Say goodbye to the Tax Season and hello to studying for the CPA Exam!
Congratulations on making it out of busy season. Take a bit of time to celebrate and savor the feeling of all you learned and accomplished in the past few months! That hectic pace of life is past, and it may be a very good idea for you to take a bit of a breather from studying.
Don’t let the celebration drag on too long; you are already used to being highly productive and maintaining a rigid schedule, so don’t lose too much of that highly productive no-time-to-waste attitude. Pick a date on the calendar to start back to studying and stick to it.
Keeping Focused on the CPA Exam During Transition
Keeping focused and maintaining your discipline looks great on paper, but as you transition into late spring and then summer - with some (hopefully) beautiful weather - what are you going to do to keep the CPA Exam a priority?
Yes, you should take a step back from the “go all out” mindset of busy season, but a complete “relax and enjoy” mindset will not help you advance towards your Exam goals. Just like the story of the three bears, try to find a new balance that’s “just right.” Work demands on your time should have decreased significantly, so you can increase your time spent on studying, family and friends, and self-care.
The amount of time you allocate to each of those priorities is up to you; your “just right” may or may not be the same as other people in your office studying for the CPA Exam. Keep in mind my recommendations for allocating your CPA Exam (at least 15 hours per week). Whether you take my recommendations or not, be aware of your time allocation, and ask yourself if you will get you where you want to be on Exam day.
A note on work itself: Accountants risk falling behind on their work after busy season. The day to day goes from forced productivity to a more relaxed office culture. Since your workload drops so drastically after busy season, the underlying urgency to complete work decreases, too.
Without the busy season pressure, it can be tempting to start putting off responsibilities, and before you know it, you're behind. Resist the temptation to let things slide! If you don’t lose your stride – at work or at home - you can rest assured that you’ll carry less stress with you throughout the months ahead.
Just a Reminder
The transition out of busy season is also a great time to re-evaluate your overall study plan, test-taking timeline, and habits to see if any of these need adjustment as you progress towards your goal. Set those goals, track your progress to keep yourself motivated, and daydream a bit about being a licensed CPA next time busy season rolls around.