember in most cases they need you a lot more than you need them.

Dog's going mad so leave it there, best of...

Thanks (0)
23rd Oct 2010 10:55


 .  I'm about to take "the bitch[***] who must be obeyed" out for a long walk in the woods which is a great distraction and for longer term distraction, am booking an OU course for next year.


Posted by Paul Scholes on Sat, 23/10/2010 - 10:30



You really shouldnt talk about the wife like that Paul :)

Yep - I'm here Saturday morning - actually I dont "work" at weekends, but I do use the odd hour or two to catch up on odd jobs.  For instance, this morning I'm trawling the internet researching a bunch of cowboys who seem to think that the Consumer Credit Act doesnt apply to them. ( I do enjoy slapping down disreputable debt collection companies who give clients grief.)

Next stop is the local computer shop (local = 15 miles away but it's the nearest we have). Last night the cat decided it would be a good idea to sharpen his claws - and shredded my mouse mat - and it seems we dont have a spare one anywhere so ill nip off and buy a couple of dozen. 

I dont see anything wrong with "working" at weekends or in the evenings - providing you balance it out by taking "me time" during the week. For instance if the weather is nice I will take an afternoon off - if it's cold and raining I'll work.  What is the point of having your own business if you can't use it to improve your life.  Tying yourself to the office from 9-5 means that you might as well work for someone else and not have the stress of running a business. 



Enjoy the walk Paul ..............................


Thanks (0)
23rd Oct 2010 11:00

Me too...

How ironic to be checking on on the site on Saturday morning and to stumble across this thread.

Since I do it as a job, I try to regulate my time on AccountingWEB too, but it's a 24/7 website (including Christmas day), so a quick check for spammers and flame wars is always advisable.

I was interviewing people for Gina's replacement this week and a couple of them had some good suggestions for managing themselves and their time. One of the best suggestions was to set a bit of time aside when the pressure is off just to collect your thoughts and plan your activities - whether it's at the beginning/end of the day, or over the weekend.

With my current heavy workload, that's what I tend to do - and it also means I've got some time to catch up with what's happening with you all - which is one of the most important parts of my job.

So don't feel guilty about posting a lot of questions First Tab. They usually raise points that are of interest to other members. It would be a very quiet place if everybody felt they had to justify their participation on the site

Thanks (0)
23rd Oct 2010 15:23

Is this why women live longer? Plus a great response

A great response and a really good and a helpful read. Thank you all.

John I appreciate your comments about not feeling guilty about number of posts I make on AW. I do feel guilty since I was sensitive to some comments made on this aspect some time back. I will just carry on posting now.

I am thinking are women a lot better at dividing the time between work and play? This could be one of the reasons men have a far shorter life span on this earth compared to women. Dare I say this? Is this something men could learn from women?

From what I can work out I have not seen a response from women so far. Have they taken the weekend off?

It is great to know I am not the only one to be working on a Saturday. At times I feel work will always be there, but once the time has gone its gone. I still turn up on a Saturday.

There could  be a compromise here, work 1/2 day (start very early) then take the rest of the week off.

Paul some really good points - thanks



Thanks (0)
23rd Oct 2010 15:46

Why ?

 This could be one of the reasons men have a far shorter life span on this earth compared to women.  Posted by FirstTab on Sat, 23/10/2010 - 15:23


Why do women live longer than men?

Because shopping doesn't cause heart attacks, but paying the bills does!

Thanks (0)
23rd Oct 2010 16:00

once again

Once again C_D you managed to make me laugh!

Thanks (0)
24th Oct 2010 08:38


Some women work even on Sunday.


Working on systems to facilitate delegation.

Reading books on management.


I wish I had gotten help much earlier than I did.

Two years on, I am still catching up with stuff I should have done then.


My advice - get help. You will not regret it!

Thanks (0)
Share this content