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9 Tips for Invigorating Weary Brains, Bodies and Balance Sheets

BreakfastWhew! After months of long hours, you and your colleagues are likely finishing up the first filing deadlines of the year. Nice going!

Even with April 15 clearly in sight, there’s still work to be done by many practitioners. Clients are counting on your smarts like never before to help them make sense of their financial situation in this new environment and find ways to improve it. Let’s face it, you are running on fumes, yet you are far from the finish line and a well-earned break.

The big question you may be asking now is, “How can I get an energy boost so I’ll have the stamina to deliver on the promises I have made to my clients?”   

It’s no secret that when human engines are operating at full throttle they need more than adrenaline to perform their best. Sure, we know that we should eat right, exercise and be good to our bodies and minds if we want to sustain our ability to work at a record pace. The trick is finding the proper balance to yield the needed strength when our days are jam packed with meetings and client commitments.

Here are nine best practices to reinvigorate you so you can be your best. Even better, they are not complicated, expensive or unfamiliar. 

  1. Kick Start the Day with Breakfast – Your body is running on empty at the start of each day. That means you need to refuel if you are going to make it through the day. Grabbing a coffee or a sugary treat doesn’t cut it because they only provide quick jolts. Go for long-lasting healthy proteins (e.g., eggs, low fat yogurt and peanut butter). Add complex carbs (e.g., whole wheat tortilla, fiber cereal). Throw in a little fruit and your body has the fuel it needs for a productive morning.   
  2. Work in a Workout – It’s natural to feel the need to give up your fitness routine as work levels increase. Think again. It may sound counterintuitive but when you build time for a 20-30 minute workout into your day, you will essentially get that time back and then some. Why? Your body will operate more efficiently and perform at a higher level. In addition, you will be more focused, confident and motivated. That means a positive impact on your interactions with those around you. So schedule time to get back to the gym, go for a run or take a brisk walk. Put it on your calendar. Commit to it like you would other important meetings.  
  3. Check Your Posture – Did you know that your posture could be sabotaging you without your realizing it? When you sit up straight you can increase your oxygen intake by up to a third. That means more energy goes to your noggin and your muscles. Need a posture jumpstart? Trade in your desk chair for an exercise ball. Not only will it help you sit up straight, it will strengthen your core and it’s comfy, too!
  4. Take the Stairs – Raise your endurance throughout the day by taking the stairs in place of the elevator. Unless you work in a skyscraper, choosing the stairs can actually save you time. Even better, it can improve your cholesterol levels and your heart rate while reducing stress. In addition, it can strengthen your muscles and your overall heath.
  5. Catch Some Rays – Spending just a few minutes outside can do wonders for your mind and body. For starters, it reduces stress and blood pressure. Sunshine helps you produce vitamin D which is important to good health and serotonin to improve your mood and help you sleep.  
  6. Stay Hydrated – If you want to be sharp, stay well hydrated. Doing so can bolster your memory and problem solving ability while keeping up your mood and motivation. Scrap the energy drinks and sodas. For an invigorating kick, try water that’s infused with fruit or fresh herbs. Give green tea and oolong tea a try for a healthy alternative with less caffeine than coffee or black tea. These teas taste great hot or iced and can even provide antioxidants.
  7. Give It a Break It’s easy to get bleary-eyed while looking at tax returns and financials all day. Recharge by stepping away from your desk regularly. Ten minutes is all it takes. Stretch. Take walks. Find a quiet place to relax. Your ROI on these breathers will be significant. They will not only clear your mind, they will strengthen your focus and output.
  8. Create Your Own Vending Machine – It is mid-afternoon and you need a snack. Truth be told there’s not much good stuff in that vending machine down the hall to keep you going strong for the rest of the day. Avoid this problem by creating your own stash. Consider apples, pistachios, air popped popcorn, dark chocolate, tangerines and hummus. Keep your favorite healthy treats on hand to calm your cravings and give you the lift you need.     
  9. Refuel While You Sleep – Sounds like a no brainer but getting enough sleep is essential to elevate your energy level throughout the day. Unless you have the winks you need, you are wreaking havoc on your ability to concentrate and operate at your best. For most of us, 7-8 hours is enough, although levels vary. Get the rest that’s right for you.   

Want more ideas on how to make busy season easier on your practice? The AICPA’s Tax Practitioner’s Toolkit provides helpful resources for CPAs to communicate their value and market their services. In addition, resources available through the AICPA’s Private Companies Practice Section, can help your firm make the best out of busy season, from planning events that will motivate your staff to scheduling productive meetings with clients.

Tracy Crevar Warren, President and CEO, The Crevar Group LLC. Tracy is an expert and pioneer in the field of accounting marketing, business development and practice growth. In collaboration with the AICPA’s Private Companies Practice Section, she recently published The Best of the 60 Second Advisor e-book, which is included free with the e-MAP: Management of an Accounting Practice Handbook.

Breakfast image via Shutterstock

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