Happy Tax Day 2013! Unless you’re still frantically trying to finish up your taxes and get them in the mail — then it might not be so happy. Around midnight last night, a lot of people were asking themselves why it took them until now to do something that they’ve had months to take care of. Enter procrastination.
Very few people really enjoy doing their taxes. But this process can be especially overwhelming for small business owners, many of whom have to file taxes both as an full time employee, and for their small business. Anyone who has ever appreciated and amortized their business assets would not blame you for putting off this arduous task.
However understandable, procrastination has negative effects far outside the task at hand. Not only do you run the risk of doing shoddy work, or not finishing it altogether, but you may also feel bogged down with feelings of guilt, shame, or dread the whole time you could be accomplishing your task. Imagine how much more you could have enjoyed that vacation last week if you hadn’t known your tax forms were waiting for you upon your return?
The creators of the iPad app Unstuck, which aims to help people overcome a number of common “stuck moments”, have compiled a list of 9 tips to help people stop procrastinating and start living better. We’ll summarize them briefly here, since you have important tasks to get back to!
1. Make sure that you’re devoting your limited time to the right tasks
2. When making a to-do list, only include your procrastination items, not the ones you’re going to do anyway.
3. Break your big task down into smaller ones so you can check things off and get some wins along the way.
4. Cut yourself totally off from the things that distract you most until your task is complete.
5. Set up a reward system for yourself, and actually stick to it.
6. Stay motivated by focusing on how accomplished you’ll feel when you’re done.
7. Create consequences for yourself if you don’t complete your task.
8. Reach out and ask someone to help you do your task and inspire you.
9. Go public — announce your intention to friends or colleagues. Avoiding embarrassment can be the biggest motivator of all!
What other tips do you have for overcoming procrastination? Leave us a comment and let us know how you tackle your to-do list!
From The Time Management Series:
Real Time Management Strategies From Real People
Spend Less Time on Social Media: Pagemodo Posts
Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners [INFOGRAPHIC]
How To Stay Fit While You Work: Ideas For Small Business Owners
How To Stop Procrastinating: Tips For Getting Unstuck
Don’t Worry, Be Happy: It’s Good For Your Business!
Save Time on Social: Keyboard Shortcuts for Facebook, Google+ and Twitter
4 Big Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners
Improve Your Efficiency Through Total Inbox Zen