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Pacing Yourself

It’s March and for my Thriving CPAs this means things are just starting to heat up. Things are about to heat up for those of you who work in schools so you can learn now and get ready to plan! Do you know that metaphor about frogs and boiling water? Here goes: throw a frog into boiling water and they will jump out immediately but place a frog in a pot of water and very, very gradually raise the temperature and there’s a good chance they won’t notice in time to save their own lives. Now apparently it’s not all true and I won’t go further into something a goodly number of you will find gross but the metaphor still holds true: when we experience a gradual increase in stress its hard to see but present us with the stress all at once and its exceptionally easy to see.

How does this relate to Thriving? It is possible to remain a Thriving, focused professional and individual in the middle of a busy season but to do so we really need both a game plan and willingness to follow that plan.

In today’s economy, which is still struggling under years of difficulty, having enough help or qualified help can be hard to find. A number of us are going it alone and therefore the planning is even more important than not. As a Thriver it’s not OK to be scrambling all the time and having little if any time to breathe. Regardless of help or no help, let’s take a look at what we know works.

Pick a time to review your e-mail and address it then but if possible try to avoid checking it throughout the hour so that you can focus on getting done what needs doing.

Prioritize your list. Not everything can be first nor should it be. Make sure you’re clear on what needs to happen, when, and then trust your decisions as you move through the day. If it helps make notes next to your to do list to remind you of what made something a priority or less of a priority. Be flexible enough if new information comes your way to change that list but only if new information comes your way, not “just because.”

Harness the power of your own self-knowledge. If you know one task is likely to bug you until you get it done then by all means, get it done! Find that you work best in the morning hours or in the time after your lunchtime workout? Then block that time out for anything that requires you to really buckle down.

Cross off as many things as you can from your list of routine to do’s: if its particularly busy for you now might be the time you order groceries delivered to your home rather than getting out to go shopping or drop all your dry cleaning off and plan on using those clean clothes throughout the busy period to get through. These recommendations aren’t meant, by the way, to keep you in the office longer but rather to allow you to savior your more limited downtime in busy times rather than running routine errands.

Just because its busy doesn’t mean there isn’t time for your workout and time for meditation (you had to know I’d get that in there!) Now more than ever these practices can help you focus your energy and attention so you can keep pace with your busy season.

A busy season won’t last forever, even if it feels like it, so if it helps, book a few days of vacation or downtime for when the final reports are handed in or the deadline date has passed so you have something to look forward to.

Need extra help? I’m a pro at those busy season pressures and if you’d like a hand to help you Thrive just give a call or drop me a note!

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