With the end of 2017 upon us, it will soon be that time of year again. From January to April, many public accountants will work longer hours and extra days to make their way through the excess work typical of tax season. For some, this could mean putting in 70+ hour work weeks without much reprieve over the weekends.
It’s easy to burn out with this kind of schedule, but the work and your deadlines will still be there in the end. So how can you power through the next few months, while managing your stress and maximizing your productivity?
We’ve got you covered with this ultimate guide to surviving busy season:
- Prepare yourself: Working longer days and weeks can be mentally and physically demanding. To get yourself in the right mindset for surviving busy season, you first must accept that this is simply a part of what you do. Knowing that you will need to work a lot of overtime, don’t wait until the last minute to start putting in the time. Instead, start gradually increasing your hours as the work comes in. This will help ensure you’re simultaneously staying on top of your responsibilities and preparing yourself for the schedule change.
- Eat well: While the last thing you may want to do when you’re plugging away till midnight is eat a balanced meal, it’s important to stay healthy during busy season. Try prepping some healthy meals ahead of time that you can store in the freezer and microwave as needed, and keep snacks in your drawer at work that you can turn to in a pinch. Remember, the right fuel will help you stay energized and focused.
- Take breaks: Although it may be difficult to find times to relax throughout the day, taking care of yourself is key to surviving busy season. This means making the effort to step away from your work (and the computer) for a little bit. Whether this involves taking a 15-minute walk around the block, hitting the gym, or reading a book, make sure you choose something that you’d normally enjoy doing. Getting out of the office and clearing your head will help you work more efficiently and mitigate some stress.
- Have something to look forward to: When you’re in the middle of busy season, it can be difficult to see past your deadlines and all the work that needs to get done. That’s why having something to look forward to at the end of busy season can be just the motivator you need to keep yourself going. Rewarding yourself with a trip to the beach or a “staycation” with family, for instance, will not only help you unwind after such a stressful time, but also see the light at the end of the tunnel.
There are many rewards to pulling through a successful busy season, no matter how exhausting it can be. Showing good faith and strong work ethic during such stressful times can create the potential for a better reputation with your firm, which can lead to increased compensation and career growth. When the going gets tough, remember that you have this survival guide by your side.