Tips for Time Management

Tips for Time Management

Tips for Time Management

Roadmap to The CPA MOMS Podcast – Time Management

With over 60,000 downloads of the podcast, we know we’ve got some powerful information to share with accountant moms just like you.

We also understand that with over 100 episodes to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. You are welcome to start any place you want, but it’s not necessary to go back to the beginning.

We created this roadmap to help onboard you to the podcast. We selected the episodes that would best get you up to speed and ready to tune in each Sunday when new episodes are released.

If there’s one thing that accountant moms could use more of, it’s time.  Time is the most valuable resource we all have, but when not managed properly, it can create a very imbalanced life.  Below you’ll find a few great podcast episodes for busy female accountant moms just like you to help you manage your time better.  Feel free to check out The CPA MOMS Podcast in order to get practical support and solutions you need to have it all – a successful career and a happy family.

 

Time Management

Time management is one of those hot topics for most accountant moms.  In order to be a successful accountant, you need to be able to produce at a high level.  In order to have the balanced life you desire as both an accountant and a mom, you need to understand how to get more done in less time.

As a working mom with only 24 hours in a day, you have to use your time wisely.  In order to advance in your accounting career, you need to learn how to boost your time management and productivity, and maximize those 24 hours.

If you struggle with time management, burnout, or overwhelm, you might find the following episodes of The CPA MOMS Podcast helpful:

 

#17 – Beating Burnout

No matter what profession you are in, the concept of burnout is all too familiar to working women. As working moms we have an added layer of challenges, expectations, judgments and time constraints that can take the feeling of stress to the next level. Many women hit the proverbial wall and surrender by announcing that burnout has beaten them; they just can’t do it all.

This week I’m going to discuss the signs of burnout and how to beat it at its own game.

Beating Burnout

 

#27 – How to Overcome Overwhelm

If you are like me, overwhelm can become, well…overwhelming. It can feel like being on the proverbial hamster wheel with no relief in sight. Your feeling of anxiety seems to be playing tag with your feeling of overwhelm and you can’t make those feelings take a time out and watch TV instead.

This episode discusses what causes overwhelm and how to overcome it so it so you can get back to having the life you want.

How to Overcome Overwhelm

 

#71 – How To Win The Battle With Busyness

A typical busy day as an accountant and a mom often starts with waking up and already dreading the busy day ahead, walking into the office and getting hit with other people battling busyness and then working through it all in order to get home to keep being busy.  It’s no wonder working moms experience burnout at such a high rate!

In this episode I’ll share what busyness really is, why it’s a problem and what to do instead.

How To Win The Battle With Busyness

 

#105 – How To Overcome Avoidance

By having a better understanding of avoidance, why it’s an issue for you, and how to handle it, you will be able to reduce an incredible amount of stress and overwhelm in your life. Thankfully the ability to overcome avoidance for working moms can not only benefit you, but your family as well.

This episode discusses what makes you avoid things and how to overcome avoidance.

How To Overcome Avoidance

 

#108 – How Accountant Moms Can Create More Time

When it comes to the issue between working moms and time, it can be a real game changer when you understand your female brain better.  By learning how to schedule and follow through on your time, and knowing that you will accomplish what you say you’re going to, will not only improve your relationship with time, but more importantly, improve your relationship with yourself.

This episode discusses the two main causes of wasted time and how to create more time.

How Accountant Moms Can Create More Time

 

You can find the full CPA MOMS Podcast Roadmap here: The CPA MOMS Podcast Mini-Directory By Episode

 

There are over 100 podcast episodes for you to take a look at so please feel free to check out The CPA MOMS Podcast on Itunes, Spotify, Apple Music, iHeart Radio or you can simply go to cpa-moms.com/podcasts.

If you like what you hear on the podcast, we would be so grateful if you would share it with other accountant moms who could use some support as well.

Owning Your Career & Money

Owning Your Career & Money

Owning Your Career & Money

Roadmap to The CPA MOMS Podcast – Career & Money

With over 60,000 downloads of the podcast, we know we’ve got some powerful information to share with accountant moms just like you.

We also understand that with over 100 episodes to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. You are welcome to start any place you want, but it’s not necessary to go back to the beginning.

We created this roadmap to help onboard you to the podcast. We selected the episodes that would best get you up to speed and ready to tune in each Sunday when new episodes are released.

One of the biggest challenges for accountant moms is how to have a successful accounting career while also having a family, how to know your worth, and how to make the money you deserve.  Below you’ll find a few great podcast episodes for busy female accountant moms just like you to help you deal with the topics of career and money. Feel free to check out The CPA MOMS Podcast in order to get practical support and solutions you need to have it all – a successful career and a happy family.

