And A Time for Every Season

This week I was not on my schedule. Each day there were things I did not complete. Being off schedule is highly unusual for me in recent months, so I wanted to figure out what had changed for me.

At first, I was just frustrated. I got angry with myself for my lack of success in an area I thought I had mastered. For heaven's sake, I am a time management coach! Self-criticism, as you may have guessed, was not very helpful in identifying the problem.

When I got out of my head and studied what had pulled me off track each day, I found that as tax season approaches, the needs of my staff, clients, and business changed. Intellectually, I knew this. However, I was planning my schedule as I had throughout the fall and into the winter.

Our end of year focus is on planning, strategy, and finalizing our goals for the year. It is a time for wrapping things up, which involves a lot of thinking time and data analysis.

At the start of tax season, my practice becomes much more client intensive. They have questions about their record-keeping, changes in the law, and the new political environment's impact. I wasn't planning time for interruptions, increased emails, and phone calls. Therefore, shockingly, I wasn't completing all my desired results each day.

I had missed the change of season. I hadn't acknowledged that a new time might require new things for me. In tax season, I schedule more appointments and reduce my flexibility around projects. I limit my habit goals and focus on staying healthy, both physically and mentally, and just showing up, putting my head down, and doing my job.

So this week, I took projects off my list. I limited the loose ends I would tie up, and I began to shift my focus to the next few months' requirements. I fully expect this week to run more smoothly and with less emotional friction.

Think through your year. What are your primary seasons? How do you shift your priorities and expectations depending on the different periods of your year?

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