Three steps to prep for busy season
Have you ever looked at your calendar and felt unprepared for your busiest time of year? If the answer is yes, follow these three easy steps to prepare.
Busy season is a stressful time for any business and tensions tend to run high. Your leadership and teamwork skills should take centre stage to smooth any ruffled feathers and motivate yourself and co-workers towards success.
1. Use your experience to plan
When drawing up your plan of action, take the time to reflect on what proved successful, or otherwise, in previous years. Are there any potential issues you can prevent by putting a new process in place? Could a specific task benefit from more attention or a different skill set?
You can also use those parameters to inform realistic goals for this year.
Even if you are in the first year of your training contract, you don't need to start from scratch. Talk to your coworkers about what to expect.
2. Make sure you have support
Before the busy season hits, check you will have sufficient capacity to keep up with demand. Do you have everything and everyone you need to meet expectations? Is there any clash between your academic and professional schedules (for example, do you have TPS pre-course work or your final year Business Ethics assignment to complete)?
This may be a good time to request deadline extensions on existing work projects or talk to a manager about your availability during exam time.
Set realistic expectations for yourself and remember that your studies are important as well as your work. It is important to know that you can rely on your colleagues, tutors and fellow CA students to help you accommodate the extra workload.
3. Prioritise your wellbeing
Once you have your plan in place and are confident about the resources at your disposal, you can start to get your head down and power through. However, be cautious of burnout and the effects that too much stress can have on your health.
Though you're short on time, try to keep up good eating and sleeping habits.
Keep water at your desk to stay hydrated, stick to a balanced diet as much as possible and get out of the office for some exercise when you can. It can be all too easy to fall into a spiral of all-nighters and takeout food - just remember that you're the most important thing.