Mar 032010
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

I’ve gotten my tax stuff together to take to my tax preparer. It was so much easier and faster this year than I’d expected. I’ve been working at making my life easier by creating some organization and putting some systems in place. Initially, it takes extra time to do this, to think through what would make the process smoother and what you need to make it easier.

I figured out one of the places I waste time and energy was in pulling all the information and receipts together. Usually, I spend (at least) a couple of hours sorting and putting my receipts in order by month.

Last year, I got one simple product that made a huge difference. I bought a check holder that was divided into months. Instead of putting checks in it, I put my receipts into it, month by month. When it came time to enter the amount in my spreadsheet, all I had to do was pull them out, month by month. I was done within an hour, rather than half a day (or longer) it used to take.

This idea of making things easier can work in other areas of your life as well. Figure out where you waste time, and what would make it easier for you. It may be that you need to organize your desk better, or your pantry.

It does take some extra energy to do this, and look for possible solutions, but it’s well worth it. Easier is worth it. It saved me several hours of work, and weeks of having it hanging over me like a thundercloud.

This year, my goal is to keep my spreadsheet current so I have even less to do when tax time comes again. But even if I’m not disciplined enough to do that, I won’t dread pulling it all together next year.

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