The hustle and bustle of the work day can be extremely stressful, especially for CPAs. The below tips have helped me not only in stressful times, but in my day-to-day routine as well. I hope that you find these tips as beneficial as I have.
1. Give back to your community. Many of us feel that after working all day we couldn’t possibly fit one more thing into our schedule. Taking the time to do service through a professional/civic organization or charity makes us more grounded and humble individuals. Giving connects you to your community and can give you a new perspective that makes you appreciate where you are in life.
2. Take time for yourself. As professionals we often get caught in our day-to-day routine and seldom remember to take time for ourselves. Our brains need time to process all of the work we do and information we learn. Taking time for yourself doesn’t have to be a week’s vacation in Barbados; it can be as simple as picking up a hobby that relaxes you or enjoying a day at the lake. This down time can rejuvenate you and even give you a recharge for upcoming projects.
3. Participate in conversations. Be involved in your work place and participate in exchanges with colleagues. Many times we stay buried under our workloads and fail to join others for conversation, but you might solve issues quicker by bouncing ideas off of colleagues rather than pondering them by yourself. This creates less stress for you and gives you the opportunity to help others by simply conversing.
4. Stay current. Always try to stay on top of what developments affect your organization. This will make your job easier and you will not have to constantly play catch up. The best way to do this is by attending conferences, talking to your peers and signing up for industry newsletters.
5. Delegate when needed. I’m sure all of you can say you hired and trained your staff for a reason. Many of you probably don’t realize one of those reasons is because you can’t do everything and you definitely can’t do it all by yourself. Mentor your staff and give them the proper tools, training and support, so they can work confidently. You’ll be more productive and less stressed knowing your staff is well prepared to handle the work you provide.
Chris Cole is a Technical Manager for the Accounting and Auditing Publications team at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants AICPA. He received his undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University, studied accounting at Durham Technical Community College and received his CPA designation in 1999. Prior to working at the AICPA Chris was a staff accountant at Neal Bradsher & Taylor and an audit manager at Nelson & Company.