How To Be a Better Accountant

When you experience stress and anxiety you are automatically not working at your highest level of productivity because your brain is preoccupied with survival

Podcast Version:

It’s just you and me here and I’m so glad you stopped by to talk.  How have you been?  How’s the accounting profession treating you?  Do you feel like you are doing a great job?  Have you been working harder yet feeling worse about your abilities, your productivity, your time management or your confidence?

I hear you saying that some days it’s good but most of the days it’s not.  I get it.  What about your level of stress?  Have you been feeling anxious and unfocused?  How about your analytical skills?  Have you been making mistakes or missing opportunities lately?

I’ve been where you are and I know how it feels to want to be a great mom but also wanting to be great at your job.  It’s quite the balancing act we’ve taken on as female accountant moms!  I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of articles and information about how to be a working mom; there’s even entire magazines dedicated to just that.  But what about being a better accountant?

Would you like some help with that?  I’m so glad you stopped by to talk.  Let me tell you all about the three areas where coaching can help you be a better accountant.  I really want you to know that you are valuable and the profession needs you!

This week I’m going to discuss improving your time management and productivity, improving your analytical skills and improving your confidence.

 

Improve your time management and productivity

Since you’ve been in the profession for a little while, you know that accounting is not for the faint of heart.  It requires high intelligence, organizational skills and a desire to serve the public’s financial needs.

So since you came to me to talk about how to be a better accountant I’m going to share with you the secret to time management.  Ready?  Time management has nothing to do with how much work you have to do; it has everything to do with what you think about the work you have to do.

We both know that accounting involves a lot of work but did you know that stress actually makes it take longer for you to accomplish things?  Don’t worry; most people don’t.  Our profession has a way of making stress seem like a necessary part of the job but I’m here to tell you that it’s one of the biggest issues working against you in terms of time management and productivity.

You also mentioned before how hard you are on yourself, demanding more and pushing yourself more in order to produce more.  Did you know that stress actually makes you less efficient?

If you’re not sure about that, ask yourself if it’s harder or easier to focus when you are anxious?  How about your ability to concentrate?  You may be surprised to learn that being anxious makes you slower at whatever you are trying to do.  This is because your brain is wired to sense danger and obsess until it feels the danger has gone away.

As cavewomen our primitive brain was on heightened alert for any signs of danger in order to keep us alive.  If it sensed a predator nearby, it didn’t let go of that heightened awareness until it was satisfied that there was no longer a threat.

Your primitive brain doesn’t know the difference between a mountain lion and an accounting deadline.  Your brain perceives too much work as danger and keeps thinking over and over about how there’s too much work.   No wonder your work load seems impossible!

Having worked on the accounts of my clients consistently over many years, I know how much time it takes to complete most of my projects.  I can tell you that when I walked around carrying stress like a heavy purse I was less efficient, made more mistakes and was almost let go once because of my lack of focus.

Once I learned how to manage my mind and reduce my stress dramatically, not only was I more productive but I was also more efficient.  This gave me time to review my own work before handing it off and provided an extra layer of focus and efficiency that wasn’t possible when I was stressed and anxious.

Remember that when you experience stress and anxiety you are automatically not working at your highest level of productivity because your brain is preoccupied with survival.  You actually aren’t as busy as you think you are, you’re just less efficient than you could be because of your feelings of stress and the stress hormones that your body releases once it senses the danger of stress.

So how can I help you manage your time better and be more productive?  I’m so glad you asked!  By coaching you on managing your mind, this will not only make you less stressed and anxious but also will teach the primitive brain to not see danger where there is none.  Sound good?  Now let’s talk about improving your analytical skills.

 

Improve your analytical skills

Did you know that you are actually smarter than you think you are?  Your level of stress and overwhelm has just overridden your higher brain’s intelligence.  When you learn how to manage your mind, you actually become a better thinker.

You’ve probably heard the saying “work smarter, not harder”.  Well there is a good deal of power in really learning how to work smarter and not harder.  When you are anxious you don’t think clearly and your brain has difficulty dealing with complex problems as well as seeing solutions clearly.

