Time is Running Out: How to Motivate Yourself to do Your Taxes
By Deborah Sweeney on March 26, 2014
We’re in the home stretch here with only a couple of weeks between now and April 15th left to get our taxes filed and submitted in. And with that impending deadline comes the sudden ability to revert back to our high school tendencies of putting off that final paper until the night before, or, on occasion, morning of its due date. Though we’d like to think our juvenile school habits are behind us, tax season can be the perfect excuse to procrastinate like it’s 1994. But unlike in school where getting a bad grade could be easily amended with extra credit, not filing taxes on time could significantly hurt you, anyone you claim as a dependent, and your business, if you're filing business taxes too. Here are three ways to kick your behind into gear and make sure you get them done without having to file for an extension.
Count your free moments.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur solely running a business by yourself, a post grad barely making it work with two jobs, or a mother of four, life can get busy. So busy, in fact, that when you're lucky enough to stop for a moment, it can be hard to convince yourself to fill that time with taxes when all you want to do is take a nap. When you get a free moment, don't fill it with a Netflix marathon. Seize it and start your paperwork or electronic form filing done. You can reward yourself after!
Make an evening of it.
If you can’t find the quiet time to do your taxes in peace, involve the whole family! Have your spouse cook dinner, get the kids busy with a coloring book, and you can go to tax town. If not with the family, call up some girlfriends who haven't started filing their taxes yet, serve some appetizers, and get down to business together - it's a little like having a book club night, only held once a year.
Sometimes the best way to motivate yourself to start working on anything is shining a light at the end of the tunnel. Taxes can be annoying in that they have the tendency to show up once a year, typically when we're the least free to do anything, but other than that they're not too strenuous. Decide before you begin working to reward yourself with something specific that you’ve been wanting for a long time once you're done. Maybe you’ve been wanting a massage or a special handbag. Decide what you’ll splurge on afterwards, and put that return to good use!