It is tax season again. Some of us dread this chore and put it off until the last moment. This can mean long hours of confusion and aggravation. Here are some tips to help you make it through.
- Establish a reward you will enjoy when you get done.
- Let your family and friends know you will not be available for talking or texting.
- Turn off your phone, tv, radio, etc.
- Pull together all the paperwork you will need to complete your task.
- Have a pad of paper to jot down notes to yourself of deductions you hadn’t considered or inspiration you get for being better prepared next year.
- Work in a space where you can leave your paperwork on the desk or table without the risk of it getting moved or damaged.
- Take a brisk walk before you dig in. This will wake up your brain and help you think clearer.
- Sip on water to help keep you hydrated and alert. If you want to sip on coffee instead, make sure you stop to savor each sip.
- Sharp-smelling essential oils, such as peppermint and eucalyptus, can clear the fog of fatigue and help you stay focused.
- Keep healthy snacks close by. It might be tempting to reach for the chocolate, but the sugar rush is always followed by a sugar drop.
- Tackle one section at a time. Just entering basic taxpayer information is an accomplishment.
- Celebrate each section completed with a verbal affirmation.
- Take frequent 5 minute breaks. Set a timer for 45 minutes. Instead of checking social media (which you know will kill an hour) get up and move, stretch, walk outside to get some fresh air, etc. Just remember, it’s only 5 minutes. No other projects or websites allowed.
- If you get stuck on a section, engage in deep breathing, and then try again.
- Take time to eat a healthy meal, away from the paperwork.
- If you have a family, take a 30 minute break every couple hours to reconnect, laugh, talk, or snuggle. This connection will help calm and motivate you.
- Take a power nap. Just 15 to 30 minute naps reset your energy and brain.
Once you’re done and the taxes are filed, take a look at your notepad and consider the inspiration for being better prepared for next year. Get started NOW! There’s no better time to be as motivated to be better prepared than it is right now. Set up a record-keeping system that works for you. If you need help setting up a record-keeping plan, call a bookkeeper to set up a consultation within the next week. They will have many creative ideas. Then, reward yourself!