Your Friendly Sacramento Tax Preparation Expert on Doing Real Work Through Procrastination

Your Friendly Sacramento Tax Preparation Expert on Doing Real Work Through Procrastination

This is not an April Fool’s joke.

I teased around the idea of playing some kind of prank on my readers, something about the tax code being abolished in favor of one short form of four pages … but I thought that would be cruel and unkind.

Not that any of us here in Sacramento would fall for it. Nobody would ever believe THAT. (

I’m quite serious today though, because I want to speak to a serious problem: procrastination. I have some thoughts for you on that, but before I get there, some important notes…

Firstly, even at this late hour, we will gladly receive friends of our existing clients — we make a special point to accommodate clients’ friends, because we’ve found that our great clients have very good taste in friends.

So, share this article with your friends right now and make sure they let us know you sent them. They can also call: (916) 438-6964 and we’ll be their last-minute lifeline!

Secondly …

Obamacare Deadline Extended: If you haven’t signed up for insurance, and you can comfortably assert that you “started” before Monday, March 31 … well, you have more time. Not sure yet how much, but … you have more time. Procrastinate away!

Do you have any Bitcoin? We probably need to talk then — the IRS just decided to classify it as “property”, so capital gains taxes now apply (effective immediately). We can help you with it, as it’s important to be smart about your transactions there. Tax software is NOT equipped for this.

Are you carrying student loans? Beware new “forgiveness” schemes. There could be a big ol’ tax bill in your future. Again, software is part of the problem here. I may have more to say on this in the future.

Now, lest we procrastinate further, on to the meat.

Your Friendly Sacramento Tax Preparation Expert on Doing Real Work Through Procrastination
“You can use the fanciest computers to gather the numbers, but in the end you have to set a timetable and act.” – Lee Iacocca

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 my view, there are three kinds of procrastination. Depending on what you do instead of working on something, you could work on:
(a) nothing,
(b) something less important, or
(c) something more important.

That last type, I’d say, is good procrastination.

This is the “absent-minded professor” 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.

That’s the sense in which the most impressive people I know are all procrastinators. 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 zero 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: shaving, doing your laundry, cleaning the house, writing thank-you notes–anything that might be called an errand.

Good procrastination is avoiding errands to do real work.

Good in a sense, at least. 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 net more productive.

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 return filed) — and you go back to writing that killer novel.


David MacMillan
(916) 438-6964