You did it. The 2018 tax season is over and you lived to tell the tale. Your family is happy to see you again, your dog is ready to finally go on a walk again, and you have plenty of TV shows just waiting to be caught up on. So, now that you are (kind of) free as a bird, what should you do next?
1. Take a Vacation
This is a pretty obvious choice. I’m sure after the long grueling days leading up to April 15, nothing sounds better than sitting with your toes in the sand with nothing to worry about. However, a vacation does not necessarily have to be a big endeavor. A simple weekend road trip to visit old friends, or maybe even just a day at the lake or beach can work too.
If it’s not possible to leave town for a few days, consider taking a “staycation” at home. Whether you are reading a book poolside, or simply reading a book in a lawn chair in your back yard, the important thing is to take some time to decompress and relax.
2. Laundry (and other household chores)
We are betting that over the last few weeks the laundry hamper has gotten very full. Perhaps the kitchen counters have also filled with up various papers and items you haven’t had time to put away, and you may be a little scared to look in the back of the refrigerator. Don’t worry, we won’t even talk about what your bathroom might look like.
Now that you have a moment to breathe, it’s time to get picked up and re-organized. Psychology Today lists numerous benefits of a clean, organized space including better physical health, better sleep, and increased attention span. So, catch up on the household tasks and little to-dos that have been piling up. It will feel great to clear off your mental load.
3. Keep in Touch with Clients
Don’t let you relationships with clients fall by the wayside just because their tax returns have been filed. Connect with your clients by checking in with them afterwards. If they only work with your for tax preparation services, this can be a time to showcase what other services you offer.
Let clients know how you can continue to help them throughout the year. They may not even realize how much you could benefit them or their company.
4. Reflect Back on this Past Tax Season
In the popular sit-com How I Met Your Mother, the concept of “graduation goggles” is introduced. It refers to the nostalgia many of us feel as something is ending or after it’s over. Through graduation goggles things that may have been bad don’t seem so bad after all.
As soon as tax season is over, reflect back on it. How did it go? How did your team do? What were some really great things? What were some not so great things? What can you change for next year to make things better? It’s best to do this while your mind still has clear memories, before you put on your graduation goggles.
5. Continue to Work on the Tax Returns That Have Not Yet Been Filed
The thing is, we all know that the work doesn’t totally stop on April 15. There are extensions, late returns etc…. Just because the calendar says tax season is over doesn’t mean you get to stop and drop everything. Don’t forget to finish up these other projects.
6. Go Outside and Get Some Fresh Air
It’s spring! The weather is warming up (in most parts of the country), the flowers are blooming, and you probably haven’t seen much other than the walls of your office for a while now. Take advantage of your extra time and the nice weather and soak up some Vitamin D.
7. Schedule Professional Development
With a little bit more free time, now is the time to think about any type of professional development. This could be working toward new certifications, attending conferences, or maybe even heading back to school. Accounting is constantly evolving, especially now with new technologies continuing to emerge, so it is in your best interest to keep up and keep learning!
8. Get Some Sleep
Down there with laundry and eating healthy, getting sleep was probably a fairly low priority the last few days of tax season. There was just too much else to do. Good sleep hygiene is incredibly important for both physical and cognitive health. In fact, according to Johns Hopkins, those that are sleep deprived have a “48% increase in developing heart disease” and “nearly 3x risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes.” Since you should be getting home at a much more decent hour, schedule in some early bedtimes to catch up on some lost sleep.
Looking for more advice? Or, simply wondering what we will be doing now that tax season is over? Feel free to contact us at Lumen Advisory and Finance!