Many independent professionals such as accountants who operate their own small business are prone to becoming workaholics. Being a workaholic presents dangers to both your health and the efficient operation of your business. Luckily, you can take easy, practical steps to start working smarter instead of harder or longer, and boost your productivity while reducing your work time.
Dangers and Warning Signs for Workaholics
Being a workaholic is more common in certain professional arenas, and the financial industry is one of them. Workaholic habits can appear as attractive traits to naturally driven, competitive people. Excellent accountants often place great importance on being diligently focused and on completing each task perfectly. These qualities aren’t inherently bad, but they can become problematic, especially if you end up devoting too much time and energy to work and become overly attached to only work-related aspects of your life.
The warning signs that you’re slipping into workaholic territory are frequently identical to the dangers posed by being a workaholic. These dangers or warning signs include mental issues such as anxiety or depression, and physical symptoms such as insomnia, physical exhaustion, or malnutrition. Strained interpersonal relationships, either at or away from work, often result from overworking. If you start to feel like work is becoming increasingly difficult even though you’re working longer and harder, you may want to ask a friend or coworker if they think you’re overdoing things at work at the expense of a healthy personal life.
Working Smarter Starts with Auditing Yourself
Keeping your work schedule smart and productive starts with auditing. That simply means monitoring yourself for the warning signs of becoming a workaholic. Keep an eye on how invested you are in your work, along with how your work routine affects your emotional state and your personal life. For example, it’s good to be concerned about the quality of your work, but it’s not healthy to worry obsessively over small, insignificant mistakes to the point where it interferes with getting to sleep at night.
Multitasking is a great skill to have when you need to accomplish a number of things in a very short period of time. But for workaholics, multitasking often becomes a barrier to working productively. It can lead to a situation where you ultimately end up piling an excessive amount of work onto your plate while failing to complete any one task fully and efficiently. Being both a workaholic and a perfectionist usually leads to wearing yourself out, and that makes it difficult to effectively accomplish any of the tasks you really need to get done.
Schedule Rest Periods During the Day
Taking regular time-outs throughout your workday is an important step in avoiding getting overloaded with work, and rests can actually increase your overall productivity. If necessary, include scheduled breaks on your daily “to do” list. Give yourself time to relax, stretch, chat with a friend, or enjoy some alone time. Don’t view breaks as neglecting work, but rather as a recharging your batteries. That’s vital for giving you the necessary energy to remain productive throughout the day.
Use “To Do” Lists to Prioritize
Using “to do” lists is a good habit to help increase your productivity because these lists enable you to focus on important tasks and avoid getting bogged down by menial or unimportant details. A “to do” list helps you identify and focus on work priorities, provides positive feelings of accomplishment, and can also establish a reasonable end point for your workday,
You can significantly improve your productivity as a professional accountant by learning to work smarter and more efficiently, and avoid the dangers of becoming a workaholic.