Many of us made “non-negotiable” plans as we entered Busy Season 2019 to remain focused on our personal leadership goals – no matter what. And to be relentless in not allowing Busy Season to be a “steamroller” on each of us personally and the important people in our lives. Even so, possibly due to the complexity of the new tax law changes, Busy Season 2019 turned out to be one of the most challenging in recent experience for many of us.
Now that the “deadline” pressure of Busy Season has ended, all members of the CPA profession must transition to the post-busy season, or for some of us, the next busy season. In any event, after April 15th, we all experience a different kind of pressure as we seek to recover and figure out what to do next.
The “good news” is that in the CPA profession, there is so much to do all the time. This is also the bad news. The pace never slows down and can be overwhelming. Even in the “slower” post-busy season period, with the intensity of the April 15th filing deadline behind us, there are still many things to do including:
- Finalize time reporting and billing
- Clean up our emails, desks and offices
- Plan and organize our work for the summer
- Reset and refocus our personal goals
- Touch base with our most important clients
- Reconnect with family and friends
- Plan business development and networking activities
- Staff evaluations and mentoring
- Rest and recover physically, mentally and spiritually
The problem is not that we don’t have things to do. It is determining which ones to do first. Sometimes, the hardest part is GETTING RE-STARTED.
If you need help GETTING RE-STARTED in this post-busy season (or during any season), here are five ideas:
- Do the most important and difficult thing first. Procrastination and putting off until later will not make anything easier, in truth procrastination only makes things much harder. When you have something really challenging and important to do, don’t “putter” around all morning, planning your day, checking your emails and social media – this is avoidance. Get that big thing started and done. Eat that frog for breakfast!
- Stop the “all or nothing” thinking. If I can’t clean my office completely, I am not going to do it at all. If I can’t delegate everything, I will delegate nothing. It’s too much effort to do Client Service Account planning for all of my clients, so I will do it for none of them. You should not expect to get everything or anything accomplished in one conversation, one meeting or one step. Don’t let perfection stand in the way of making progress and getting better!
- Planning is important but limit your planning time. No matter how much time you spend planning, the plan will never be perfect. You will still have to “course correct” even with the most elaborate, well thought out plan. It’s OK to make mistakes, to misspeak, to start in the wrong place. It’s called learning. Create your action list, pick an item on the list, and work on it right now (See #1 above.)
- Work before you rest. Rest and time away from work are important and necessary. But notice that work should come before rest. Don’t rest first thinking it will build up your energy for GETTING RE-STARTED. All laying around does is make you want more laying around and probably feel guilty for not getting re-started.
- Review your “investment policy” – where are you investing? Don’t invest in avoiding, delaying, worrying, putting off, hiding, standing still, complaining, or planning when you should be acting. You gain nothing from this type of investing. Instead invest in acting, deciding, risking, and learning. What is the possible gain? Getting better, growing, and moving forward.
Life turns out to be a journey of multiple steps. You simply don’t start and finish anything of lasting value in one step but in many steps. Take the first step today. The longer you put off GETTING RE-STARTED, the further out you will push the benefits to you and others of getting better.
This is nothing new. We all know this to be true. But as we often say, knowing is not doing.
So pick something – anything – on your list and do it! What are you waiting for? There is a time for GETTING RE-STARTED and that time is NOW. By waiting what will you achieve?
This is the essence of being a great leader: Keep going. Never quit. Always start over again.
For more on the topic of GETTING RE-STARTED see my blog “Are You Relentless?”
We will continue to help our clients to succeed as leaders by working on their attitude and approach to GETTING RE-STARTED before, during and after the many busy seasons of life. If you have ideas or experiences to share, please post them so others can benefit.