 

Career & Money

Whether you are an accounting employee working part-time or full-time, or you’re a mompreneur with your own practice, developing your career and improving your financial success can be challenging.

Between the struggle with a lack of confidence, not owning your worth, and not being clear about what’s best for you and your family, it can often make you feel confused and alone, not knowing where to turn to for guidance.

If you struggle with dealing with your accounting career, your professional development  and with your relationship with money, you might find the following episodes of The CPA MOMS Podcast helpful:

 

#20 – Working Part Time and Being Successful

As a working mom with an accounting career you know a lot about hard work and trying to balance your career with your family. Sometimes it can seem like it’s just not possible to do it all and especially to do it successfully.

This episode discusses what success means to you, how to add value as a part-time employee and my own journey with being successful and working part-time throughout my career.

Working Part Time and Being Successful

 

#34 – Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

It doesn’t matter if it has to do with your profession, with your ability as a mother or any other area of your life, imposter syndrome can creep in at any time. This syndrome is often suffered in silence because you don’t realize it’s not unique to you and don’t want to admit out loud what you are thinking and feeling.

This episode discusses what imposter syndrome is, where it comes from and how to cure it.

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

 

#38 – Improving Your Relationship With Money

In order to eliminate shame and build confidence around money you have to be willing to take a look at your beliefs. The results you currently have in your relationship with money are due to some unconscious programming that needs to be acknowledged if you want to create different results.

This episode discusses why women experience so much shame around money and how to start improving your relationship with money.

Improving Your Relationship With Money

 

# 70 – How to Stop Overthinking and Improve Your Accounting Career

If you’ve ever been told that you think too much, but not in a good way, there’s a reason for that. Your female brain is significantly more active than a male brain, especially in the areas involved in impulse control, focus, mood and anxiety.

This episode discusses what it means to overthink, symptoms of overthinking and how to get control over it.

How to Stop Overthinking and Improve Your Accounting Career

 

# 104 – Owning Your Financial Worth And Value

It’s important to understand that how you delineate between your moral value as a woman versus your economic value as an accountant and a mom, will impact so many areas of your life both personally and professionally.  I want to help you get clear about the difference between the two so that you aren’t dependent on society to determine your economic worth versus your innate worth.

This episode discusses the importance of understanding your inherent value as a woman as well as how to own your financial value and worth.

Owning Your Financial Worth And Value

 

#114 – How To Take Charge Of Your Professional Development

It doesn’t matter whether you are in public or private accounting, or how long you’ve been an accountant, having a professional development plan is key if you want to have a successful accounting career with a deeper level of satisfaction.

This episode discusses the reasons why it can be challenging for account moms to take charge of their professional development and an exercise you can do to help you take charge

How To Take Charge Of Your Professional Development

 

You can find the full CPA MOMS Podcast Roadmap here: The CPA MOMS Podcast Mini-Directory By Episode

 

There are over 100 podcast episodes for you to take a look at so please feel free to check out The CPA MOMS Podcast on Itunes, Spotify, Apple Music, iHeart Radio or you can simply go to cpa-moms.com/podcasts.

If you like what you hear on the podcast, we would be so grateful if you would share it with other accountant moms who could use some support as well.

How to Deal with Difficult People

How to Deal with Difficult People

How to Deal with Difficult People

Roadmap to The CPA MOMS Podcast – Difficult People

With over 60,000 downloads of the podcast, we know we’ve got some powerful information to share with accountant moms just like you.

We also understand that with over 100 episodes to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. You are welcome to start any place you want, but it’s not necessary to go back to the beginning.

We created this roadmap to help onboard you to the podcast. We selected the episodes that would best get you up to speed and ready to tune in each Sunday when new episodes are released.

Whether you’re in public or private accounting, there’s no way to avoid having to deal with difficult people both personally and professionally.  Below you’ll find a few great podcast episodes for busy female accountant moms just like you to help you deal with the difficult people in your life. Feel free to check out The CPA MOMS Podcast in order to get practical support and solutions you need to have it all – a successful career and a happy family.

 

Difficult People

Whether it’s a micro-managing boss or an overbearing mother-in-law, handling difficult people in your personal and professional life can be challenging, especially for accountant moms trying to balance a career with a family.

Before you know it, you’re left frustrated, unable to focus on what you need to get done, unable to say no and feeling overwhelmed.

Let’s face it, you already have a lot on your plate and having to deal with difficult people can just add another layer of stress that you probably don’t need.

