Personal Energy Management Tips for Accountants

Gusto Editors

Do you know how to manage your energy levels during stressful times? 

When faced with personal challenges and economic setbacks, some accountants struggle with managing their energy levels. Difficult circumstances can drain your energy levels and make it more difficult to serve your client’s needs. 

Fortunately, Gusto, along with our partners at CPA Academy, delivered a great webinar all about regaining your energy titled “Managing Your Time and Energy During Unprecedented Times.” The topics discussed apply to a range of stressful situations. 

In addition to this webinar article, Part Two, be sure to check out Part One of this series, where you’ll learn all about the importance of energy management. You can also watch the full webinar here

In this article, life coach and inactive CPA Amber Setter will teach you all about why you should avoid wasting your energy on external things, the importance of listening to your inner self, how to be an effective leader during a crisis, and how you should approach difficult periods. 

Don’t waste your energy on things outside of your control

When facing difficult periods, it can be challenging to proactively address what is and isn’t benefiting your overall energy levels. Regardless of what challenges you may be facing currently, you need to analyze the activities you’re engaging in to discover what’s detrimental to your energy levels: 

“What activities have you been doing that are producing low yields? … Common themes that are energy drains right now [include] watching too much news, not enough exercise, [and] too much time in isolation.”

Amber Setter

Take a moment to write down different activities that may be detrimental to your energy levels. Amber noted that many of the items on your list might be related to circumstances beyond your control: 

“Look at your list and notice … the things that are out of your control versus … the things that you can control. … Here’s what I’m noticing: Some very common energy drains during unprecedented times … [are] things out of people’s control.”

Amber Setter

Take a moment to analyze your list and evaluate the items that are outside of your control. Maybe it involves politics, the environment, or another substantial issue lying outside your field of influence. One prevalent issue often draining accountant’s energy levels is accounting regulations: 

“You can’t control someone else’s decision. Accounting regulations … can’t be controlled. … But [so]many times I hear from accountants, ‘This is going to be the worst busy season ever.’ … Accounting regulations always change. There’s always new stuff, and I feel like there’s always a reason why people complain. … Blaming it on [the] external, there’s nothing in that. [It’s just] an energy waste.”

Amber Setter

It’s critical for your professional performance to not waste your energy on external things outside of your control. Rather than focusing on what’s outside of your control, focus on what you can control. Don’t focus on something external, like accounting regulations—focus on what you can do to serve your clients better and grow your firm.  

Your inner self and your ability to lead

Female torso with hands-on her heart while sitting in front of her laptop

When focusing on things in your life that are within your control, it’s critical to understand your inner and outer selves: 

“Your outer self is the actions that you take. These are the things that you do. It’s what you do or you don’t do. And there’s a correlation between your outer self and your inner self. … Your inner self is comprised of your thoughts, your feelings, your emotions, and your outlook.”

Amber Setter

Your inner self determines your outer actions. You need to strengthen your internal self and follow your internal voice in order to take positive actions in your life:

“This inner work … helps you [make] more powerful outer [decisions and develop] outer self behaviors. Ultimately, you’re the creator of your destiny, right? And the challenge is always going to be uncovering what your inner self is trying to tell you. And to hear that voice, you need to find stillness and drown out a perception of others. … What is in [your] control is [your] own thoughts, [your] own opinions, and [your] own actions.”

Amber Setter

Your inner self also affects your ability to lead when you’re going through difficult periods. If you fail to listen to your inner voice, you’ll engage in reactive qualities as a leader, which conflicts with your ability to connect with others: 

“Ineffective leadership qualities are reactive: complying, protective, and controlling. Controlling … is a reactive tendency. … [The] opposite is relating. So it pulls down your ability to be a caring leader, to really mentor people, [and] to foster a really connected team and have this interpersonal connection with one another.”

Amber Setter

If you engage in reactive behaviors when leading your team, you’ll have difficulty connecting with them. Rather than merely reacting to external circumstances, you need to strengthen your inner self and follow your inner voice. Focus on connecting with your team rather than engaging in reactionary tendencies: 

“What we all need now is … [a] more caring … leader, a more connected team, [and] solid interpersonal relationships. But what happens is when things are out of control, people want to control more. So if you don’t have awareness [that] this controlling [tendency] is going to go up, then your ability to really connect with others is going to go down.”

Amber Setter

Your relationship with your team is critical for your firm, and engaging in reactionary tendencies will hurt your connection with them and conflict with your ability to lead effectively. 

Two colleagues standing in front entrance of office referencing to a tablet in front of them

You need to understand your inner self and anticipate your reactive tendencies. You may not regularly engage in reactive tendencies, but this can change during stressful periods: 

“Important stuff to note is to realize when life squeezes me, what’s going to come out? I’m going to be more compliant. I’m going to be more protective. I’m going to be more controlling.”

Amber Setter

How do you react in stressful situations? Do you become more controlling or protective? Focus on following your inner voice rather than engaging in ineffective, reactionary leadership. 

Choosing to address difficult times with positive energy

When facing difficult periods and uncertain times, you can approach the situation from a place of fear or a place of power. According to Amber, you can engage in different vibrational patterns that determine how you react to stressful situations. She cited David R. Hawkin’s book Power vs. Force in discussing the different kinds of vibrations:  

“Hawkins has come up with a map of consciousness. … They literally measured energetic patterns. So when you see this expression of high vibes, they’re really talking about how everything is energy.”

Amber Setter

Higher vibrations relate to courage and internal power, while lower vibrations relate to fear, desire, and anger. According to Amber, you can regain your energy by engaging in higher vibrations: 

“Ways of being that [will] have you more charged are going to be courage, neutrality, willingness, acceptance, reason, love, joy, peace, and enlightenment.”

Amber Setter

When facing unprecedented times, you can choose to approach the crisis with high vibrations or low vibrations. If you’re coming from a place of high vibrations, you’re operating from a place of courage rather than fear. Taking action and engaging in higher vibrations will help you regain your energy: 

“[When] I stop consuming things that cause me harm, those things that are low energy drains, … I get empowered, [and] I get into action. … So the question for all of you to really reclaim your energy and to be energized is, ‘What is one action that you will take to move towards your authentic power?'”

Amber Setter

What can you do to move towards courage and internal growth? When you engage in higher vibrational patterns and take action, you’ll replenish your energy levels. 

Learn more about managing your personal energy

You can manage your energy levels by analyzing what’s draining your energy, focusing on what you can control, strengthening your inner self, and operating on a higher vibrational pattern. If you want to learn more about managing your energy, check out Part One of this article webinar series. You can also watch the full webinar here

If you want to learn more invaluable information that will improve your accounting firm, check out Gusto’s partner program. When you join, you’ll gain access to our People Advisor Certification Program, which will teach you everything you need to know about advising your clients in helpful people-based advisory services, like payroll, benefits, and HR. You’ll also gain access to our Gusto Pro dashboard and many integrations. If you’re ready to expand your firm and better serve your clients, sign up here

Gusto Editors Gusto Editors, contributing authors on Gusto, provide actionable tips and expert advice on HR and payroll for successful business management.
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