Busy season reminder: Don’t forget to rest

Posted on Monday, March 9, 2020 by Nicole Fracasso

Busy season is a stressful time of year for CPAs and accountants, but during this time it’s more crucial than ever to ensure you’re getting enough sleep. In a recent article from Fast Company, Lindsay Tigar discusses what happens to your brain when you fail to do so.

Firstly, “You won’t be able to respond in real time.” According to Jenny Maenpaa, a psychotherapist, lack of sleep correlates with slower mental processing and can slow down your alertness and response time.

“You will find over time that if your alertness and performance suffer, it is impossible to do your job to expected standards,” she said.

For example, Maenpaa says this can be reflected in mistakes such as poorly written emails and reports.

Next, Tigar says you’ll find things harder to remember and therefore forget more of it. According to Heather Turgeon, a therapist and cofounder of The Happy Sleeper, missing sleep leads to reduced brain activity, meaning we can’t retain information as well.

“During the day, we might not feel as sharp, and we may not have as clear a grasp on the information we learned the day or week before,” she said.

Third, Tigar explains “Your mind will be more chaotic—and you may feel anxious.” She emphasizes the phrase “just sleep on it,” because if your brain doesn’t get the chance to recharge, it starts to overthink everything and can lead to increased anxiety.

“Researchers believe that dreams may help us sort through recent intense emotional experiences by creating connections between neurons and allowing us to wake feeling calmer about what we experienced,” said Maenpaa.

Lastly, lack of sleep can make it more difficult to deal with impulse control.

“Unfortunately, part of being a professional is learning when and how to pick your battles,” writes Tigar.

In any environment, there’s always going to be a point where you disagree with something. Most of the time it’s better to hold back, and it’s much easier to do so when you’re well rested, said Maenpaa.

To learn more about how lack of sleep can affect your work life, read the article in full here.

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