If you struggle with dealing with difficult people, with setting boundaries, or how to stop taking things personally, you might find the following episodes of The CPA MOMS Podcast helpful:

 

#2 – How To Set Boundaries The Correct Way

Envision this – resentment free relationships, no longer engaging in gossip, clear and honest communication with others and with yourself, managing your relationship with technology, feeling peaceful and in control.

This episode discusses shares the secrets to setting boundaries (hint: just saying “no” is not setting a boundary), what a boundary is and is not and share an example from my life.

How To Set Boundaries The Correct Way

 

#4 – Why We Take Things Personally And How To Stop

Have you ever made someone else’s mood mean something about you?  Have you ever felt defensive or uncomfortable when someone said something to you or about you?

This episode discusses why we take things personally, what we can do instead, why it doesn’t make you an uncaring person and the key to learning how to stop taking things personally.

Why We Take Things Personally And How To Stop

 

#53 – Learning How To Have a Difficult Conversation

If you are someone who is uncomfortable having a difficult conversation it’s because you were never taught the skill of how to have a difficult conversation.  It doesn’t require you to be negative, forceful or dramatic; it only requires you to be open to learning a new way of communicating and managing your mind.

This episode discusses the steps to having a difficult conversation and share examples so that, no matter what the outcome of the conversation, you will feel better for having learned this new skill.

Learning How To Have a Difficult Conversation

 

#91 – Dealing With Shame

As mothers we also have an incredible opportunity to deal with shame in a way that empowers our children to not stay hidden.  When we understand our own feelings of shame, what’s causing it and can powerfully deal with it, we can teach our children a better way as well.

This episode discusses where shame comes from, my own issues around shame and how to take back control of shame.

Dealing With Shame

 

#98 – Dealing With Difficult Clients

Unfortunately, no matter how well you screen potential clients or how long you’ve had a pleasant relationship with them, clients can be difficult at times.  It doesn’t matter how big or small your practice is, or what types of businesses you provide your services to, there is no guarantee that you’re not going to have to deal with difficult clients along the way.

This episode discusses the major categories of difficult clients, the main causes of stress around difficult clients and a tool to help you deal with them.

Dealing With Difficult Clients

 

You can find the full CPA MOMS Podcast Roadmap here: The CPA MOMS Podcast Mini-Directory By Episode

 

There are over 100 podcast episodes for you to take a look at so please feel free to check out The CPA MOMS Podcast on Itunes, Spotify, Apple Music, iHeart Radio or you can simply go to cpa-moms.com/podcasts.

If you like what you hear on the podcast, we would be so grateful if you would share it with other accountant moms who could use some support as well.

Successful Parenting for the Working Mom

Successful Parenting for the Working Mom

Successful Parenting for the Working Mom

Roadmap to The CPA MOMS Podcast – Parenting

With over 60,000 downloads of the podcast, we know we’ve got some powerful information to share with accountant moms just like you.

We also understand that with over 100 episodes to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. You are welcome to start any place you want, but it’s not necessary to go back to the beginning.

We created this roadmap to help onboard you to the podcast. We selected the episodes that would best get you up to speed and ready to tune in each Sunday when new episodes are released.

We’ll start out with a topic that all working moms can resonate with – parenting.  Below you’ll find a few great podcast episodes for busy female accountant moms just like you.  Feel free to check out The CPA MOMS Podcast in order to get practical support and solutions you need to have it all – a successful career and a happy family

 

Parenting

 

Parenting is one of those topics that is incredibly challenging for moms, but is especially challenging for working moms.  When we are at work, we can feel guilty because we wish we were with our kids.  When we are with the kids, we can feel guilty because we wish we were at work.

No matter what profession you are in, working moms have a tug of war going on in our hearts and minds.  Unfortunately it’s been a war that’s been creating stress for us for decades.

As the podcast host of the CPA MOMS Podcast, a CPA in public accounting for over 30 years, and a mom for almost my entire career, I know first hand how challenging it can be.  They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I also believe it takes a village to help the mom raising that child.

Interestingly, mom guilt is one of those things that can strike at any time no matter what we do for a living, how many children we have, what their ages are, or how much help we have balancing our career with our family.

If you struggle with parenting, with being an accountant and a mom, as well as with mom guilt, you might find the following episodes of The CPA MOMS Podcast helpful:

 

#8 – Let’s End Mom Guilt, One Profession At A Time

Since my children are now in their mid to late 20’s, I have had the gift of being able to discuss their experiences with having a working mom, as well as talk about my issues with having mom guilt throughout their childhood. 

