How to stop putting off your self assessment tax return UK and DO IT

How to stop putting off your self assessment tax return UK and DO IT

Hey everybody, this is Steve. Now it’s getting towards the end of January and in the UK that means one thing in particular: that means lots of people panicking about getting their self-assessment tax returns done in time! These people have a rough time of it every single year. They rush it in at the last minute, they panic, and they say, “Never again! Next year I’m gonna get this done earlier!” But do you know what? Very often is just not the case. In this video I want to share with you a really simple technique that I use and will help you get things like your tax returns done, but do you know what, it’s not just about tax returns, this is actually about ANYTHING that we keep putting off, maybe work that needs to have got done, maybe housework, DIY, this applies to ANYTHING that we put off. It’s just that tax returns happen to be a timely and topical example! Now the reason we put these things off is probably because we don’t enjoy them, and maybe we even find them a bit intimidating. Is that your experience of things? Let me know in the comments. Also let me know in the comments if you see other examples of this kind of thing happening in your world. Anyway I learned during my university years how transformative it is to do the intimidating things rather than avoid them. You see, up until my second year at university I was a “do it at the last minute” kind of guy, “do it just in time”, but the problem is I got ill and I fell way behind with my studies, and I mean WAY behind! And it was a real struggle to catch up from that point, it was really stressful, and once I got through that second year I decided I was NEVER gonna have that experience again, so in my third year at university I turned everything around. I read ahead of the lectures rather than behind the lectures, and if there was an assignment to be done, I would do it at the earliest opportunity not the last opportunity. I very often went straight from lecture theater to library to do that. Now the funny thing is I remember that third year as being the least stressful of all my three years at university. In fact, the least stressful of all my studying years, and it’s not because I was clever. I’m not extraordinarily clever. I was struggling before that point. It was because I got organized so GET ORGANIZED! But how? Here’s how! With an example! And the example is that I once had a coaching client who was complaining to me that it was the end of January, they were panicking about their tax return and they were making excuses. Things like, the paperwork isn’t in order yet, I’m busy, I have a lot to do, but I sensed that the real cause of their inertia because that’s what we’re talking about here, INERTIA, the difficulty of getting moving with things, is because he was making the task out to be a big rock. Now the thing about big rocks is that they’re hard to move, they’re hard to accommodate, they’re hard to fit into your schedule, they’re just hard! But big rocks can be broken down into lots of smaller rocks. In other words every big project can be reduced to a sequence of small, simple, unintimidating tasks. So, I asked, “What is the simplest, smallest thing you can do towards getting this done?” And by the way, the specific way that I asked that question is important. He said, “Well, I could fill the first page of my tax return in,” and I said, “No! Even simpler and smaller than that!” He said, “Well I could fill the first box in,” and I said, “No, even simpler and smaller than that! What is the TINIEST thing you can do towards this?” And he said, “Well I could just get the form and put it on my desk.” And I said, “Okay just do that one thing and then if you feel like doing the next simplest, smallest thing then do that. And then if you feel like doing the next simplest, smallest thing after that then do that! And know that you can put this down at any time. You can stop the sequence of tasks at any time and go and do something else, put it down, come back to it later.” He took that advice and he called me a day later. IT WAS DONE! Now I know it’s not new to break big tasks down into small tasks, that’s old information, but we forget to do it and that’s why I’m reminding you of it now. The thing is, turning big tasks into a sequence of little unintimidating tasks is it makes it easy to get started. Knowing that you can put it down at any time also makes it less intimidating. And once you get started it becomes easier and easier and easier to keep doing the next simple small task in the sequence. And before you know it, it’s done. So if you really want to get things done then turn them into a sequence of simple, small, unintimidating tasks and do the first one. Now, if you liked this video please give it a like, it helps other people see it. Please subscribe to the channel if you like this kind of content. My speciality is success with wellness for professional people, and also let me know in the comments what your biggest takeaways were from this. I’d love to hear from you and I’ll reply to as many comments as possible. Other than that thank you see you next week.

31 thoughts on “How to stop putting off your self assessment tax return UK and DO IT

  1. Let me know in the comments what your greatest take-away is.
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  2. I despise tax season, but my husband has trained me to do a little every three months so it's not quite so stressful at the deadline. Thanks for the video, Steve.

  3. This was such a powerful lesson. As I think back about it. This is exactly how I started my exercise journey. I told myself that if I only walked to the end of the driveway, then it's better than doing nothing at all and if that's all I wanted to do that day, that would be ok too, but I had to do something. The process of doing this often made me want to do more. Great lesson!

  4. "Park it and come back to it." Such a good reminder. Sometimes (all the time lol) I try to get things done all in one sitting and then I end up resenting it and don't feel like doing it. Whenever I actually take a break and come back to me I enjoy it more. Great reminder!! I needed that as I am working a bunch today! Lol! Coffee break anyone? 😅

  5. Wow, I am going to do my tax return tomorrow. After watching this video, I can’t put it off any longer. This is the video that would benefit most people as it’s available at the right time of the year with the right amount of motivation . And yes, I put off intimating things as much as I can. Example, taking an item for return to the store, that’s the most taxing task for me.

  6. I see avoiding prepping your taxes is universal lol. My accountant knows I HATE procrastinating on it (and he does too). Great tips!

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  8. Great video!I agree, I find if I stay on top of my taxes throughout the year come tax time it's not very stressful.

  9. Oh this is not only a UK challenge, U.S. Americans are the same way!! The April rush is unbelievable every year and yes soo very last minute‼️This is no good for your Mental Health…just adds extra stress you don’t need… Thanks for this! People need to hear it, including myself 👏🏾👍🏾

  10. The rock is a good analogy….I use quickbooks online and don't nearly have this as an issue anymore…but I understand what your are saying.

  11. My greatest take-away is doing a little at a time even when it seems trivial. And yes we forget to do it or feel the small step won't make the impact we want. So we're waiting instead for the big chunk of time that can take care of it all at once. As a all or nothing type of person, this is a habit I'm having to continually work on. So this was a great reminder for me to just keep executing, regardless of how little that step may be!!

  12. Thanks for sharing your story Steve. You're right we should focus on small task that add up to completing the entire task. Great reminder! 💜

  13. Some great points Steve way to bring the concept around with some very solid points here. Love the “what’s the smallest step I can make towards my goal” question. Discipline = Freedom.

  14. Break it down to the simplest of steps…..Love this!! If we can just get moving towards a task this inertia can really make a big difference!! Thanks for the video!! Nice work!!❤❤

  15. I love getting my taxes done ASAP. Which surprises me because I hate paperwork…but I hire someone to do it for me so…maybe that’s why I don’t avoid taxes. Because I can’t be intimidated by it!!! Great video!

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