Another issue is that when you are anxious you are much more likely to make a mistake or overlook something that would have been obvious if you were managing your mind proactively.

A few months ago I had a deadline looming over me and wasn’t managing my mind the way I should have.  I was getting caught up in my boss’ stress about the project and not choosing thoughts that made me feel calm and focused.  As I was completing my work-papers, I couldn’t find my stapler.  I had just had it.  I looked all over my desk and couldn’t find it.  I was getting super frustrated (on top of the stress I was already experiencing) and almost took a stapler off someone else’s desk.

Then I realized that my brain was probably reacting to my feelings of frustration and stress and that my ability to think and see things clearly was being warped.  I asked a coworker to come into my office and see if she could find the stapler for me.  She walked in and pointed to it, front and center on my desk!

How was that possible?!!  My brain’s ability to see what was right in front of me was reduced because of my primitive brain’s reaction to my stress.  If that could happen with a stapler, just imagine how it could happen with both simple and complex accounting problems.

So hopefully I’ve helped you to see how I can coach you to improve your time management, productivity and analytical skills by showing you how to manage your mind better.  Now let’s dive into your confidence as an accountant.

 

Improve your confidence

You mentioned that you weren’t feeling very confident at your job.  It’s understandable since you’ve been thinking that your job performance hasn’t been at its best but that’s all about to change.

Most people think that confidence comes from accomplishments.  They believe that external events like getting a promotion, landing a big client, etc. need to happen first in order to feel confident.

The best news ever is that confidence is a feeling that actually must come first before the result.  The reason this is such great news is because your feelings are 100% within your control based on the thoughts you choose to think.

By changing your thoughts to create the feeling of confidence, you will then take the action necessary to get that promotion, land that big client or anything else you would like to accomplish.  You cannot underestimate the importance of managing your mind in order to feel better because you cannot take positive action from negative emotions.

Let me just say that I’m so happy you are open to discussing your lack of confidence rather than pretending it’s not an issue.  Whether it’s at home or at work, confidence is important to your success.

When you build a reputation of someone confident, capable and trustworthy, you create success for yourself and for your company.  Confidence will also help you advance your career whether you stay with your company or go elsewhere.

When you are insecure and believe everyone else has it all together you have a much harder time relating to other people and a hard time building mentor relationships that can help your career advancement.

Before I learned the power of managing my mind I would also look to results as proof of my worthiness.  If I didn’t get the raise I anticipated or the bathroom scale didn’t budge in the right direction, my confidence dwindled.  This then became a pattern personally and professionally.  Once I learned the secret to creating the feeling of confidence on purpose, it gave me the wind I needed to sail towards any goal I decided I wanted.

In order to feel confident on purpose I chose thoughts like:

  • You’ve got this
  • You are amazing at what you do
  • You can do hard things
  • You are incredibly smart and capable

 

Before we talk again, why don’t you brainstorm some thoughts that would create the feeling of confidence.  Think of a time when you felt confident in the past and write down what you were thinking.  That’s a good place to start.

So I hope this talk was helpful because you really do deserve to be successful in your career.  Learning how to manage your mind will make you better at your job as an accountant and your job as a mom.  Let’s look at our calendars and set up a time to talk in a few days.

It was great talking to you!  Have a good week.

 

Summary

  • Time management has nothing to do with how much work you have to do; it has everything to do with what you think about the work you have to do.
  • Your brain is wired to sense danger and obsess until it feels the danger has gone away.
  • When you learn how to manage your mind, you actually become a better thinker.
  • When you are anxious you don’t think clearly and your brain has difficulty dealing with complex problems as well as seeing solutions clearly.
  • By changing your thoughts to create the feeling of confidence, you will then take the action necessary to get that promotion, land that big client or anything else you would like to accomplish.
  • When you build a reputation of someone confident, capable and trustworthy, you create success for yourself and for your company.

 

 

If you’d like some help being a better accountant, please feel free to schedule a free mini session or email me at dawn@cpa-moms-coach.com and we can get to work together.

 

 

 

 

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