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Finding your second wind during busy season

Final sprint of busy seasonThe last stretch of busy season can be tough.

So how do you get that mojo back? Just like your car, your body and brain perform better under certain conditions. Use that analytical brain that makes you a great CPA and run through some key sources of energy to see where you can replenish.

Time to do a quick 6-point check:

  1. Air – When was the last time you exercised? How often are you moving around during the day? A runner’s ability to get a second wind in a marathon depends on how well they restore oxygen to their muscles. Your brain needs a little more oxygen to function best in the tax season marathon. Exercise stimulates blood flow to your brain, which leads to more oxygen and more energy. If taking a brisk walk or hitting the gym is not feasible, here are some exercises you can do at your desk.
  1. Light – Winter is a tough time to be working a lot, especially if it’s dark when you go to the office and it’s dark when you leave. Just as oxygen has been proven to stimulate brain activity, light can affect your mood, which influences your energy level. Take a moment to go outside and soak up the sun.
  2. Fuel – I can’t say “lay off the caffeine” without being a total hypocrite. Instead, I will suggest keeping an eye on how often you’re filling up that coffee mug, especially since it may mess with your sleep. Stay hydrated by drinking two glasses of water after each cup.

  • Sleep – An elusive commodity, for sure, but the more you deprive yourself, the harder it will be to function in the final stretch. While light is great during the day, avoid using cell phones, tablets and other electronic devices right before you go to bed to keep that blue light from disrupting your sleep.
    1. LaughterLaughing reduces certain stress hormones and promotes well-being, which can help boost diminishing energy levels and your immunity.
    1. Pot of Gold – What’s waiting for you on the horizon? Is it a vacation, lounging around the house, or maybe baseball season? Whatever it is, steal five minutes every day to plan for it. Even if your goal is to do nothing, visualize it and consider tips for making the most of it.

    Lastly, take stock of those mental or emotional energy vampires – these often come in the form of incomplete tasks or unresolved issues in relationships. They may be the nagging voice inside your head. Is there something you can do now to deal with it, at least partially?

    Whenever you start to feel stressed, take a few minutes to think about why you became a CPA and the rewards you experience by helping your clients. It may help to hear from a fellow CPA’s grateful client or read short quotes from peers on why they love being a CPA. And for help, lean on the AICPA’s Tax Section, Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS), and our small firm resources for support on the issues that affect you and your clients during busy season and beyond.

    Association of International Certified Professional Communications Team

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