When you ask most people what they want out of life, they’ll give you some variation on “being happy.” According to Rutgers University, believing that leisure time is a waste can impact your happiness. Playing around, doing something enjoyable, and engaging with the world takes us out of our heads and connects us to our hearts. You may have noticed that some people have more fun than others. Why do they always have something interesting to do, while you are stuck in a rut of boredom and routine? One answer is that they might be making a choice to have fun over other obligations to have fun. But it might also mean they are minimizing admin tasks in their lives.
But, first, what is admin, exactly? Well, it’s not just paperwork in an office. Instead, it is anything that takes up your time and energy without necessarily giving you any joy or satisfaction. It’s the errands, bills, emails, phone calls, appointments, and meetings that are obligatory in your life.
While some people enjoy admin tasks like planning, for many, it can be draining and time-consuming. So what can you do to minimize admin tasks? Let’s take a look.
Figure out what counts as admin for you
The first step is to identify what admin is for you. Make a list of all the things that you have to do on a regular basis that you don’t enjoy or benefit from. In your personal life, it could be budgeting, scheduling appointments, keeping track of birthdays, etc. Avoid including items that you need to do or add to your health, happiness, or well-being. Going to the gym might feel like a chore, but it’s not “admin” as we’ve defined it.
If you operate a business, this part is especially important since it takes up most of your day. For instance, Etsy shop owners might spend lots of time keeping track of inventory or organizing their storage space. Clinics spend ages on the release of information, and others spend time comparing schedules to book meetings and events.
The next step is to cut the admin work out. Try asking yourself the following questions and apply them to your business, career, and personal life:
- Can I automate it with technology?
- Can I simplify it or reduce it?
- Can I avoid it altogether?
- Can I delegate it to someone else?
Usually, you’ll find that the solution to your admin tasks falls into one of these categories. These days, it is rare to find jobs that technology or other people can’t deal with on your behalf.
Optimize any remaining admin
Some admin is, unfortunately, inevitable. Therefore, the third step is to optimize what remains. For instance, you can make it more bearable by changing how you approach it. You can batch it together and do it all at once instead of spreading it throughout the week. You can set a timer and challenge yourself to finish it faster. You might also try to reward yourself with something fun after completing it, like going out with friends. If you run your own business, you could set time blocks on your calendar to give you time for these tasks.
What is the admin in your life?
Marette Flora is the founder of Floradise blog and personalized gift shop. Marette is a passionate storyteller and creator. She attended the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication.
She is passionate about creating helpful and meaningful things.