Procrastination – It’s Tax Time, After All

taxesIt’s tax season. Uhg! In fact, April 15 is 28 days away. If you’re anything like me, there’s some procrastination in your financial department. I thought I’d offer some strategies to help you get off your duff.

My first tactic involves scheduling, physically putting on my calendar, a three-hour block to organize information for the accountant. I intentionally targeted the end of the week, so I could spend the first few days clearing my desk. I wanted a clean desk, and as few reasons as possible why Friday just wasn’t going to be tax day after all.

Yet even when that morning arrived, my head flooded with excuses. I felt as if I was reluctantly trudging up hill and wanted more than anything to run back to the bottom. I HATE DOING MY TAXES! No, in fact doing them isn’t half as bad as the long process of making myself sit down to the task.

When I finally settled in to my desk last week, sure enough I procrastinated with a quick check of my email, when what did I discover but the following quote with my name written all over it!

Excuses are monuments of nothingness, which build bridges to nowhere,and those who use those tools of incompetence are masters of nothingness. – unknown

Yep, checking Facebook is indeed a bridge to nowhere.

When there’s something on our to do list that is even a little distasteful, excuses have a field day. The same phenomenon can crop up with exercising (my knees hurt), or indulging in sweets (but it’s his birthday).

© Mary Kate McDevitt 2013

© Mary Kate McDevitt 2013

Let’s face it, there will ALWAYS be something we’d rather be doing. Learn to spot those excuses, as they inevitably take over our best-laid plans. See them for what they are – distractions. Though they may seem quite welcome at the time, you can more easily say “no” if you recognize them for what they are. They lose a little of their power this way. You may even be able to catch yourself searching for that “but” as a way to relieve the tension in your mind.

Finally, another tactic I use to counter the dread of tax time is the reminder that it feels great to get things done. I will be so very happy to send that packet off to the accountant, and archive the 2013 file. How will I celebrate when my mission is accomplished? Well, I guess that depends on whether I’ll be getting a refund.

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