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« Dieting: The New Rule Starts Well | Main | Dieting - a new rule »

Employ Yourself

If a friend were to suggest that they paid you to come in a couple of afternoons a week to keep their books for them, or clean their house, or do their filing, and you had the time to spare, would you find it difficult to do?

You probably feel that you have better things to do with your time, but I am sure that if you did decide to help them you would have no difficulty doing the job.

So how come your own accounts are in disorder, your house is in chaos, your filing is behindhand? (They’re not? — Ok, I believe you!)

Why not employ someone else to come in and sort these things out for you? or better still why not employ YOURSELF to do it? You would be able to do the job perfectly easily if you were doing it for someone else, so why is it so difficult when it comes to doing it for yourself?

So for instance you might employ yourself as your own bookkeeper for a couple of afternoons a week. Agree your times of work with yourself. And go to work on your accounts exactly as if you were going to work for someone else. So if you were being paid to do a couple of afternoons a week for someone else, you would keep those time slots blocked out in your diary and wouldn’t allow anything else to interfere with them (or you would if you wanted to keep your job!). So do the same for yourself. And you wouldn’t be tempted to do anything else while you were working either. Do the same for yourself.

You can reinforce the illusion by working in a different place from where you usually work when you are being “yourself”. Or dress differently. Whatever will give you the necessary distance from the task. When I act as my own accountant I often take all the books down to the local public library, where I am completely isolated from my normal distractions.

You can give yourself a grand title like “Director of Finances”. And you can extend this principle to being your own “Director of Marketing”, “Director of Operations” — whatever you like.

Reader Comments (1)

Hi, Mark
It's funny that you posted this. I used this "ruse" on myself to get rid of my backlog and revamp my filing system when you were walking me through project:no more backlog. My office hours were 8-5 8-noon current stuff with 20 minute break each hour, the same ratio of work/break I worked under during my last 22 years of employment. One hour for lunch and 1-4 for wiping out the backlog. I didn't allow myself any overtime. At 5pm sharp the shop was closed. Now I use this for other things on occassion. I really appreciate all these methods that you teach us. That gives us the flexibility to employ them both as usual routine living and also as special occurances. I don't pay myself for the 8 to noon stretch as I consider that just part of the obligation for living decently. But when I have special projects that I DON'T LIKE, I put myself on the books!

I'm relieved that you posted this as I thought I was being a nutcase having to employ these tricks on myself to keep on regularly without fail( within my physical means). When I'm in Stubborn Ass mode, I pull out all the stops to get me to do the work even if I have to "pretend" being employed by a generous employer! LOL! I always prefer being able to lure myself with a juicy carrot rather than being convinced with a barbed tongue....which needs to be done on occasion as well.

Again, thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. I can't possibly thank you enough for all that you have done to help me learn how to "maintain through the pain" (one of my best mantras)
March 21, 2007 at 12:02 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go

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