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  • Writer's picturePGAA Tax

Dear Overworked,

I see you. I don't wish that feeling of being overworked on anyone. More than ever, our culture is shifting towards self-care being seen an act of generosity because, "you can't pour from an empty cup." In other words, if you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of others (and your work).

I want to take this one step back; if you can't identify what you need, then work habits and unhealthy life habits will lead the show into the ground. Dissatisfaction, burnout, and low quality of life is the dead end.

Certainly, work still needs to be done, tax professionals know this better than anyone. We are so pleased to see how many tax teams are maximizing technology, building out efficiency systems, becoming more flexible with work environment options and increasing their tax team size to bear the complex workload. All these strategic efforts are definitely helping reduce the hours needed for a project by impressive margins. Phew!

Here's some reminders of how you can take the reigns on improving your quality of life and work satisfaction. Being a tax professional means you are a high-achiever, challenge accepted, type-A personality. Reframe achievement goals to include "winning at enjoying work and personal life." Don't let your definitions of achievement run you to the ground.

Look at your Calendar Year:

Busy seasons come and go. By structuring your work schedule to be prepared for the busy season and refreshed leading into them will be a huge help to avoid burnout.

Plan ahead. Always have a vacation or something to look forward on the calendar. Looking ahead keeps your head up!

Brain breaks are like Mini-Vacations:

The key here is being PRESENT for your breaks. Moving your body, focusing on your breath help make these brain breaks feel more like a mini-vacation.

  • 5 minutes meditations. Get off the screens, don't pick up your phone. Focus on your breath.

  • Wash your face at work. Working from home? Shower midday. 15 minute workouts with or

  • Play with your dog

  • Call a friend and ask about how they are doing (take yourself out of your world)

  • Out of office lunch

  • Go outside, stretch, shoot hoops, do a handstand. I'm not joking, a head stand is supposedly equal to one cup of coffee!

  • Two pages of a nourishing book (not the news)

Mentoring, Therapy, Life Coaching:

Identify the results you'd like and find the right expert for your goals.

Therapy/life-coaches/wellness teachers are not for the sick and weary anymore. It is for people who want to level up, use their skills to their highest potential and self-actualize! Many publicly traded companies are making sure that therapy and counseling is included in their health care package and we love to see it. Sessions can be whatever you want them to be: 1x a month, 1x a week, in-person, phone call or on zoom.

Invest in a person who will create a space where you can ask questions and collaboratively chew on goals and concerns. Mentorship nets big results. Invest in an expert who will make you feel uncomfortable, who will challenge and stretch you.

Take a look at how your high achieving, addicted to busyness behavior and unconscious habits are contributing to burnout and dissatisfaction at work and in your personal life

Mindset shift: Change your definition of success (example: "I am effective at work and present with my free time") Sabbaticals, step backs do not solve burnout. But acknowledging how your DNA contributes to being overworked does. Are you proving your worth or are you focusing on your goals and taking small, replicable, sustainable actions toward achieving them? Does your ego contribute to taking on too many projects? Self-worth is not garnered from saying yes to projects outside of your lane. Make feeling balanced your goal.

Have boundaries: learn how to disconnect physically, mentally, and emotionally from work. When you are not present for the time away from work, then you will continue down the burnout track. The key is to know what you need and use your time effectively (aka get those needs met). If you need quality time with your kids during your free time, but you worked on landscaping, then the cycle of feeling dissatisfied will continue even when you aren't working.

Recognize what you need and attend to it, otherwise your free time will be taken up by habits not by your needs. This will lead to clarity and satisfaction and flow from one part of your life to the next.

The conflict of burnout is an opportunity to drive the thought process, clarify your needs and goals, shift your mindset, and change habits to live a more fulfilling life.

Hope this helps!


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