[IMGCAP(1)]If your accounting practice focuses around tax and consulting work, one of our biggest deadlines is past and we have a couple of months to gear up for the rush of September and October 15.
During this period of time it is common for CPAs to immediately jump into summer projects, cleanup work and marketing initiatives. We become stressed out thinking about all the projects that were not completed during tax season and we become overwhelmed by administrative work that piled up over the last several months. If this sounds like you and your practice, I want you to remember one thing—Play Matters.
“Play Matters” is often thought of as an issue that we need to ensure our kids have access to outlets to express themselves. But as important as is it is for kids, it is just as important for adults and professionals to get their play in. As Daniel Pink states in his book A Whole New Mind, “play ethic can strengthen and enable the work ethic and just plain laughter can lead to joyfulness, which in turn can lead to greater creativity, productivity and collaboration.” If play can strengthen ones work ethic and enhance collaboration in an office, it seems that every firm should encourage play.
I love the idea that firms promote “working hard, and playing harder.” This is typically an off-the-cuff fringe benefit of working for the firm, but it is important to recognize the importance of doing the things we love. It is not enough to say, “work hard and play hard,” but not to actually live it. Your weekends should be jam-packed with the things that you love to do. You should take the necessary time off to enlighten yourself and develop understandings of different cultures. Before and after work experiences should focus on the things you love rather than dreading the daily errands that seem to bog us down.
Daniel Pink explained, “When you are playful, you are activating the right side of your brain. The logical brain is a limited brain. The right side is unlimited. You can be anything you want.” Being a CPA who has the confidence in oneself to create great work is an underappreciated trait at many accounting firms. As a leader or a new staff member in any accounting firm, consider how powerful one’s confidence is in performing at a high level. This self-confidence gives one the ability to take ownership of one’s own work. As a manager in an accounting firm, the one trait I am looking for from my staff is for them to take ownership of their work. Regardless of whether their work is right or wrong, if they take ownership, that’s one less issue I have to be concerned about. So if play creates confidence, and that enhances ownership, why not encourage people to play?
So how do you play? How do you make time to play? Is play part of the culture in your company? Are you going to increase your play this year? Play can take many forms. It can be family vacations, hikes, daily exercise, reading a good book or just going out to dinner with some good friends. Let’s go play and then let’s go work hard and collaborate to create better solutions for our communities.
If you still don’t believe me that play is important, consider Stefan Sagmeister and his ideas on taking year-long sabbaticals. I bet he would convince you that play is important. Watch http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/en//id/649.
P.S.: I’m off to hike with my son! I can’t wait for some cool breezes, great exercise and time with my favorite two-year-old. When I come back to work, I guarantee I will have a smile on my face.
Adam Blitz, CPA, is a tax and consulting manager at Wiebe Hinton Hambalek, LLP in Fresno, Calif. Along with his CPA, Adam has a Masters of Arts in Leadership Studies from Fresno Pacific University. Adam authored a thesis entitled, "The Leading CPA the value of the leading CPA." Adam is focused on working with his clients, colleagues, and industry professionals in enhancing the value of the CPA. For additional information, Adam can be contacted at Adamb@whhcpas.com or via Twitter @getblitzed.