As an accountant, a new calendar year means one thing: tax season is coming. From late January through mid-April, your workload piles up and time is of the essence due to deadlines. While you may have to readjust your expectations for work-life balance during tax time, it’s still crucial to prevent burnout. Check out these tips to endure the “busy season” as an accountant:
1. Build in Consistent Breaks
When you have so much work to do, powering through it for as long as possible is counterproductive. If you push too hard, you’ll get fatigued and start to lose focus, make mistakes, and perform at a slower pace. Build in consistent breaks into your schedule, such as 15 minutes for every 90 minutes of concentrated effort. It will pay off by making you more productive when you return from your break refreshed.
2. Take Control Over Your Emotions
Stress is a given during the busy season, so it’s crucial to find ways to manage it without resorting to outbursts you later regret or other self-destructive coping mechanisms. When you start to feel overwhelmed or angry, slow down and breathe, count to 10, mentally repeat a mantra, leave the room for a quick walk, or whatever helps prevent you from acting impulsively.
3. Fuel Your Body
When deadlines are looming and you have a massive workload, healthy habits are often pushed aside. However, fueling your body properly through a full night’s sleep, a nutrient-rich diet, and regular physical activity will help you mentally operate at your peak level and most effectively tackle all of your tasks.
4. Maximize Productivity
To achieve more in less time, ensure you are taking the steps necessary to streamline your output. Design your workday around maximizing your productivity. Schedule your most mentally taxing tasks during the time of day when you focus best (i.e., if you’re a morning person, don’t save your most complicated work for the evening) and save your more menial tasks, such as listening to voicemails or filing documents, for when you’re struggling to concentrate.
5. Keep Perspective
When you’re in the midst of a particularly difficult day, remind yourself that it will not last forever. Keep perspective and remember that the tax season is just that: a season. It will not be your day-to-day life forever. If you’re having trouble getting out of a bad mood, distance yourself from negativity, such as venting with colleagues, and instead focus on more uplifting topics, such as brainstorming fun rewards or plans for your time off after tax season.
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