Our top tips on how to avoid burnout when working in accounting
We’ve all heard of the term workplace stress and burnout, but how does it manifest itself? Well, if you’re lucky enough to not have experienced it before, then this is what you should look out for:
- Feeling tired and irritable for no good reason
- Being particularly negative or cynical – especially when it comes to work
- Taking twice as long to get the same work done
- Letting the perfectionist mentality take over
If you recognise any of these symptoms then it may be time to take stock and step back a little. Here are other things you can do to try and combat workplace stress and burnout before you feel as if it’s taking over:
Change your working environment
Since the pandemic most of us have been working from home but now we’re back to going back to the office – at least a few days a week. That change is a good thing. It can be refreshing and put a different perspective on your working day. If you can work from a café or, better still, outdoors in the warmer weather, then definitely consider doing that too.
Get some ‘me’ focus
Plan proper meals – at least several times a week and not just on weekends when you ‘have time to cook.’ If it’s not possible to make a meal from scratch during the week because you’re too tired after work, then batch cook at the weekend and store in the freezer so you can just microwave it for dinner on weekdays. Get some early nights in. Make time for exercise several times a week too – whether it’s a walk in the park, a cycle round your neighbourhood or a quick swim.
Take a big break
Make sure you take at least a fortnight’s uninterrupted holiday every year, and lots of weekends away in between. In your big annual holiday go away somewhere where you can’t be contacted easily – such as camping in a forest or at a mountain location with a dodgy WiFi connection. Maybe you need two big breaks every second year or so. It’s worth asking if you can ‘buy’ some holiday time.
Do more with technology
@AccountingToday: “Stress and busy season go hand in hand — a natural part of life for an accountant. But accountancy is no longer in the Stone Age: Greater mental health awareness and new technology can aid how accountants prepare for the big grind.”
There are plenty of scheduling apps out there which can help you claw back some much-needed time from your day. Apps that can schedule appointments into your electronic diary and help with time management can prove invaluable. Schedule phone calls and make ‘To Do’ lists so you know what you have to accomplish that day at work. Another bonus is that organising can make you feel more in control and less stressed about life in general.
If you’re starting to feel like reality is already beginning to slip a little, then it’s time to seek professional help. Speak to your company’s Occupational Therapy department if they have one. Chat to a colleague or manager and perhaps take a couple of days off work as an early holiday so you can sleep late and unwind.