How to Avoid Burnout and Remain Productive at Work
Just like any other professionals, accountants are susceptible to work burnout, especially during tax season. With all the requirements and time constraints these professionals are put under, some may just find themselves beyond exhaustion.
Experiencing burnout is different from simply being tired from all the stress induced by overwork. Psychology Today defines burnout as:
“The chronic state of being out of sync with one or more aspects of your life, and the result is a loss of energy, enthusiasm, and confidence.”
There are several factors that can cause burnout. Work overload is one of them. If you’re in a job that has too much complications, then things can get really ugly. Accountants are likely to suffer from stress because of long working hours and a poor work-life balance.
An article from ICAEW.com published data from the Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association (CABA) that showed stress as one of the causes of prevalent impact on accountants and that 17% were forced to take time off due to stress.
The demands of the job have taken a significant toll on these professionals. According to a survey by YouGov, one in five accountants (18%) admitted to developing depression while a quarter (26%) developed anxiety.
Furthermore, an article from Accounting Web showed that a significant number of accountants admit to alcoholic drinking more than the recommended level. The excessive demands of the job can get too much for some that they become susceptible to stress.
If you’re under extreme pressure at work and are starting to feel the onslaught of stress-related symptoms, it’s time to take a step back. The last thing you want is to suffer from work burnout.
The American Institute of CPAs shares some helpful tips on reducing stress in the workplace:
Identify the cause of your stress
To solve problems, one must know its root cause. If you’re exhausted, unmotivated, and have lost the passion to press on, it’s helpful to know what stresses you. Each person has his or her own stress profile , a psychosocial instrument that measures stress in life and at work.
This is a helpful guide in getting to the root cause of your stress. Once you’ve put a finger on it, finding the solution should be easy.
Take a break
Taking some time off work to recharge and relax is important. But since you can’t go on vacation all the time, you can take breaks when inside the office. Leave your desk from time to time. Go out for fresh air or visit a colleague from another department. Have a change of scenery even for just a few minutes to refresh your mind.
Talk to your manager
Talking to someone will make you feel better. Your manager is in the best position to understand your situation and provide possible solutions to reduce your stress and keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Remember that it is always good to seek help.
If ever you’re the type to feel guilty about taking breaks because it seems like an irrelevant use of time, then take a look at this. There’s a science to taking breaks and, it turns out, that going on breaks is actually more beneficial to solving problems related to work.
Accounting is detail-oriented and it can be overwhelming to think about the deadlines. Anxiety results from not accomplishing certain tasks on time because you’re busy dealing with other future projects.
Prioritise your tasks. Identify which ones need to be accomplished right away and then organise. Break tasks into smaller pieces so they’re easy to complete. You won’t have to worry about making the deadline when you have a clear idea of what needs to be done first.
The Journal of Accountancy shares some tips on how you can prioritise effectively:
- Make one to-do list
- Assess the importance of each task
- Always prepare for the unexpected
- Know your body clock
- Always communicate with your supervisor
- Delegate tasks
- Respond to emails and other messages from your clients
- Be fully aware of the importance of prioritising
Find out what fuels your soul
What do you like doing on your free time? What activities make you feel happy and come alive? Is it painting? Travel? Reading? Movies? Singing? These things will ease your weary mind and take your mind off the stress at work.
Finding a hobby can be helpful in taking your mind off stress. It doesn’t just keep you busy; it can pave the way for your brain to go into diffused mode, which is beneficial in problem solving.
Go and meet people
Socialising is important for obvious reasons: it is fun and makes us feel connected to the people around us. Research shows that meeting and talking to people can alleviate depression. It boosts memory and cognitive performance as well.
Being in a fun workplace like TOA is highly beneficial not just to anxiety and stress but also to your morale. It can even boost productivity. A fun workplace will promote creativity and innovation. As a result, it can boost profitability.
Break a sweat
Physical activity has been proven to help the body stay strong against diseases. It’s also crucial to keeping mentally fit by reducing stress. Plus, it releases hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphin which make the body feel good.
Stress degenerates the brain, which is why people tend to forget things under stressful situations. Exercise, according to Matthew Stults-Kolehmainen, Ph.D., a kinesiologist at the Yale Stress Center, physical activities, which raise the heart rate, can reverse this damage to the brain.
Get enough shut-eye
Sleeping refreshes your mind. It will help your brain function properly, improve focus and learning, and boost memory.
Stress keeps you awake at night. Your mind races with many things instead of shutting down so it can perform vital functions like muscle repair. Without sleep, your immune system will suffer the same way it does when you’re under stress. So it’s best to find ways to get that much needed zzzs. Here are some science-backed strategies to get enough sleep:
- Have a specific time of getting up and sleeping every day
- Have an hour of quiet time prior to sleeping
- Avoid eating a lot at least a couple of hours before bedtime
- Stay away from nicotine
- Spend time outside every day
- Take a hot bath
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and cool
It also pays to have a work schedule that isn’t shifting. This will make it easier for you to find a hobby, prevent unnecessary work stress, and set a sleeping schedule, Here at The Outsourced Accountant, we value the health of each employee which is why we have a set schedule. We also ensure that each person isn’t overworked and can get the necessary assistance when work gets too burdensome.
Ease the burden on your accountants and avoid burnout by outsourcing. Discover how to increase your firm’s capacity by getting in touch with our local outsourcing experts / specialists for a free consultation or call us today at 1300 896 522.