Dear Mary Pat,
I get a little overwhelmed this time of year. I own a business and am working on finishing year-end for 2019 while starting to plan for the new season. Because most of my staff is seasonal, I don’t have my usual crew around me to keep me motivated. How do I stay on track and not go stir crazy while getting through this stack of paperwork in my (somewhat chilly) office?
Mountain of Paper
Dear Mountain of Paper,
When you have a large to-do list to power through, it’s easy to feel a little defeated before you even start. Most people tend to work best with a deadline, and because you are the boss of yourself, you get to create a timeline that makes sense for you.
Break your work into smaller chunks and goals. For example, today you can make sure you’re up to date with your bank reconciliations; tomorrow you can finish quarterlies; and the following day you can work on getting your W-2s filed and sent.
Naturally, any list can be intimidating when you add it all up, but if you take it one step at a time, your work will be done before you know it. Consider drawing a line through the completed items on your list because there’s something very satisfying about checking things off and moving on to the next item.
To break up the monotony, play music, have a nice beverage at hand and get up to walk around once in a while. You could also take your laptop out to a coffee shop or shared work space if you can concentrate with a little bit of noise around you.