Today, I finally submitted my tax paperwork to my CPA. You might think I’m ahead of the game; actually, I’m cutting it close. My tax filing deadline is March 15th and Allen prefers to get my documentation by January 31st (clearly I missed that boat!).
In years past, whenever the process of getting my materials together was a bear, it was totally my fault. It was because I let receipts pile up and procrastinated getting them entered into Quicken, and/or I waited until the last minute to reconcile banking and credit card statements.
2013 was different. I was on top of things and a little ahead of myself…I even thought I’d actually make Allen’s deadline for once.
It stopped working
There isn’t a Mac version of Quicken Deluxe – the financial software program I’ve been using since 1995. So ever since I became a “Mac girl” in 2008, I’ve been running this Windows-based software on my MacBook Pro via a virtualization platform that purports to seamlessly run Windows-based applications on Mac OS.
Initially, this workaround worked lovely. Lately though, it’s been downright awful. I never know if I’m going to crash and have to reboot both operating systems or if a task is going to take me 30-minutes or 3 hours. This is probably why I haven’t been as disciplined with following my own financial systems + processes. The experience of doing what was once easy now sucks!
Square Pegs Don’t Really Like Round Holes
Here are five (5) ways I’ve paid for this inefficiency. And, I bet somewhere in your life you’re making the same mistake as me – forcing a fit that just isn’t working anymore (assuming it ever did). As such, you’re probably paying a price in similar ways, too:
All I had to do last night was customize and generate about ten reports. This should have been a quick “click and done” exercise – taking no more than 30-minutes. But because I had to reboot my systems several times it took me 3.5 hours. When I sat down to finish things up, I was full of energy. By the time I was done, I was totally drained and spent and frustrated. Not to mention bleary-eyed.
When it comes to a task I do consistently and one about which I have an expectation for how long it should take – based on prior experience – I find it hard to focus when completing it takes double to triple the amount of time. My mind begins to wander as I think about how else I could be spending my time. Result: lose-lose.
I can do things to get re-energized or re-focused. Not so with time – the one asset we can never replace. Time spent is time spent.
At first blush, this may be a little tricky to quantify. But there is definitely a financial cost to being low of energy and focus and mis-spending your time. In my case, it’s not doing what I can to generate revenue. Or, more accurately it’s not doing what I can to take care of myself so I can generate revenue from a place of being full.
Need I say more! Having fun is an important ingredient to living a healthy and successful life – it is what helps me show up as my best, relaxed, and at ease self. You?
Sometimes, life has a strange way of getting you and me to pay attention and to reexamine what is and isn’t working.
It took preparing my 2013 tax package to reach my breaking point – to really shed light that my tools need to be replaced and to stop with the whole “you can make this work” mindset. (I’m buying an inexpensive PC-laptop just for my Quicken Deluxe package.)
In your life, where are you operating with the, “I can make this work” mindset? When instead you’d be better off taking the fact that something is off as a sign that it’s time for a change. Where are you trying to force a fit that is no longer serving you?
- Is it in your relationship?
- What about your career?
- What about friendships?
- How about your own financial strategies + tools?
What started off working just fine, but is now costing you more than you’re willing to pay in energy, time, money, productivity and stress? And what are you going to do about it?
Leave a comment below to let me know. And if it’s something you’d rather keep private indicate that and I won’t publish your comment. I look forward to hearing from you!
p.s. If you’re looking for a CPA, I highly recommend Allen M. Harvey, CPA, MST. I’d refer you to him even if I weren’t a client of his.
p.p.s. If you’re interested in me doing a round-up and review of financial tools that are alternatives to Quicken and Mint.com, let me know.