Maybe I’m writing this today because we’re very much feeling the end-of-year crunch here at Team J Allen & Associates.
Really, we only have a few business days left before 2020 is in the rearview. Yes, my heart wants that to happen YESTERDAY, but my business brain wants it all. to. slow. down.
Efficiency is on the brain for me.
We have a bunch of clients emailing, especially Frederick business owners, who want to make sure their PPP paperwork is done right, who want to make quick EOY moves (smartly), and some who are having to make very difficult decisions about shutting down operations, and the best way to do that.
This year has been wild (to say the least).
Just to recap, here is a quick-and-dirty list of EOY tax-related moves you can be making:
- Project your 2021 income (if you can) and adjust accordingly.
- Check your withholding. By now, probably just one more paycheck to get right.
- Spend down your FSA (if you have one).
- Give to charity — EVERYBODY (and I mean everybody) should give at least $300 — because even if you take the standard deduction, you can ALSO deduct up to $300 in charitable giving. Giving matters.
- Max out personal gifts — if you have means, you can give up to $15K tax free to a family member or friend. But that ends 12/31…
- as does your opportunity to max out workplace retirement accounts (if you have one).
Also, last week I broke down the employee student loan repayment assistance in the CARES Act … and I dived into the code a little more, and realized there’s even better news: from what I can now gather, this provision applies not just to federal loans, but also to privately-refinanced ones as well. Which means that it’s even more broadly applicable. Could be a nice way to help your Western Maryland employees … and to save big on taxes at the same time. These are the kinds of things Jennifer really likes. 🙂
Shoot me a note or get on my calendar if you want to discuss any of the above before year end.
And, the other thing I REALLY like this time of year is, like I said, EFFICIENCY.
I’m working on using these principles right now, and thought you might benefit from them too.
Allen’s Guide To Getting Tasks Done
“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” -Henry van Dyke
I’ve discovered a few tricks when it comes to getting tasks done through the day — and managing others who do so. Here are some little tactics I’ve found to be helpful:
Turn off cell phone alerts.
Resist the temptation to stop what you’re doing every time your phone beeps with a new message. You’ll be better able to focus on tasks when you’re not constantly distracted and interrupted.
Fine-tune your to-do list.
When planning your day, add estimated times to each item on your to-do list. This will help you decide what to do first and what can be saved for later.
Run two-minute drills.
Every few hours, look at your list for tasks that can be done quickly–answering emails and phone calls, confirming appointments, and the like. Spend a few minutes clearing those away, and you’ll have more blocks of uninterrupted time to take on bigger tasks.
Take regular breaks.
You’ll burn out if you go full throttle for eight or 10 hours. Determine how long you can effectively concentrate on a single task (usually between 30 minutes and an hour, for most people). Take a break after that time–walk around, get out of the building, talk to coworkers–and you’ll return feeling refreshed.
Let’s see if we can make these last couple weeks of 2020 create momentum that lasts into 2021, shall we?
Get stuff done.
To more of what’s yours, into your Frederick business bottom line …
J Allen & Associates
Feel free to share this article with a Frederick area (or beyond!) business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance. While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for families and business owners.