In my life right now, the answer to that question is T-A-X-E-S. I have to hang my head in shame and admit that my taxes aren’t done. But I’m quite sure they will be by the end of the day.
I usually have my taxes done by a tax person and—I’ll admit it—more often than not in the last 10 years I’ve filed an extension. But perhaps spurred on by the promise of an extra check from Uncle Sam after my taxes are filed, I set a goal to get them in on time.
But I’ve been avoiding the task all year for fear that I’d have to write a big tax check, as I have in some years past. I avoided it so successfully, in fact, that it became too late for me to turn it over to my tax person. So I decided to give Turbo Tax a try. I used it about ten years ago with apparent success. And I’m ten years older and wiser (and have 13 years of self-employment under my belt) so I figured I could handle it.
Thankfully, we keep great electronic financial records and the paper records are filed appropriately. So getting my hands on the information wasn’t difficult. The hardest part was putting my behind into the chair and getting started.
In today’s News & Observer, the daily paper in the Raleigh, N.C., area, there’s a fascinating article on procrastination. It breaks procrastinators down into three types: thrill seekers, avoidance procrastinators, and decisional procrastinators, who are paralyzed by indecisiveness. I have a solid history of procrastination and I think I fall squarely into the middle group.
The other great thing about the article is that it quotes my friend, organizer Geralin Thomas, and tells how she helped a client overcome procrastination.
I’ve made great strides in kicking the procrastination habit since my writing days. (Most writers are inveterate procrastinators.) And in that quest, I should take to heart the lesson that this year’s taxes taught me. That big check I was worried about having to write to the IRS? It’s looking like we’re actually getting a refund. [Edited to add: Yep, we qualified for a refund!]