Regardless of how many busy seasons you have made it through, when they come around, they can still knock you off your feet. They leave you reeling for a few weeks after. To really thrive during big 4 busy season without burning yourself out, here are 6 things that you need to do.
Plan and prepare for it
Working as hard as you can for as long as you can won’t get you through busy season in one piece. You may meet your deadlines and hit your targets to start off with, but not long after, you will burn out. You will have to plan and prepare for it beforehand to thrive in the big 4 busy season without burning out. Make a rough work plan such as batching low-value tasks together. Schedule in time to do these tasks all together at your least productive times of the day. Also, consider potentially changing locations when completing certain work to maintain motivation. After that, make a personal plan. Will it be easier to do your shopping, washing, and cooking for the week on the weekend? Would it be beneficial to make a meal plan for the week?
Schedule breaks before and after busy season
Before and after busy season, plan to take real breaks where you completely switch off. You know the saying “rest days are just important as training days?” This couldn’t be any truer when talking about avoiding burnout and thriving throughout busy season. A proper vacation can do you the world of good before the big 4 busy season. This is true as you will start the season off with high energy and vigour. Scheduling a vacation at the end of busy season will not only gives you something to look forward to. It ensures that you remain motivated and determined to get everything that you need to done.
Accountants can burnout during big 4 busy season, they may feel like they’re failing, like they are constantly working but the results aren’t good enough and that the work that they are doing is of no value. When people feel this way, it can be extremely difficult to come home and feel that way there too. To prevent burning out, set expectations before busy season. Tell your family and friends that you can be available for some social occasions if you are given enough time to plan for it, but for a lot of the time over the next few months you will be working long hours and will be unavailable. This way, you won’t let anyone down and they will be a strong source of support for you when you need it.
A mistake that many accountants make during busy season is to sacrifice self-care. At first, it might just be reducing the amount of exercise that they do in the week or eating lunch at their desk but sooner than later, this can easily turn into a complete lack of self-care and isolation. In other words, people burn themselves out until they are too exhausted to start the day and they withdraw into themselves both at work and at home. To avoid burnout in the big 4 busy season, schedule time in your day for you. Exercise, meditate, socialise for 10 minutes, go for a walk or do something that you enjoy. If you make time throughout the day for you to switch off from work and focus on things that will do wonders for your health, you’ll soon reap the rewards.
Work hard on maintaining a positive mindset
There are going to be times when you slip; when you’ve had a really difficult day and you’re feeling down, but a positive mindset is a powerful tool. By simply thinking positive thoughts and encouraging yourself with positive affirmations rather than putting yourself down, your days will be much more productive, not to mention that you will be a lot happier and healthier for it. A few ways that you can foster a positive mindset is to remind yourself of your why often, think about the others who will benefit from you being happy and healthy, seek comfort in your family, and celebrate your small successes. If you make time for meditation every morning, you’ll soon find that this way of thinking becomes much easier and it plays a big part in preventing burnout and helping you thrive throughout busy season.
Aim to review and improve once it’s over
The best way to prepare for big 4 busy season next year and to avoid burning out is to start preparing for it right when the current one ends. When you are unwinding (hopefully on holiday!) think about what went well and what did not. By thinking about your experience and what you would do differently, you are setting yourself up for a much easier busy season next year. If you don’t review and improve, then you’ll be doomed to repeat your mistakes again next time.
Avoid burning out in big 4 busy season
Many accountants try to power through busy season but end up suffering from burnout in the process. To avoid burning out in your next busy season, make sure to prepare beforehand and work smarter during; implement these 6 points and you will thrive in all future big 4 busy seasons to come.