You’ve probably got a list of tasks you need to complete that you’ve probably been putting off, general tasks like food shopping, paying bills, personal banking, and cleaning the flat. Sometimes these life-admin tasks seem endless and stop us from enjoying our free time.
Here’s some simple tips to manage your life admin so that you can get on with living your life:
1. Keep a list and tick things off as you go along
The good news is, if you have a list, that’s a great first step: you can set out what you need to do and know how best to use your valuable time.
It’s also proven that when you know that a task has been satisfactorily completed, your brain releases a small rush of endorphins, the feel-good hormone in your body. So grab a pen and paper and tick off those tasks as you go, or use one of the to-do list apps listed in our blog: Top productivity tools (LINK).
2. Prioritise tasks
Now you’ve got your trusty list, split your tasks into 4 categories:
- Those you must do today (urgent)
- Simple quick wins (easy)
- Complex and important tasks (difficult)
- Longer term tasks (not urgent)
This will help you to get more done and manage your time effectively. It also still keeps the longer term tasks on your radar – things like clearing out your wardrobe that niggle at you to get done, but you rarely get round to doing.
3. Make use of small pockets of free time
We often find ourselves with a spare 10 minutes here and there: in between meetings, or even waiting for the train. These little moments add up.
Use this time productively – reply to personal emails, write a to-do list of tasks you need to complete this week, go online and order your weekly food shop. Turn wasted time waiting around into a productive 10 minutes.
4. Delegate some tasks
If you have tasks like cleaning, housework or DIY to get done but you feel like your time would be more valuable being spent doing other things, why not delegate these tasks to other people.
Incentivise your children to help with household chores or walk the dog for treats or pocket money, or get friends to help – it’s not uncommon to host DIY parties for a task like re-painting the house: buy some beers and invite everyone round to grab a brush and turn a chore into something fun.
Or if you can’t get family and friends involved, use a service like Task Rabbit or People Per Hour and pay someone to do it for you.
5. Do one chore per weeknight
Believe it or not, cleaning and tidying your home can be really good for your mental health, according to Psychology Today. But leaving everything to pile up so that your have to do a multitude of chores to do in one go can be daunting and boring. So why not break it up? Monday – mop the floor, Tuesday – change the bed sheets, Wednesday – clean the bathroom etc.
6. Tidy up as you go along
In a similar vein… don’t let chores pile up, literally: wash the dishes straight away, don’t let them pile up in the sink so that it turns into a disheartening task. And make it enjoyable by multi-tasking and doing something you enjoy at the same time: talk to your family or friends or put your favourite music on.
7. Turn a Sunday lie-in to a productive, but relaxing morning
Some lifestyle and productivity experts advise that you should just use your bed for sleeping, but Arianna Huffington, founder and editor of the Huffington Post, takes a different approach and likes to go through her admin in bed on a Sunday morning: “On a Sunday morning I pile up my work and stay in bed. It’s the perfect combination of productivity and relaxation.”
You could do the same but on the sofa with a cup of tea or coffee – then it seems less like a chore.
8. Use technology to make tasks easier
With so many apps and tools at our disposal it’s never been easier to manage life admin. Use technology to simplify and automate tasks to get them done easily and quickly.
Why stress about paying bills every month when you can set up a direct debit? Can’t find time to go to the supermarket? Order your food shop online from your desk on your lunch break. Don’t have time to go through your insurance renewal policy? Use the Homelyfe app to do it on-the-go (launching summer 2017).
9. Get up early
It’s well known that successful business people including Richard Branson and Tim Cook, swear by waking up before most people’s alarms go off so that they can get more done without the distractions of work.
Set your alarm an hour earlier than normal and use this valuable time to exercise, go through your personal emails, get some household chores done, or even just meditate and get centred so you can embrace your to-do list with a clear head.
10. Set reminders
With all of this going on, it can be easy to forget some things on your to-do list. This can be especially problematic if it’s a task with a deadline, like booking a doctor’s appointment at 8am when the surgery opens so all the GP’s spare slots don’t disappear. The easy solution: set a reminder on your phone, then you can action it as soon as the notification pops up on your screen – much more effective than writing a note on the back of your hand!
11. Stop talking and start doing
Quite simply, you need to just get on with it! Productivity expert and author of Tick Achieve, Kevin Duncan advises, “Talk straight; the more you waffle, the less likely you are to get something done.”It’s very easy to procrastinate, so bite the bullet and get on with the task in hand. It’s been proven that we lose 55 days a year simply from procrastinating and putting off tasks, so stop talking and start doing and you’ll have more time to spend on the things you love.