In this episode I discuss where the feeling of guilt comes from, some truths we may want to own, how we can end mom guilt and the last chapter of my mom guilt story.

Let’s End Mom Guilt, One Profession At A Time

 

#9 – Confessions Of An Introverted Mother

Since accountants tend to lean towards having introvert personalities, it can be challenging to be both an introvert and a mother.  It can make you question whether you’re doing a good job and judge yourself for your preferences. 

In this episode I discuss the qualities of an introvert, how those qualities have affected my role as a mother, and tools that you can use if you are an introverted mother

Confessions Of An Introverted Mother

 

#15 – Working Mom Mantras And Other Helpful Thoughts

As hard working moms, it would be nice to bring a little more peace and let go of a little more stress, which is why a mantra is such a great tool to start using.  It’s a simple sentence that, when used time and time again, can clear a way towards feeling how we’d like to feel. 

In this episode I share some working mom mantras, why you may want to start using one, and how to create your own. 

Working Mom Mantras And Other Helpful Thoughts

 

#45 – Parenting With A Managed Mind

One of the most challenging and rewarding roles you can have in life is being a parent.  I have yet to meet a parent who wasn’t surprised at what parenthood required of them.  In order to successfully parent your children it’s important for you to manage your own mind first.  Parenting with a managed mind means the difference between stress and peace, control and acceptance as well as fear and courage. 

In this episode I discuss parenting with a managed mind at various stages of your child’s life and offer examples of what a managed mind looks like at each stage.

Parenting With A Managed Mind

 

#82 – Being An Accountant And A Mom During A Financial Crisis

If being an accountant during a financial crisis wasn’t enough, many of us are also moms concerned with the safety, health and well-being of our children and families.  As moms, we already have these priorities to consider, but add a world-wide pandemic into the mix, and we can all be stretched pretty thin.

In this episode I discuss what’s within your control as an accountant and a mom and how to take back control.

Being An Accountant And A Mom During A Financial Crisis

 

You can find the full CPA MOMS Podcast Roadmap here: The CPA MOMS Podcast Mini-Directory By Episode

 

There are over 100 podcast episodes for you to take a look at so please feel free to check out The CPA MOMS Podcast on Itunes, Spotify, Apple Music, iHeart Radio or you can simply go to cpa-moms.com/podcasts.

If you like what you hear on the podcast, we would be so grateful if you would share it with other accountant moms who could use some support as well.

Minding And Bridging The Gap

Minding And Bridging The Gap

 

 

If you’ve ever taken a train, there is often a reminder written on the platform, or a recorded message, telling you to “mind the gap”, ensuring your safety as you take a step off the platform and into the train.  This safety measure was first introduced in 1968, long before the overly distracted times that we currently live in, offering us a measure of awareness when we might have other things we’re focused on.  

But truthfully, we all have gaps in our lives, with the most common issue for the accountant moms that I work with and coach, being bridging the gap between where they are and where they want to be; whether it’s in their relationships, their career, their finances, their health, or many other areas of their lives.  They have goals and desires for their career, their families, and themselves, but wind up settling for less than they truly want because their goal just seems too far out of reach.   

Maybe you can relate – they want more flexibility in their schedule but their current job is demanding and inflexible; they want to make more money but don’t see how, without sacrificing more of their time; they want less stress, less overwhelm and more balance, but can’t imagine how it’s possible with their personal and professional demands.  You’ve probably got your own list of goals and desires that might seem impossible to achieve. 

While it’s important as an accountant to mind and fill in the gaps when it comes to your accounting knowledge of various subjects in the ever changing world of finance, it’s also just as important to be aware of the gaps in your personal life as well.  To find those places where you may have not allowed yourself to consider improving upon; where you may have accepted and normalized the gap.

Thankfully minding and bridging the gap between where you are and where you want to be doesn’t have to be impossible or dream-stealing.  Crossing that bridge just takes some awareness of what makes change so difficult and how to transition your goals from an impossibility to a possibility. 

If like a lot of working moms, you aren’t living your best life and want to do something about it, you first need to understand the concept of cognitive dissonance and how it’s making it so challenging for you to bridge any gap you find yourself facing.  Just know that If you have a desire, you also have the ability to make that desire a reality when you understand what’s getting in your way and how to use this awareness to have what you want.   

