Double-checking and sending out 50-60 invoices each month takes me about 3 hours and significantly tries my patience. Mistakes are very few, but can be costly or embarrassing, so I have to carefully review each invoice, cross-referencing a few different files for each one. QuickBooks crashes periodically without warning and doesn't always cooperate with Outlook. Billing also reveals the errors made by my team throughout the month, requiring extra research and causing frustration. It's my least favorite part of my full-time job, and Friday's billing was no exception. Challenging. Tedious. Exasperating.
What got me through? Though I'd like to say it was gratitude for an abundance of clients and a plethora of exit interview and survey projects, it was actually the fact that I'd decided to treat myself to a trip the consignment store across the street when I was finished. I've done this several months over the last year, and it always helps ease the pain. Treats can get us in trouble, but I'm a big fan when they are doled out wisely.
Here are some healthy ways to treat yourself.
Think small. When I go to the consignment store, I usually set a low budget and limit myself to 1 or 2 items. Other treats are painting my toe nails with a fresh coat of polish, buying a song or two on iTunes, eating a dark chocolate Lindt truffle, or connecting with a friend via text or phone call.
Think special. Part of what makes the quick shopping trip a treat is that I don't shop very often, so it really does feel special. A treat is something you don't have every day, or even every week.
Think social. Happiness research tells us it's better to spend on experiences than on stuff. Calling my trip to the consignment social is a little bit of a stretch, but I really do like talking to the owners. It's fun to shop with other women and see what other people are interested in. A trip to Target wouldn't be as enjoyable.
Think supportive. If you're trying to save money, don't tempt yourself with retail therapy. If you're focusing on healthy eating, don't treat yourself with a milkshake that will fill you with calories and guilt. Make sure your treat supports your goals rather than sabatoging them!