How Tax Preparers Can Avoid Burnout During Tax Season

How Tax Preparers Can Avoid Burnout During Tax Season

Burnout is a real threat in every profession, but it can be especially prevalent and severe in the tax industry. Work exhaustion can not only negatively affect job performance but also decrease one’s general quality of life, both on and off the clock. Because of this risk, it’s crucial to know how tax preparers can avoid burnout during tax season.

How To Identify Burnout

Before knowing how to avoid burnout, we must know what it looks like. The symptoms of job fatigue can be subtle or overt; some of the major signs include:

  • Lowered energy levels throughout the day/general fatigue
  • Reduction in job productivity; work that was once easy may now seem difficult
  • Irritability; having a short temper with family, coworkers, and clients
  • Difficulty focusing on tasks; trouble maintaining concentration

Whether you are currently experiencing burnout or simply want to proactively avoid it, consider several ways for tax preparers to mitigate job fatigue.

Create a Pleasant Work Area

Whether you work from home or in your company’s office, it’s critical to have a space where you can work comfortably and relax. Comfort can mean several things, such as maintaining good posture, having an ergonomic chair, and relying on windows that allow natural light to shine through.

Proper posture and a good chair benefit physical comfort, allowing you to work without distraction, while sunlight provides you with vitamin D and can improve emotional wellness.

Don’t Neglect Breaks and Lunch

When dealing with an overflow of work, it can be easy to forget to take lunch, work through lunch, or simply forgo any type of break during the day. Ignoring regularly scheduled breaks may seem like a good idea in the short term to get ahead of work, but it can have serious consequences in the long run.

Not allowing your body to rest or your mind to relax will only wear you down, leading to further stress and the burnout symptoms mentioned above. Take this time to separate yourself from your work and come back with fresh eyes.

Identify Workflow Opportunities

Workflow efficiency is the key to maintaining a consistent pace when dealing with a high volume of work, as it ensures projects don’t build up unnecessarily. Take some time to evaluate your current work processes, identifying where you’re taking the most time and where you can streamline those productivity-losing areas.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your colleagues or leadership; someone else may have already solved an issue you’re currently dealing with. Sharing that type of knowledge benefits everyone on the team and can make a difficult business period much easier.

It may even be beneficial to outsource some processes or utilize a tax software partnership with no EFIN required. This type of partnership allows you and your colleagues to focus on other aspects of business, freeing up the necessary bandwidth to prevent team members from burning out.

Maintain a Healthy Work/Life Balance

A tax preparer’s top priority during a difficult tax season should be to take care of themselves; if work fatigue occurs, work performance suffers. Strike a balance between your work life and your social life and maintain those boundaries; it can make a workday easier and less mentally and physically taxing.