First, I would like to say Happy New Year to everyone that follows my blog!
It has been a while since I last wrote a blog but it is for a good reason. Mainly because I am helping my amazing clients with their accounting needs. I finally have a little bit of time that I really want to stress the importance of not burning yourself out and to live your life to the fullest!
At night I tend to find myself sifting through social media. I have been noticing a few discussions on LinkedIn recently where the 40 hour work week is being questioned especially in the accounting industry.
It sounds like some of the larger firms still even work their employees harder during busy season to the extent of 50 to 60 hours per week and this takes place over a couple of months. This sounds familiar as I went through this as an accounting student 20 years ago. I know of a firm that had their employees work 80 hours per week in the busy season. I always dreaded February, March and April for this reason. My social life went out the window.
Currently, my practice is a one person show. Thankfully for cloud technology I am able to manage things well at the moment on my own. I have great practice management software that has a triage to filter through my emails and create tasks for myself to complete. I also try not to take on too much work. I try not to work more than 40 hours per week even in my busy season.
Some ways that I manage my time to avoid burnout include the following:
- Cut myself off at a set time every day.
- Try my best not to answer my phone or emails after hours. If I were at a bigger practice, the client would need to wait until the next day anyways.
- Do similar tasks together if possible when doing bookkeeping for multiple clients. For example, I go through my Hubdoc and Dext files and validate them all at the same time for every client. This avoids bouncing between applications while I am working on their books.
- Setting boundaries. Let clients know that if you are going to leave me a message that I may not respond until the next day.
I have been offered opportunities in the past couple of years where firms are willing to pay me for 40 hours per week and a flexible schedule. Honestly, 40 hours can be a lot sometimes. My current schedule is more flexible than what any firm can offer me because I manage my hours efficiently. I do love my practice however, I would rather spend my extra time with my family than working.
How do you avoid burning out? Head to our Facebook Page and let’s have that discussion.