Balancing Work and Life: Lessons from Accounting


As an accounting intern for a Big 4 firm, @bdb*** shared their struggle with balancing their work and personal life. Working long hours and feeling exhausted, they wondered how to take care of themselves during the busy season. A seasoned accountant shared their insights on how to balance work and life like an accountant would balance a financial ledger. The key is to track your gains and expenses, maintain clear communication, and leverage the future for a more balanced and fulfilling life. Here are some practical tips that can help:

Pay close attention to receivables – when it is time to collect on a day off, make sure you take it. Log the time you spend so you know where and why you are spending your time.

Know your cash flow – understand how much fuel is in your tank. Take time out when feeling burned out. Get up and walk around. Fifteen minutes of personal time or an actual lunch break can make a difference in the middle of your day.

Log expenses – decide if the expense is worth it. Log the time you spend so you know where and why you are spending your time.

Record your cash expenses – collect the benefits when you swap out personal time for work.

Know the difference between invoices and receipts – don’t mistake wanting something (invoice) for receiving something (receipt).

Keep personal vs. business life distinct – never merge the two.

Hire a professional – sometimes, additional help is needed. Whatever it is, if it helps you, it is worth it.

Maintain clear communication – always be transparent in a professional way.

Understand double-entry bookkeeping – be aware of the purchases you make with your time and the gains you receive because of the time spent.

Chart your accounts – establish multiple accounts for the most well-rounded view of your life.

Prepare a financial statement – reconcile and see if what you are doing is falling in line with your life goals.

Leverage the future – never build another person’s future if it means neglecting your own.

By following these tips, you can balance your work and life like an accountant, and enjoy a more fulfilling and satisfying life. Remember, it’s not just about working harder, it’s about working smarter and living a more balanced life.

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