The madness of March: Busy season edition
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If you’re an accountant, a CPA or an auditor, March may very well be the most grueling month of the year. You’re probably up to your ears in #busyseasonproblems like being overloaded on caffeine, working on little sleep, and jealousy for missing out on the college basketball viewing parties happening in the outside world. Maybe your spouse has commented that you’ve started sleep-talking exclusively in phrases like “That’s not deductible!”
March is when the end of tax season is within your sights, but still feels too far away to be real. If you need help getting through the next few weeks, here are some suggestions to make it to the finish line:
Book a massage. You’ve probably circled the date on your desk calendar when your schedule will start to resemble that of a more normal 40-hour work week. Choose a day that works and then call your nearest spa to schedule an hour or two of complete relaxation. Note that date on your calendar and begin your mental countdown to treating yourself.
Plan time off. Whether you’re jonesing for a vacation on a beach in the Caribbean or a secluded cabin within driving distance, know that you’re going to need to recharge your batteries with some time away from the office this spring. If circumstances make it difficult to travel to your ideal destination, make it a day trip to an amusement park or a golf course you’ve been eager to try out. In 2013 American workers only used 77 percent of their paid time off (that’s about 169 million days forfeited!). Improve the national average for this year by taking your much-deserved days away from your desk.
Enjoy your downtime. Your free hours are not yet abundant, and it may be a struggle to fully unplug when you’re not in the office. Next time you find yourself desperate for a break, try firing up Netflix, Amazon Prime or another streaming service. In about 22 minutes you can enjoy a workplace comedy in or out of the office. You deserve have a good belly laugh. Some of our favorites are “Parks and Recreation,” “The Office” (both the U.S. and British versions), “The IT Crowd,” or “Sirens” (the second season is currently airing on USA Network). If TV isn’t quite your thing, escape for 20 minutes and take a walk around the block. Stretching your legs and back is necessary when you’re spending long days hunched over a desk. Plus, the fresh air will give you that much-needed boost to power through the rest of your day. Giving yourself time to unwind temporarily is important for keeping your sanity.
Remember, the madness of March will soon come to an end, and with it, you’ll be that much closer to ending the frantic pace of busy season. Soon you and your colleagues will be able to celebrate that those 16+ hour days are behind you for another year.