This week I’m going to discuss what cognitive dissonance is, why it’s a problem and how you can successfully bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

 

Cognitive dissonance and why it’s a problem

 

If you’ve ever had a dream about making a change in your life or achieving some goal, but you felt scared, overwhelmed, doubtful or frustrated, you have experienced cognitive dissonance.  Most of us working moms, when faced with bridging the gap between where we are and where we want to be, will most likely experience cognitive dissonance and not even know it, believing it must be a “sign” that’s telling us to give up or change direction.

Basically, cognitive dissonance is when your brain is struggling with two opposing thoughts or beliefs that you are holding simultaneously, which are then creating mental discomfort.  It happens when there’s a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors.  

For example, you might currently be making $50,000 a year and want to eventually make $100,000 a year, but the discomfort your brain experiences with the dissonance, or the gap, between your current reality and your future goal, is what will cause you cognitive dissonance. Before you know it, you’re feeling doubtful and worried, eventually giving up on your dream of ever making $100,000, assuming that it just isn’t meant to be.

The issue is that cognitive dissonance is the reason why most people don’t even want to set goals or go after a dream.  As soon as you set a goal, it means that your current thoughts, which are creating your current life experience, are going to need to change, and that’s very uncomfortable for your brain.    

Your brain doesn’t want to expend the energy necessary to believe something new, to feel determined or committed, and then to take the actions necessary to make it happen.  Your brain thrives on sameness and would much rather stay on the familiar side of the bridge, rather than make the effort to cross over to the other, less familiar side.

Interestingly, you’ve probably experienced cognitive dissonance more than you realize, and just thought that the discomfort, doubt or fear you experienced were telling you something or warning you in some way.  Like many of my clients, you may have allowed your brain to tell you that you don’t need to be uncomfortable, and that if you just give up on that goal or dream, you’ll actually feel much better.

In the example of wanting to make $100,000, you may have conflicting thoughts like, “That’s too big of a leap from where I’m currently at” or “I have no idea how to make that much money”.  When faced with cognitive dissonance, bridging the gap between where you are and where you want to be can seem like trying to jump over the Grand Canyon.

The good and bad news is that if you have a strong desire, it’s probably been tapping you on the shoulder for awhile, which means that cognitive dissonance is totally normal, but will also make you feel pretty horrible for awhile.  Just by its very nature, cognitive dissonance is the precursor to making a change, and your female brain is not onboard when it comes to making changes.

The other thing that will often get in the way is your brain’s need to be right, referred to as cognitive bias, and to look for all the proof to validate your current belief, as opposed to the belief you’d like to have about where you want to be.  Your brain is always working to prove what it already knows, which means you’ll have to be willing to change your beliefs and be wrong about your current beliefs.

In other words, you are saying, “I have this, but I want that” and unfortunately your lower brain will do everything in its power to convince you to stay with whatever “this” is.  Thankfully bridging the gap from this to that, doesn’t have to be an impossibility or as challenging as you might assume it would be.

If you think about it, you’ve been successfully dealing with cognitive dissonance and cognitive bias your whole life, and just didn’t know it, or else you would have never made any changes, learned anything new, gone after any big or small goal, or done anything different and challenging.  Instead of dealing with cognitive dissonance unconsciously and leaving it up to chance, I want to show you how to handle it consciously and powerfully, in order for you to get where you want to be.     

 

How to successfully bridge the gap 

 

Since cognitive dissonance is when your brain is struggling with two opposing thoughts or beliefs that you are holding simultaneously, then what really needs to happen is, you need to create a bridge between those two opposing thoughts.  When I work with my clients, we call this creating bridge thoughts; these are the thoughts you choose in order to get you from what you currently think and believe, to what you would like to think and believe.

In the example of currently making $50,000 but wanting to make $100,000, you need to create bridge thoughts that can bridge the gap between the two.  The key though, is that the thoughts must be believable or they won’t “stick” and your brain will automatically go back to the old, familiar thought.

Remember, cognitive bias is your brain’s way of proving it’s always right, so you need to gently and gradually make your way from one believable thought to another.  Just like the planks that would build a rope bridge across two cliffs, you need to lay down neutral, believable thoughts to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

It’s really important to understand that you may not want to continue making $50,000, but your brain is very comfortable with that amount; it’s much more familiar with it, than it is with making $100,000.  That’s why using bridge thoughts will make the possibility of $100,000 much easier to move towards and achieve.

To start laying down planks to get from the current thought “I make $50,000”, which can feel frustrating, to “I can make $100,000”, which probably feels impossible, you need to choose a neutral thought like “I can make money”.  Just consider that neutral thought for a second – it’s believable, it’s provable, and it’s not in opposition to your current, familiar thought of “I make $50,000”.

