Getting all the little tasks done without losing your mind
Life admin tasks are all the little and large things that need to get done in your life, but fall outside of the basic tasks of your week.
It might be cleaning the car, changing a light bulb, finding new insurance quotes, getting the blinds repaired or returning an item.
Even fun stuff like getting your hair and nails done can feel like a chore when you’re busy!
Life Admin tasks come in waves – and of course when it rains, it pours…
Life will be ticking along fabulously and then the dishwasher will break. The car suddenly needs new tires – always get the tires! #safety. Your phone is dying and out of contract. Something breaks and you really should buy some super glue to fix it.
You have good intentions of getting all the tasks done, but they all feel so boring and ugh!
As we head into the 2020’s, life is getting busier and it’s not slowing down any time soon.
We are also constantly thinking about doing more, being more, having more, loving more.
Just being more!
And whilst that’s not all bad, our brains rarely stop to just chill.
So, if you’re feeling like all the little Life Admin tasks are constantly never getting done, here’s why.
Along with some tips to get you back on top of your To-Do list! Yay!
Why simple tasks can feel overwhelming
So often we think “oh, I need to change the lightbulb in the bedroom” and then instantly feel tired and don’t do it.
And it’s probably because the process itself has multiple steps – you just don’t always realise it straight up.
It may be that you need a ladder or really tall human to reach the bulb. This may require either hiring someone from AirTasker (more time to post and then scout someone, and wait for them to show up), or wait for when your tall friend/parent is over next to change it. You then need to know the wattage and style of bulb before you buy a new one, but you can’t tell until the old one comes down. You will probably go to the hardware store, forget to take the globe and buy the wrong one (always take the old globe with you!). This requires a return trip to the hardware store for exactly the same task (highly annoying). You then need to put in the new globe (cue ladder or tall person again). And heaven help you if you turn on the light and realise you got the wrong colour hue.
Tired just reading that? Yep.
Now, you might be thinking “that’s a detailed breakdown for something so simple! Just do it already!”
But this is why stuff never gets done. We underestimate the work involved and rarely set aside the time to get the task done. And we almost never factor in the chance of something going wrong.
Add 15-20 of tasks like this on top of a working 50-60 hour week, no handy tool shed to with all the equipment waiting for you, trying to keep a social life, attempting to save for a larger investment, cooking to be healthier, exercising in the wee hours, side-hustling on weekends to get ahead…
You kinda throw your hands up and just get used to what you have.
The light bulb can wait. Hello darkness my old friend.
Life Admin stuff simply becomes too much of a headache. And it’s often much easier to throw it all in the Too Hard, Too Boring basket.
Here’s how to change that.
Be realistic about steps involved in each project
When setting out a task, stop and think about what is actually involved. Sure you can charge straight into the task, but if you constantly find that stuff just isn’t getting done, it may be time to change tack.
Run through the steps in your head and add in allocated timings. Including driving.
You can 100% get it done. Just give yourself the time it actually needs instead of screwing yourself over and getting frustrated because it only took the gal in the YouTube video 7 minutes to get the task done.
It may sound lame that it takes you 2 hours to change a lightbulb because the hardware store if 30 minutes away (round trip, borrow friends ladder etcetc), but that is life sometimes.
It is what it is.
Unless you pay someone to do it all for you!
(Also get LED lightbulbs, less chance you will need to change the bulb again #lifeprotips).
Schedule in chunks of time instead of drip feeding
Some people like to clean the kitchen on Monday, floors on Tuesday, bathroom on Wednesday… blah blah blah. If it works for you, you do you.
However, if I did this, I would feel like I am always cleaning the house and honestly, I would never feel like it’s clean.
My approach for all things house related?
Do it all at once!
No drip feeding constant little tasks here and there. Just set aside a few hours – or the better part of a day – and get stuck in.
Do it in one foul swoop.
And if you have another pair of hands around the house to help out, even better.
Although the Life Admin stuff always crops up, you can jot down all the tasks as they come up and then knock them all off the list at once.
Think of it as a little working bee for your home.
Use your phone to fastrack everything
Forget trying to remember every little task that needs to be done.
Create a To Do list on your phone and add to it every time something pops up.
This means that when you’re at the hardware store for something else, you can check your list for any other little things that need doing.
Having a handy list also means you can easily schedule tasks in on a not-so-packed weekend.
Take photos of when something breaks so you know what to replace it with.
Seek out online reviews of products that you want to buy, so you get the best deal.
Watch YouTube videos on how to DIY tasks – there is a video for everything.
Having a running list in your phone takes the guesswork out of remembering the Life Admin tasks. Pop every little thing on there and life will become a lot easier.
If you do the same task every week, set up a system
Your brain hates making decisions, so bypass it with a system and cut through the mental workload.
Think washing clothes, changing bed sheets, cleaning, food shopping etc.
To create a system is fairly easy. You lay out the steps, checklist style, put in a deadline, and get cracking.
Having systems takes the decision-making out of tasks. You simply follow the steps, rather than having an internal or verbal debate (or both!).
An example of a system might be every Sunday morning, you change and wash the bed linen. You’re not wondering when you’ll fit in changing the bed linen, it’s just something you do on Sunday mornings.
Over time you won’t even think about it. It will be a habit. Not a fun one, but a habit nonetheless
And fresh sheets are always amazing.
The Life Admin list never ends. And that’s kinda the point
Life Admin – the giveaway is in the name.
Life never stops. And neither does the admin that comes with it!
You will soon realise that as soon as you clear your To-Do list, another item appears. And that’s 100% okay. You’re living.
Although it can be frustrating at times to get home tired and cranky at 8.30pm, only to be met with the tasks that needs to be done, the dog needs a walk, emails need a reply, and think of something vaguely healthy for dinner.
Remember that you don’t have to – you get to. A simple change in the way you frame it.
And if you’re really having a crap day, week or month, rest assured that all that small stuff will get there. And maybe it doesn’t have to happen tonight.
You’re still living. It will happen. Just spare a thought for future you and don’t leave it for days.
Life Admin gets a whole lot easier as you get older
And it’s not only because you learn new skills (cleaning, washing, gardening, time management etc) but you learn how you operate.
You learn that you loathe cleaning, so you hire a cleaner.
You learn which brands are quality and last the distance, and which ones are rubbish.
You look after things a bit better, so you don’t have to keep replacing items or fixtures.
The same tasks crop up each year, so you get quicker at it.
And most of all, you learn that Life Admin is just a part of life that never really goes away.
You honestly just get on with it and don’t think or complain about it as much as you know there will always be something to do.
Love this blog? Share it with your friends who will love it too!