Research commissioned by Admiral MultiCover found more than half of us feel swamped by the number of tasks we have to do outside of work
Life admin is all the tasks we have to do to keep on top of our day to day lives. It includes things such as paying bills, booking appointments, buying insurance and organising holidays.
The way most of us deal with it is by making lists, but seven out of 10 of us have a longer to do list in our personal lives than we do for our work lives, so there is increasingly less time to switch off and relax. For those of us who like to keep one single long to do list, one in five have had the same rolling list for more than a year, and fear they’ll never get everything ticked off. One in ten have had the same item on their list for more than a year.
Most scary of all, Admiral MultiCover found half of us spend up to five hours a week on life admin, and one in ten of spend up to 15 hours a week working through our to do lists, adding up to the equivalent of one month, every year!
The tasks we dread the most in our life admin are ironing, followed by dealing with utilities companies, paying bills, finding cheaper car insurance and minor DIY jobs around the house.
Admiral MultiCover asked Dean Burnett, a neuroscientist based at Cardiff University, about how the stress of dealing with life admin can affect our wellbeing, he said: “Modern life is increasingly hectic.
"Our complex society means people are having to juggle busy work schedules alongside long, laborious and time-consuming life admin. Having too much on your plate means you have less time to relax, a greatly reduced sense of control over your life, which leads to increased stress which can have a real impact on your mental and physical wellbeing.
“The best advice I can give is do what you can to alleviate your stress – make achievable to-do lists rather than overly long and overwhelming ones. Delegate tasks where you can so work is shared evenly. And always give yourself time during each day to switch off. All of these things will mean you feel more in control of your own life, giving you a better chance of being a more productive and happy person.”
Admiral MultiCover and Dean Burnett have identified five types of people by the way they manage their life admin. Which one are you?
Do you always know exactly what you’ve got on your to-do list, at all times?
Does ticking items off help lower your stress levels?
Does ignoring life admin make you break out in a cold sweat?
Your life admin personality profile is…. The Nervous Neurotic
Are you laid back about your life admin?
Are you happy to let go of your to-do list from time to time?
Are you always divvying up your family’s to-do list to make sure everyone does their fair share?
You are…. The Dependable Delegator
Would you rather be doing literally anything else than life admin?
Do you ditch your to-do list in favour of having fun?
Are you always forgetting to pay bills or make appointments?
You are… The Forgetful Fun-Lover
Are you the type of person who shows life admin you’re the boss?
Do you have the self-discipline to deal with things as they come up?
Do you worry about giving others more work to do if you don’t tackle your to-do list?
You are…. The Responsible Ringleader
Do you actively avoid conflict?
Does the thought of letting someone down by not doing something make you antsy?
Do you like to keep people happy by making sure you’re on top of your life admin?
You are… The Agreeable Aide