A thought like “I can make money” gives your brain a chance to prove that thought true, allowing it to settle into this neutral thought.  Now there’s a plank on the bridge –  “I can make money” is taking you from “I make $50,000” and getting you closer to “I can make $100,000”.

Remember, your brain has been practicing the thought “I make $50,000”, for a long time and has a lot of evidence for why this is true.  That’s why you want to gradually turn its attention from what it currently believes, to what is also believable, in order to get you over the bridge to “I can make $100,000”.  

Once you’ve practiced the thought “I can make money” and it feels good to you, it’s time to place another plank on the bridge.  The next plank could be the thought “It’s possible that I can make more money” or “I’m willing to be open to the idea that I can make more money”.

As you put down each plank, you need to check in with yourself by asking questions like:

  • How much cognitive dissonance, or uncomfortability, am I feeling?
  • Is this new thought believable? 
  • Does this new thought make me feel a little bit better? 

 

Just know that as you put each plank on the bridge, your brain’s confirmation bias is going to want to show you proof of why $50,000 is all you can make.  It doesn’t want to be proven wrong, so you may feel some resistance to the bridge thoughts; this is completely normal and with your awareness of why it’s happening, it’s totally manageable.

To bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable as you put plank after plank of bridge thoughts down, in order to get to the place you want to be.  This is the work I do with my clients in my 6-week program, helping them to navigate their brain’s cognitive dissonance, cognitive bias, and making their journey over the bridge as easy and speedy as possible.

There’s nothing worse than having a goal or a desire, and not understanding why it’s so hard to believe in yourself, to have confidence, and then to go after what you want.  It can be challenging when you don’t understand how your unique female brain works, why it’s so uncomfortable with the idea of change, and how to manage it.

As I’ve shared before in previous podcasts, discomfort is the currency for achieving your goals and dreams.  Nothing has gone wrong when you feel doubtful, overwhelmed or frustrated with the gap between where you are and where you want to be, but there is a way to manage that discomfort and bridge that gap.

There’s nothing I like more for myself and my clients than to have a desire for something more, and then not let the usual seeds of doubt and worry creep in.  When you learn how to bridge the gap for one dream or goal, that skill can be used in many different ways as well.

If you’ve been feeling the taps on your shoulder, making you take a look at where you currently are and dreaming about what’s possible for you in the future, you need to honor those taps.  Just know that if you have a desire, there’s no reason you can’t take the steps needed to make it a reality.

 

Summary  

 

  • If like a lot of working moms, you aren’t living your best life and want to do something about it, you first need to understand the concept of cognitive dissonance and how it’s making it so challenging for you to bridge any gap you find yourself facing.
  • Basically, cognitive dissonance is when your brain is struggling with two opposing thoughts or beliefs that you are holding simultaneously, which are then creating mental discomfort. 
  • The other thing that will often get in the way is your brain’s need to be right, referred to as cognitive bias, and to look for all the proof to validate your current belief, as opposed to the belief you’d like to have about where you want to be.
  • Instead of dealing with cognitive dissonance unconsciously and leaving it up to chance, I want to show you how to handle it consciously and powerfully, in order for you to get where you want to be.     
  • Nothing has gone wrong when you feel doubtful, overwhelmed or frustrated with the gap between where you are and where you want to be, but there is a way to manage that discomfort and bridge that gap.
Dealing With Boredom

Dealing With Boredom

 

 

As a podcast for busy accountant moms, you might think the topic of boredom would be irrelevant since you are probably living a hectic life and trying to balance your career with being a mom, but I promise you that this will be of interest to you.  No matter how frantic your life may seem, boredom is something that you need to understand better in order to have the balanced life you desire.

To be honest, I had other topics lined up to discuss, but decided that this is the perfect time of the year to discuss boredom with accountants.  Since tax season is finally over and there’s a small respite before you kick back into full gear again, this is often when boredom can sneak in, especially if you had a very stressful year both personally and professionally.

While you might welcome having less on your calendar right now and be happy to see more free time available on nights and weekends, I want to warn you of the sneaky way that boredom can show up in your life.  On the one hand, having less to do seems like a dream come true, but on the other hand, you have a human brain that is always looking for a reward in some form or another.

If you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend the Netflix documentary, “The Social Dilemma”.  It is an incredibly well done, cautionary tale of how the technology we use on a daily basis, that we believe connects us, eerily also controls, manipulates and distracts us.  

The documentary is told through the experience and expertise of the tech developers and designers who helped to create all the forms of social media that we and our children are now reliant on.  Basically, the genius minds that understand how your human brain works, developed a way to capture and harness your attention, offering you the ability to never be bored.

