Part 2: Improving Work-Life-Balance in the Busy Tax Season – Time Management

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Guest Blogger:   Our special guest contributor in a 2 part  improving work-life balance series is Jag Barpagga with Welcome Networks, a leading cloud provider with virtual desktop and managed IT services.

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When it comes to getting things done, results boil down to 2 things – How fast can you get it done and how well can you do it? Accountants and bookkeepers need to perform on both of these with precision during the busy tax time. Accountants know numbers and one thing is for sure, we only have 8760 or 8784 hours in a (leap) year. If you go by the average life expectancy of a Canadian, you have 711662.4 hours to spend time with your family, friends, at work, and for those moments you need to yourself. No, we can’t force our days to have more than 24 hours so we need to force ourselves to free up our time and allocate it to the more important areas of our lives.

Back to the Basics

Start with understanding what needs to be done throughout the day – every hour. Scheduling every hour of your day may seem like a waste of time but physically setting a plan will give a higher chance of following it. This goes to what happens inside and outside of the office. Whether it’s in your notebook or in your calendar app, enter your tasks and objectives in. Have you ever heard of a business prospering without a business plan? Allow your days to follow the same concept. Business plans and your daily schedules don’t have to be perfect but setting checkpoints, guidelines and anticipating bumps in the road will only benefit you. Dedicating you and your team’s time to specific tasks throughout the day will keep everyone engaged and motivated to meet those deadlines. You also need to plan those breaks in your day to give yourself a sense of reward at the end of a busy work session. But how can taking breaks during the busy tax season benefit you?

More Free Time Reduces Burning Out

If you read our previous post about task management, you will understand how to find some more time in the day. Maybe those extra hours you free up should just go to relaxing and following stress-free activities.  Although tax season is when you are most overworked, efficiency can increase if you take those breaks. Some call it “The Refueling Principle” – taking a step back and relaxing your mind. When your mind is bogged down with constant work, your efficiency decreases overtime. Yes, you continuously get things done if you don’t take a break but not at a more accelerated rate when following the refueling principle. Entrepreneur.com explains it quite nicely:

“You get more done quicker when you step back and recharge the brain and body.”

It’s as simple as that. Studies show that we have a limited amount of cognitive resources. So whether you find time for you and your team to take a break, remember that it will only be beneficial once you get back to work in the tax season rush.

Maybe you don’t have time to leave your desk and take a vacation. Solutions today ensure that you don’t need to be chained to a desk in order to reach your full potential. Many accounting firms allow employees to work from home or even from a beach with seamless access to all accounting and bookkeeping applications.

A multi-location firm like SunRonkai LLP Chartered Accountants found huge improvements from the day they moved to virtual desktops in cloud. Now both offices work seamlessly with better security and that was always a top concern for their partners. Nothing replaces the peace of mind and better productivity achieved due to strategic vision of the firm. Keep in mind you may find it fulfilling to resolve a client’s concern from a cruise ship, vacations have been shown to lead to significantly higher performances when returning to the workplace, so enjoy.

Time to Obtain Efficiency

Try it out for a week or two – planning out your day and following the refueling principle. Come with a strategy that will allow you to work at maximum efficiency. At the end of the day and when done right, the results will improve employee engagement and happiness. Nobody wants to come into and leaving work at a low level of satisfaction. Stay on track, don’t burn out and stay motivated.