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How do you escape busy season?

How do you destress? Do you meditate, go for a run, or read a book?

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Self assessment season means long hours and high-stress levels. 

So after a long day filing tax returns what do you do to forget about the day and relax? Are you someone who kicks off the work shoes and slips on the running shoes? Or do spend ten minutes at the end of the day practicing stress-relieving powers of mindfulness?

And while I can't claim to have filed any tax returns, my favourite way to escape after a long work day is to read a good book. After listening to his hilarious appearance on Adam Buxton's podcast, I am currently reading Calyspso by David Sedaris, which I'd recommend if anyone fancies a laugh after a day faced with a stack of tax returns.   



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10th Jan 2019 15:35

I am too busy as way behind last year with tax returns so have been banging some hours in these last 3 weeks and will be back to the wall until the end of the month.

That aside it is the Amble open fishing competition this Sunday and although weather forecast is really bad with a heavy sea and really cold I will be heading up there to fish it and looking forward to it, the thought of risking your life to catch a fish is a welcome break after doing 7/8 tax returns a day for the last few weeks.

I have blanked the last 2 competitions, but as my dad always used to say "a bad fishing is better than a good day at work".

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10th Jan 2019 15:36


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10th Jan 2019 15:48

The trick is not to have a busy season.

Once clients have had a couple of fines it begins to dawn on them that this hassle could be avoided.

Be tough. Don't back down.

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to lionofludesch
10th Jan 2019 16:20

Your not wrong I was all but done by end of November last year which is a much better position to be in.

Took on a few big jobs in the Autumn which will be good long term but meant knocked my back on tax returns.

Will get there though, will be flat in Feb and March also with decent business plan/cashflow type work

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to Glennzy
11th Jan 2019 18:52


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10th Jan 2019 16:31

Tax returns for 31 Jan are going nicely but it was the 31 Dec ones that caused me pain.
What has made my life worse this year are the clients who dont have imminent 31 Dec or 31 Jan deadlines who keep making contact (invariably text) wanting their accounts done immediately because their fixed mortgage is ending as in next week.
Escaping... a meal out with friends or a bottle of wine (note: bottle) sitting in front of the open fire watching ABC murders

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to Jennifer Adams
10th Jan 2019 16:45

I've four left.

One out for signature, one needing accounts being discussed tomorrow, one only just thought it's early enough to bring them in, one rent account (hoping she's gone elsewhere).

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By Dib
10th Jan 2019 16:47

I avoid the busy season by doing corporate tax, not personal tax!

As to relaxing, reading/watching TV in front of the fire with a bottle of wine ("Cheers!" Jennifer) or going for a nice walk with the dog at the weekend.

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10th Jan 2019 18:45

A couple of years ago I discovered rollerskating (indoors) which was a bit of a challenge. But this quickly migrated into in-line skating which then turned into outdoor rollerblading. It's a fantastic stress buster - fresh air, exercise and good music on the iPod.

It's addictive, but the outdoor times need to be restricted to fair weather with a low wind speed so during the winter months I try to have a session at a local rink once a week.

For the summer months you can't beat rollerblading along the prom on a sunny day. The thought of it keeps me going through these dark winter days.

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10th Jan 2019 21:34

January is pretty full on every year. I work 7 days a week until it’s all done. I’m used to it. I do more than my fair share of good, honest daydreaming, cheer myself up by counting the money and planning time off in February.

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11th Jan 2019 12:03

I've always been a 7/7 worker in Jan but I have booked ski lessons every Sat and Sunday so it has forced me to take time off and get out! Still on target at the moment

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11th Jan 2019 18:57

Ideally February is a break, but it ain't, apart from being dark and cold.

The March dividend decisions roll in like a spring tide and the Oct / Nov year ends are glaring away.

And then it starts all over again.

Still, I'd only be sailing.

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13th Jan 2019 19:38

I'm similar to Jennifer above, in that 31st Dec caused me more stress, as I mentioned on another thread recently.

I've got 21 left to do according to Taxfiler which also agrees to AM. About 8 are done, awaiting signature, around 8 are still missing info and 4 or 5 need very small sets of accounts doing.

The biggest pain is a partnership retail shop who I requested the records from in May, August, November and December. Absolute prats, but difficult to sack as they were recommended by a good client.

The above is fantastic compared to the last few years (strange as I have more clients now but most are ltd companies with nothing but salary & divs).

As regards relaxation, I had a week in Fuerteventura first week of Jan (never been able to do that before), which certainly helped.

I'll probably get away in Feb also to take advantage of the quiet month.

Other than that, if I'm stressed I either sleep or go for a drive.

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16th Jan 2019 11:03

If January is not dull enough, we have to worry about self assessment. If I manage to get home in time to see the family at the end of the day that's good enough for me. Roll on February!

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17th Jan 2019 09:35

De - stressing?
That's why God made pubs.....

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