The issue is that we are so bad at handling boredom and judging ourselves when we’re bored, that we will look for anything to try to escape it by buffering with food, social media, the news, or Candy Crush.  We live in such a reward-saturated environment, which honestly the human brain has never experienced in its evolution, that it’s become prone to avoiding boredom at all costs.     

You may have experienced a good amount of stress up to this point, with the pandemic challenging you both as an accountant and as a mother, and might be looking forward to a chance to be bored.  However, I want to warn you that coming down off the anxiety filled year you’ve just had, will also create the need for hits of dopamine, the feel good hormone your body produces to keep you energized.

Whether you realize it or not, your relationship with boredom is something you should take a look at, especially as a mother.  Knowing how to deal with boredom will not only benefit you, but will also benefit your children as their developing brains are incredibly susceptible to issues with boredom and the instant gratification world they live in. 

This week I’m going to discuss what boredom actually is, whether it is a problem or not, and how you can handle it.

 

What boredom actually is

 

It might seem strange to discuss what boredom actually is, but I assure you that it really is interesting because we all tend to get it wrong.  Most often we believe boredom has to do with what is or isn’t happening, and equate it with things outside of us.

For example, you might see a golf tournament on TV and find yourself bored, wanting to switch to something more interesting.  In this example, you would equate your boredom to the golf tournament or to anything that isn’t capturing your attention.

But the truth is that boredom isn’t just happening to you; you’re actually creating it for yourself with your thoughts. If this wasn’t the case then we’d all be bored at the same time, in the same circumstances, while doing the same things.

Obviously that’s not the case because while you might be bored watching a golf tournament, your spouse or someone else might be thrilled and engaged with the same tournament.  The reason that happens is because boredom is created by your thoughts, not by circumstances.

Your thought about the golf tournament might be “This is so boring” or “Why would anyone want to watch this?”, while someone else’s thought about the same exact golf tournament might be “I love this!  I can’t wait to see who wins.”

The key to understanding boredom is in knowing that nothing is intrinsically boring, you just experience the feeling of boredom because of the thoughts your unique brain is thinking about various circumstances in your life.  Basically, your feeling of boredom is based on what you make things mean.

So here’s the bad and good news when it comes to boredom – on the one hand it’s a feeling you are creating with your thoughts and has nothing to do with what is or isn’t happening in the moment, but on the other hand, since you are the one creating it, you also have the power to manage it.

While the dictionary defines boredom as the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest, I think in this technology driven world we live in, boredom is much more powerful than that definition would have us believe.  Not only can you see it with yourself, but I’m sure you can also see it with your children as well.

Our children are growing up in a time where boredom is quickly rectified with a video game or an app.  Just look around the dinner table at home or a table at any family restaurant, and you will see both children and adults glued to their smartphones, not being able to be bored while there is a lull in the action.

The crazy thing is that your brain is wired for social connection, with social media actually giving you the illusion of connecting to other people.  This need for connection, when combined with boredom and the need for stimulation, then makes us all appear to be like zombies, mesmerized by what’s on the screen rather than interacting with the living, breathing version of people right in front of us.  

 

Whether boredom is a problem or not

 

Did you know that you can actually be okay with being bored and that there’s nothing wrong with it?  Unfortunately, in the mentally challenging and busy world of accounting, it can often seem like there’s a problem if you are bored, as if you’re not doing your job well, or maybe you’re slacking so you better find something to keep you busy.

It doesn’t matter whether you are an accounting employee or an entrepreneur, boredom is frowned upon inside the productive, ever-changing, and efficient accounting profession.  And don’t even think about being bored as a mother, with all the responsibilities and expectations you have taking care of your family. 

The funny thing is that the profession of accounting is often described as one of the most boring professions, making accounting professionals described as boring by association.  But it’s not just the public’s perception of accounting being boring; a study surveyed 1,300 accountants and found that 66% were bored with their work, ranking fifth in the roundup of the most boring jobs.   

But no matter what you do for a living or whether you like what you do, the biggest problem with boredom is that we have become so intolerant of it.  After watching “The Social Dilemma”, my husband and I realized how often when one person goes to the kitchen to get something, the person waiting in the living room will pick up their phone for the 60 seconds it takes for the person to return from the kitchen, not allowing ourselves to be bored for one minute.

If you think about it, before computers and smartphones, you had to be okay with not having something to capture your attention every few seconds.  However, because of technology, our attention spans are getting much shorter, making our intolerance of boredom much stronger.

