We make decisions every day, sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously. The unconscious decisions just happen, such as what time we go to bed and what time we get up. We usually go home to the same house and go to the same place to go to work. Those decisions become habits.
Ten years ago, I was frustrated and made a new decision. I loved the work I did, but not in the environment that I worked in. I started my own business. To create the environment that I wanted to work in I set a 4-day work week. That left a 3-day weekend. Then from January through April 15 we could handle the extra work by working Fridays. By doing this no one had to work more than 50 hours per week during tax season. My mission was to create a work life that I enjoyed and that worked well for the last 10 years.
This tax season I made a new decision. My mentor was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in February. He was passionate about taxes and loved finding the details that would help his clients save on taxes. Even though he retired, he was still preparing tax returns. More than I expected. He was advised to stop now, at the busiest time of year. I made a commitment that we would prepare the returns that he couldn’t handle. I had to make some hard new decisions – put in more time, determine who to extend and keep an open mind to learn more. This was the first time in a very long time that I put in 60 hours of work in one week.
I am working my way back to my old decisions – 4-day work week and only 50 hours a week during tax season. Now I need to find ways to get that back and that will include making some new decisions. I am so thankful that I can.
Mary Guldan-Lindstrom, CPA