Tax Season has the earned the endearing term “Busy Season” for the reason that we, as accountants, are always busy. As I am starting my 6th busy season this year, I thought I would share some of my tips and tricks that help me not only survive but enjoy the season. Hopefully you will find at least one helpful to you!
- “Breathe” – Sounds easy, right? I have recently started doing yoga and if you have ever taken a yoga class, a common comment throughout the class is “Don’t forget to breathe.” Breathing through the different postures in yoga can help you focus on what you are doing and forget the rest. I believe that this applies to moments throughout busy season also. When you have a list large list of projects to complete and about half the time you think you need to get it all done, Breathe. Focus on one task at a time and work through the list.
- Cut off Distractions – How many emails do you get on a daily basis? How often do you get an email while working on another project to have it interrupt you? I know for me, this happens all throughout the day. If you are working on getting a project done, emails can be a huge distraction. Try to schedule one or two times a day (i.e. morning, lunch, end of day) to read and respond to emails. Even if “it will just take one minute to respond”, that time is a distraction from your task at hand.
- Exercise – Did you have a feeling this one was coming after I mentioned yoga? Time is something that we seem to have less of during tax season and lack of time tends to be a reason for not exercising. Finding the time to exercise, whether going to the gym or just a walk or jog around your neighborhood, is not only good for your general health but also gives you more energy throughout the day and also helps you sleep better at night. That sounds like a win/win to me!
- Plan – We all know that unexpected items always come up (As my Grandma says “How can you make God laugh? Plan.”), but planning out your week and leaving some time for those pop up items can help structure your week. Not only should you plan for client work, but also personal time with your friends/family. Put that Saturday evening dinner with your friends/family on your schedule so that nothing else creeps into that time.
- Do Something Fun as an Office – It’s no secret, during tax season, we spend a lot of time with our Co-Workers. But most of it is geared around work. I know different offices that have different group/team activities. It is healthy to have time together where work is not the sole objective. Our office (made up of only eight employees) simply sits down together and has lunch together every Saturday and occasionally we will go to Happy Hour after a long week. Having an element of fun in the office helps lessen the stress levels.
Katie Krblich, CPA
Charles A. Krblich, PA, CPA