One of the interesting things that I’ve learned is that the upside to boredom is it’s really the gateway to your thoughts, but most of the time we don’t want to be alone with our thoughts.  Basically, boredom turns up the volume on some of those 60,000 thoughts you have in a day, and very often those thoughts are negative and about you.

About 15 years ago, the first weekend my two children were with their dad after we had ended our marriage and separated, I remember crying to a friend that I was bored and didn’t know what to do with myself.  What she pointed out at the time was that the thing I was most worried about was being bored with my own thoughts; and she was totally right.

Without the constant action required for my role as mother and the distraction of my children, I was going to have to be alone with my crappy thoughts.  With boredom came the space to really be alone with my negative thoughts about myself, my situation, my lack of self-confidence,  and my fears for my future.

What I’ve discovered is that with my hectic, working mom life, I might have relished the idea of having so little to do that I could experience boredom, but that temporary relief can quickly change to uncomfortability because our brains are just so used to being occupied.  In order to deal with boredom, we have to learn to be okay with it because it will offer us so many opportunities to be more present in our lives and to live more intentionally.    

When you can make peace with boredom and not make it into a problem, you’ll be surprised at how much it has to show you.  Before you jump to fill up the white space in your life, try being okay with boredom and the secrets it might have to share with you.

 

How you can handle boredom

 

If you want to have a balanced life as an accountant and a mom, you have to be willing to look at your relationship with boredom.  You have to start looking at boredom as only a problem when you make it one by resisting it or avoiding it.

When you use stimulation in the form of overworking, overeating, overdrinking, or overusing technology, you need to ask yourself why you are rushing to get out of boredom.  What’s wrong with being alone with your thoughts?  What are you afraid of?

Unfortunately we think that taking action and keeping busy is how we feel better, especially when we are bored, but it doesn’t work that way.  Changing your circumstances or taking action doesn’t change how you feel; the only thing that can ever create your feelings are your thoughts, which means if you want to change how you feel, you have to change how you think.

The amazing thing about learning how to deal with boredom instead of resisting or avoiding it, is that you get to live a more intentional life.  You get to be present while waiting in a line, you get to really notice and appreciate the person sitting across from you in the restaurant, and more importantly you get to improve your relationship with yourself.

When you allow your brain to have unstimulated time, your goals are easier to set, your dreams are easier to dream, and your future becomes easier to design.  In the absence of stimulation, you allow space for discovery, desire and growth.

To handle boredom, you have to honestly be willing to be bored.  You might be uncomfortable at first, but you have to allow yourself to have the urge to distract yourself, without acting on that urge.

You’ll probably want to reach for your phone, check the news feed, or grab the TV remote, and that’s okay.  But to handle boredom you have to let the urge to do something come up and then pass; sit where you are, stare out the window, let your mind wander, and allow boredom to just be there.

When my husband and I realized we were picking up our phones as soon as the other person walked out of the room, we decided at first to leave our phones in another room and turn off phone notifications, helping to reduce the temptation.  I also decided that I would look at our dogs instead of my phone, giving them the opportunity to have the undivided attention I would have automatically given to my work email or social media app.

Another way to handle boredom is to ask yourself what you notice about yourself, your surroundings or anything else and why.  Before I started writing the notes for this podcast I was sitting in a hotel room, allowing myself to be bored, noticing the various pieces of furniture and art in the room, what I did and didn’t like about them and why; honestly it was really fascinating.

When I’m in line somewhere, I have begun to look at various people or objects and question why those things captured my attention.  When driving in the car, I will try to turn off all music and playfully notice the ticker tape of thoughts that run through my mind, giving myself time and space to just be, getting to peak behind the curtain at the wizard who is running my life most of the time.

Whether it’s you or your children that are having an issue dealing with boredom, just know that it’s completely normal and manageable, even in this crazy world of distractions that we live in.  Give boredom a try – you just might like what’s on the other side.

  

Summary  

 

  • No matter how frantic your life may seem, boredom is something that you need to understand better in order to have the balanced life you desire.
  • Knowing how to deal with boredom will not only benefit you, but will also benefit your children as their developing brains are incredibly susceptible to issues with boredom and the instant gratification world they live in. 
  • The key to understanding boredom is in knowing that nothing is intrinsically boring, you just experience the feeling of boredom because of the thoughts your unique brain is thinking about various circumstances in your life.
  • But no matter what you do for a living or whether you like what you do, the biggest problem with boredom is that we have become so intolerant of it. 
  • When you allow your brain to have unstimulated time, your goals are easier to set, your dreams are easier to dream, and your future becomes easier to design.