Breaking down a project

An email arrived from my accountant reminding me that he needed the report by the end of the month. Panic set in as I realized I was 18 months behind in my bookkeeping. The consequences of my procrastination could cost me late fees, a high tax bill or worse.

Manually entering each bank statement would take 30 minutes, I estimated. This meant six hours of data entry or an entire day in the office.

A few days passed before I cleared my calendar to give me the time and headspace to start the project. I turned on the Spotify jazz radio channel, made a green tea, pulled out my bank statement binder, and got started. The first month took 20 minutes. Elated and energized, I tried to reconcile but couldn't. What was wrong? Then I realized I had entered all those numbers with the wrong year. Correcting those years took 20 minutes. But I still couldn't reconcile. To my shock and dismay, I realized, I had entered the wrong month as well. This cost me yet another 20 minutes. I was out of practice.

If only I had kept up with my bookkeeping each month!

The urge was strong to enter yet another month, but I stopped myself. In the past, I would have sat for eight hours straight, forgetting to eat, to take care of my dog, to cook, or to move my body.

This time, I decided to limit myself to one hour.

In my calendar, I scheduled one hour per day. In each day, I wrote "accounting feb & march" and so on.

Now, six days later, I am done. Tomorrow, I will start on 2016 and will create a reminder in my calendar to enter my statements each month. Now, I look forward to each bookkeeping hour.


About Diana Oehrli — Diana partners with creative, high-achieving professionals who want to connect with their purpose and passion. Does this sound like you? Diana works with expats, executives, and artists. Fluent in English, French and German, she is familiar with multiple cross-cultural lifestyles. To schedule a free discovery session, click here.