I’ve heard rumors that (for some unknown reason) many people don’t like to file taxes.
It appears that most folks do NOT like to fill out reams of paperwork only to finally discover how much money they are really giving to the IRS!
This, of course, is why we work so hard to make this process as painless as possible and to ensure that you keep all the money you can keep, legally and ethically under the current tax code.
And we’re in full “all-irons-in-the-fire” mode around here these days, with two weeks left to go in tax season.
By the way, did you know that many tax firms (and “off the shelf” software companies) actually raise their prices on procrastinators? That’s not how I believe clients should be treated.
Although I will NOT raise prices, I will encourage my procrastinating friends with some wisdom from a former procrastinator.
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
When your day wraps to a close, are you leaving tired and satisfied? Or just … tired?
You’ve spent the day in nearly constant activity.
And you may have been procrastinating the whole time.
“Huh?” you say. “I can’t have been procrastinating. I’ve been really busy!”
But there’s the rub–when we’re busy, we can easily trick ourselves into thinking that all of that activity means we’re not procrastinating. Yeah, we’re busy, but we’re not focused on the things that should really have our attention. If someone were to tap us on the shoulder and say, “That thing you’re doing — is that the best use of your attention right now?” We would hesitate to agree.
We’re busy procrastinating.
The explosion of digital channels and the mobile web makes it very easy to integrate busyness and procrastination. There are a lot of “channels that lead to you”. Email, sure. But also Facebook and Twitter and instant messaging and LinkedIn etc., etc.
The inputs from these channels come at us thick and fast. That makes it tempting to let the real-time arrivals drive us. Procrastination is always only a click away.
But ask yourself: what are the odds that email at the top of your inbox is the best thing to focus on next? If it’s not, and you choose to deal with it next anyway, then you’re being driven by “latest and loudest,” and are letting your channels dictate your priorities.
So, if you’re struggling with procrastination, then what should you do? To get it under control, we need to make moving on the right things as attractive as possible.
Procrastination usually boils down to: 1) Not Thinking or 2) Not Doing. Here’s how to beat each:
1) Not Thinking.
I’m avoiding thinking about things I know I should think about.
There can be all kinds of reasons we don’t want to think about a given item or issue. Whatever the reason, it is usually because of the size or complexity of the issue.
So, boil it down to its contingent parts, and address the smaller issues within the larger whole. Ask yourself, “What’s the exact, smallest action that can be taken to move this forward? What do I want to see happen from that action?” You can always address those questions.
2) Not Doing.
I’m avoiding doing things I know I should be doing.
Again, break it down into something smaller. Take the tiny action, do it again, and you’ll find yourself suddenly settled into taking the larger action you had been putting off in the first place.
If preparing your taxes is one of the things on which you’re procrastinating, allow us to take the pain away from that big pile of forms and obligations. Then allow yourself to move into sustained action on those bigger things.
Aurelia E Weems, CPA