Wow, whata a year. We’ve had impeachment votes, worldwide pandemics, quarantine-like lockdowns, public police brutality, widespread protests, intense riots, “murder hornets,” statues falling, etc. etc.
And the year isn’t even halfway over yet!
Oh yes — and some people still need to pull together their 2019 tax returns.
And they’re due in about THREE WEEKS. (July 15th, 2020)
Is that you (or someone you know), ~Contact.FirstName~, who still needs to get those taxes done for 2019?
For anyone who hasn’t filed yet, we can understand why!
But now, well … it’s go time.
It’s time to get this
Now, if you (or someone you know) are panicked and know you can’t file by July 15, we can easily file an extension on your behalf, and make sure that your return is still handled as advantageously as possible. (Which doesn’t mean an extension to *pay*, but that’s a subject for another day.)
But we also know how procrastinating difficult work (like getting your taxes ready) can induce a lot of guilt.
And with all of the stuff flying around our culture these days, the LAST thing anyone needs is more guilt.
Let’s break those chains of guilt together, shall we?
Now for some good news!
Why Procrastination Makes Sense in 2020
“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” -George S. Patton
Still haven’t filed your taxes yet? You wouldn’t be alone during this donkey of a year.
Or maybe you have already done so, but there is another difficult or cumbersome task you’re avoiding.
Well, it could be that you are, in fact, smarter than the average bear.
You see, right now there are an infinite number of things you could be doing. No matter what you work on, you’re not working on everything else.
So the question is not how to avoid procrastination, but how to procrastinate well.
In our view, there are three kinds of procrastination. Depending on what you do instead of working on something, you could work on:
(b) something less important, or
(c) something more important.
That last type, we’d say, is good procrastination.
This is the kind of procrastination practiced by the “absent-minded professor” type, who forgets to shave, or eat, or even perhaps look where he’s going while he’s thinking about some interesting question. His mind is absent from the everyday world because it’s hard at work in another, more important world.
That’s the sense in which the most impressive people we know are all “procrastinators” in a certain way. They’re type-C procrastinators: they put off working on small stuff to work on big stuff.
What’s “small stuff?” Roughly, work that has no chance of being mentioned in your obituary.
It’s hard to say at the time what will turn out to be your best work (will it be your thesis for your PhD, or that detective thriller you worked on at night?), but there’s a whole class of tasks you can safely rule out: grinding through emails, doing your laundry, washing the car, getting a haircut–anything that might be called an errand.
Good procrastination is avoiding errands to do real work.
Of course, the people who want you to do the errands won’t think it’s good. But you probably have to annoy them if you want to get any real work done. The mildest-seeming people, if they want to do real work, all have a certain degree of ruthlessness when it comes to avoiding errands.
Some errands, like replying to emails, go away if you ignore them (perhaps taking friends with them). Others, like mowing the lawn, or filing your tax returns, only get worse if you put them off. In principle, it shouldn’t work to put off the second kind of errand. You’re going to have to do whatever it is eventually. Why not (as past-due notices are always saying) do it now?
The reason it pays to put off even those errands is that real work needs two things errands don’t: big chunks of time, and the right mood. If you get inspired by some project, it can be a net win to blow off everything you were supposed to do for the next few days to work on it. Yes, those errands may cost you more time when you finally get around to them. But if you get a lot done during those few days, you will be more productive in the end.
So here’s where we come in.
Consider us “The Ultimate Procrastination Solution”.
Allow us to take the pain away from these second-level tasks (like getting your tax return filed) — and you go back to writing that killer novel, or whatever else is more important for YOU to do.
Food for thought anyway and we are here if you need us.
Pronto Income Tax Team