What? Are you saying taxes are stressful? You’re not alone.
Why are taxes so stressful? Some people just don’t like doing the math, others may have a dislike of government authority, and WebMD says people who have been through an audit can actually suffer from posttraumatic stress syndrome during tax season. We know, the IRS sucks! But you shouldn’t have to let your tax stress interfere with daily operations.
Take a step back and try looking at the whole picture. It might not even be the taxes that are causing you stress. Maybe you have employees that aren’t giving you the quality you want, you have clients getting upset with you, or your equipment is breaking down.
In an article from the Harvard Business Review it says, “The cognitive impact of feeling perpetually overwhelmed can range from mental slowness, forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty concentrating or thinking logically, to a racing mind or an impaired ability to problem solve. When we have too many demands on our thinking over an extended period of time, cognitive fatigue can also happen, making us more prone to distractions and our thinking less agile. Any of these effects, alone, can make us less effective and leave us feeling even more overwhelmed.”
In other words, it’s possible you’re just feeling overwhelmed with your daily stressors and having to deal with your finances brought up this tax stress that’s just the straw that’s breaking the camel’s back.
So, how can you better deal with it?
Identify the Stressor
The first thing you need to do is look at everything that is on your plate right now and identify what is causing you the most stress.
If tax is the main thing causing you stress, we highly recommend following the Profit First system and open up a Tax Account. The sole purpose of the Tax Account is to save money for taxes. Putting a small percentage of your monthly income into your Tax Account alleviates the burden of coming up with $10,000 dollars when your taxes are due.
If tax is not the main thing causing you stress, we still recommend the Profit First system.
Protect Your Time
Once you identify the main stressor, put some action items in place to take care of it right away. Block out time on your schedule and commit to the process.
It’s OK to set boundaries around your time. Schedule time on your calendar each month to make sure your books are in order. You don’t want to wait until April 15 to look at your books and realize you have no idea where to even start.
Then when tax season does start approaching schedule time on your calendar get your taxes done.
If you are still feeling overwhelmed, you can even schedule some “thinking time.” Sometimes we just need 15 minutes to sit back and clear our heads.
The important thing here is to schedule some time and honor that appointment. It doesn’t do you any good and certainly won’t relieve any stress if you schedule time on your calendar and then ignore it.
Do you have a bookkeeper that can take care of the books for you? Or do you have an assistant that can take care of some of your responsibilities? If not, maybe it’s time to hire one. This will free up some of your time so you’re not as overwhelmed.
Dan Sullivan, author of “Who, not How” says, “When you want to accomplish something, stop asking, ‘How can I do this?’ and instead ask, ‘Who can do this for me?’
Making this shift involves retraining your brain to stop limiting your potential based on what you can do on your own and instead focus on the infinite and endless connections between yourself and other people as well as the limitless transformation possible through those connections.”
Taxes can be complicated. It’s totally natural to feel anxiety over things we don’t understand. Kayce Hodos, a licensed professional counselor, says “It’s because we are extremely worried we have made some kind of major error throughout the year, or we’re going to make some huge mistake or forget something important that will cause the IRS to come arrest us and throw us in jail.”
Take a deep breath. Don’t let tax stress effect your daily operations. If it’s still too overwhelming for you, take Dan Sullivan’s advice. Maybe it’s time to hire someone to do your taxes for you. I’ve heard good things about Incite Tax. Just sayin’.
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