This article was originally published on Get Life Right: http://www.iselect.com.au/getliferight/take-control-life-admin/
Our lives are jam-packed with countless tasks to keep track of. There are the priorities – project deadlines, important meetings, family obligations and big events. Then there are those repetitive and sometimes frustrating activities that chew through our time.
Life admin tasks such as paying bills, replying to emails and getting groceries might not take long individually. Add them up, and you might be surprised how much time it all takes.
When you’d rather be spending more time with your family and friends, here’s what you can do to take back control of your life.
The ABCD method
If you’re serious about improving your productivity, consider creating a priority matrix. This will help you determine which tasks need attention first so you can plan out your day’s schedule.
Rate everything on your to-do list in order of importance and place each task into one of four categories:
A = Urgent & important
B = Less urgent & important
C = Less urgent & less important
D = Urgent & less important
Using this method, you can easily distinguish high-priority tasks from time-wasting chores and cull your daily to-do list. But be careful of those D tasks – they’re the ones that can get your attention because they’re urgent, but they could take up your time and make you feel like you haven’t achieved anything.
When you’re feeling ruthless, try the ABCDE method. It’s the same as above, with one extra step: the ‘E’ stands for ‘eliminate’. Cross those unnecessary E tasks straight off the list, where possible.
Set deadlines to get more done
Parkinson’s Law says that work expands to fill the available time. So, the more time you allow to do something, the more time it will take you. Therefore, to increase efficiency, set time limits for each of your tasks – and stick to them.
Try giving yourself 10-minute intervals throughout the day to complete your life admin tasks – whether that’s organising your finances, decluttering your inbox or sorting through the papers on your desk. You may find yourself working much faster as you try to beat the buzzer.
How technology can help
Technology can be a wonderful asset when it comes to getting on top of your life admin.
Here are a just a few apps and websites designed to make our lives that little bit easier:
- Remember The Milk: Stay on top of your plans with helpful text or email reminders. You can also share tasks and lists with others, and set up recurring tasks.
- 30/30: Set yourself a list of tasks and a time limit for each. This app will let you know what you should be doing, and how long you have left to do it.
- TimeDoctor: This app tracks how long you spend on particular activities, such as browsing websites or writing emails, and sends you a report with the results.
- Checkmark: Set up location- and date-based reminders to alert you of any tasks that need to be done when you arrive at a particular location. You’ll never have to take the bins out in your pyjamas again.
- iSelect: As Australia’s life admin store, iSelect helps you take care of the boring but important stuff. The website and consultants save you time by helping you find the best deal for you when it comes to things like insurance, utilities and finance.
There’s no need to let your life admin spiral out of control. By implementing a few simple changes, and with a little help from technology, you can accomplish everyday tasks more efficiently, and free up hours of your time for the things that really matter.