Have you filed your tax return yet? The general consensus in the amaysim office is “no". If you’re like us, then you might be one of the millions of other Australians who are engaged in “active procrastination”.
Why is it that so many of us procrastinate around tax time?
We decided to ask an expert - Dr Suzy Green, Clinical and Coaching Psychologist and Founder of The Positivity Institute and she said it’s primarily because we know from past experiences, that preparing your return can consume so much of our precious time.
I mean honestly….who gets joy out of locating old tax receipts and going through old banking statements. Not to mention doing your tax, can cause feelings of frustration and discomfort!
The good news is, Dr Suzy Green has a few simple psychological strategies that can help get the job done effectively.
Mindfulness is taking the world by storm right now as a stress reduction activity and a wellbeing enhancement activity, but at its core, it’s an attentional control activity. It’s the perfect tool to help you re-centre and re-focus when you find yourself procrastinating.
Re-minding yourself why you need (or want) to complete your tax return is a solid way to boost motivation. Writing down how you’ll feel once it’s submitted and what it would mean to you (or what you might do with your tax return if you’re one of the lucky ones!) and keeping that piece of paper somewhere visible is a great strategy to keep yourself on track.
Set a goal and stick to it. Research supports the use of stretch goals, so consider setting a short time period to complete your return. However, just be mindful the time-frame needs to realistic to avoid setting yourself up for failure.
One of the more celebrated strategies post goal-setting is to find a friend that can check in with you on a regular basis to see how you’re tracking, this way you can be held accountable.
As famous poet, Henry David Thoreau wisely said as he headed off to spend a year living by a lake in the woods – “Our life is frittered away by detail - Simplify, Simplify, Simplify”.
As the minimalism movement gains global momentum, creating a life less complex is becoming more appealing than ever. Many people are now proactively looking to enhance their psychological wellbeing, realising that simplification is a powerful path to wellbeing.
So, what does it actually mean? Well, to make life less complex or complicated is key, as well as doing less and prioritising the things that really matter.
Tax time is a perfect opportunity to employ simplification techniques!
Step back, and rethink how you want to approach your tax returns moving forward. Do you really want to experience the same frustration every year with “ground-hog day” procrastination? Simplifying the whole process will not only reduce anxiety levels but can also help improve your overall wellbeing.