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The CPA Guide to Staying Productive While You're Exhausted

Posted by Dr. Phil Yaeger on Apr 4, 2018 2:31:16 PM

Whether you're in the midst of busy season, studying for your fourth section of the CPA Exam, or both, you're going to find yourself exhausted. You'll need to figure out a way to get past the wall you will inevitably run into. Here are a few tips to be mindful of when you have that classic lack of energy and how to re-energize yourself!

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Change Anything
This sounds way too simple, but finding some new energy can come from something as simple as changing one thing about your day. You could be ambitious and go for a run, or do something like take a new route to work. Maybe even perform your daily routine at work backward. The simple act of putting something new into your day or changing up existing habits causes the brain to get out of its rhythm and react to something new. Overuse or too much repetition often causes fatigue, so doing something slightly different can result in tricking your brain into feeling refreshed.

Be Mindful of What You Watch On Netflix
Many might think we'd suggest nixing Netflix altogether, but sometimes you just need to let your brain rest and turn off for a bit with some entertainment. But when you do pick your show, be careful - some shows cause your brain to overreact. You may be addicted to a show like Stranger Things or Black Mirror, but those are anything but light-hearted. They'll make your brain spin out of control with thought and will make you want to watch the next show immediately. Instead, choose comedy. Laughter is a great way to decrease stress and thus increase energy. Also, consider something shorter like Parks and Rec or part of a stand-up routine. A shorter show will keep you away from loosing too much productive time. Lastly, try to make sure you aren't watching right before bed, which brings us to our next point.

Sleep
Number one piece of advice - buy an actual alarm clock and keep your phone in another room. Everyone is guilty of cruising around on social media and procrastinating on their sleep. If you have an actual alarm to set you won't need to have your phone in your hands at all before bed. Avoiding the temptation to be entertained right up until you go to bed lets your brain settle down and prepare for sleep. Keeping the phone in the other room will also help your stress level decrease because the unconscious thought of an email, text message or other important notification won't exist.

Remember the Future
The light at the end of the tunnel, the "play hard" to the "work hard", and the things you look forward to in life - don't forget them! Plan a small part of a vacation, buy tickets to a game or concert when you have time to go, or make dinner plans for when you're done with work. So many students get caught in the doldrums of study and work life because they forget busy times don't last forever. If you forget that, oh ya, you're going to get to spend this money and not every week will be 80 hours of studying or work you'll quickly lose steam.

Sit Back and Appreciate
Okay, this is the cheesiest we'll get with the advice, but starting a daily habit of thinking of one thing you have to be thankful for. This simple act can change how your mind sees everything else around you, not as a burden but as part of a whole where there are many things to be grateful for. One simple act of gratitude that takes a couple of seconds (i.e., sending a text to someone you appreciate or writing something down on a sticky note you're glad you have such as coffee, clean water, your kid, freedom, or ice cream) can have a profound impact on your psyche!

Tags: Accounting Career Advice, accounting career

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