Stress, anxiety and overwhelm are all great reasons to schedule a mental break and reboot your system. Not so coincidentally, they are all big factors during the busy season for most of us.
Below are three reasons you need to make mental resets a priority for you and your team before the tax returns start flying:
1. Mental health is a real factor
Stress and anxiety are both powerful enough to severely impact our mental health. Both will also negatively impact your ability to be focused. To make matters worse, tax season falls during a time of year in the Northern Hemisphere when many of us are also experiencing shorter days, colder temperatures, and less sunlight.
This is all a recipe for disaster when it comes to maintaining mental health during the busy season. To combat this, try scheduling breaks for your team; this helps to show your support for them caring for themselves first, even during the busy season.
2. Chaotic space is a distraction
In spite of our office being 100% paperless, my desk space always seems to lose its pottery barn feel when things are busy. Meeting notes, coffee cups, and, frankly, dust tends to build up when my days are filled with a non-stop workload.
Decluttering space is extremely critical to reducing distractions and enhancing our ability to focus on what’s in front of us. To benefit from this going into tax season, consider taking a day, possibly before a holiday party in the coming weeks, and encourage all of your team to pause billable work for the afternoon and clean their desks.
3. Mental health needs movement
Our bodies are not designed to be sedentary in a chair for 40 hours a week, let alone 80 hours or more. Even though we know we feel better when we do things like eat well, sleep enough, and exercise, these are always the first things to go when we are under the gun of deadlines.
Encourage your team to do better this year of taking care of their physical selves. This might mean short daytime walk breaks (see number 2) or, instead of firm pizza on Fridays, switch to something healthier like a personalized smoothie bar day.
If you are familiar with the saying, “You can’t get blood from a stone,” so too will you struggle to get efficiency, effectiveness, or commitment to client service out of your team when they are mentally just burnt out. Set the tone for a great tax season by tackling the above goals now.