What do tax day and presentations have in common? Most people dread both and procrastinate getting their material together.
April 15 is tax day and according to the IRS, roughly 1 in 5 Americans will file their taxes in the final week before the deadline. It
seems that this has become National Procrastination Week! Armchair psychologists wonder why people would put this off when many
of them will receive refunds. Is it because the task just seems overwhelming?
Laser Pointer has seen the same trend when it comes to healthcare speakers who must prepare their presentation for an upcoming
lecture. Medical and Dental speakers are often booked to do lectures months, or often even a year in advance. And yet, like with
taxes, they’ll happily admit to figuring out their slides on the airplane hours before they go onstage.
In both of these cases, there doesn’t seem to be a lack of caring. People are highly motivated to get their taxes correctly
filed AND to look good in front of an audience. Standard excuses for both tasks run the gamut from “I needed to find the time to focus
on this” to “I hate this process so I kept putting it off”. True procrastination is formally defined as a complicated failure of
self-regulation; experts define it as the ‘voluntary delay of some important task that we intend to do, despite knowing that we’ll suffer
as a result’. No matter how procrastination is defined, it never leads to better results. And it never feels good.
Solutions? Many chronic tax day procrastinators have found a tax preparer who will accept a “shoe-box” of their documents and take this
task off their hands. Interestingly, this seems to give them the emotional ability to turn things over earlier. Laser Pointer
offers the same service to presentation procrastinators. “Many of our customers provide us with an outline or a hodgepodge of slides, and
ask us to create a slide deck for them” says Margy Schaller, President of Laser Pointer. “With our deep industry knowledge, we are able
refine or even build their presentations and allow them to focus on revenue-generating tasks that they love.”
On the other hand, the procrastinator that does finally decide to move forward on their own often gets into a last minute panic. That’s
a breeding ground for sloppy mistakes. Taxes and presentations are not the place for typos, missing information or poorly organized
information. That can be expensive! This year don’t end up in front of an auditor or an audience with that horrible sinking