Feeling Overwhelmed? Here's How To Organise Your Life Admin

Written by Fraser Stewart
Reading time 8 minutes
Feeling Overwhelmed? Here's How To Organise Your Life Admin image

Life can sometimes feel like a whirlwind of tasks, responsibilities, and unexpected challenges. Amidst this chaos, the concept of "life admin" emerges as a beacon of order.

Life admin refers to the various tasks and responsibilities that we have to manage daily. These include paying bills, scheduling appointments, and running errands. While these tasks may seem minor and insignificant, they can become a significant burden. In addition, trying to juggle multiple demands can lead to increased stress and burnout.

In this guide:

What is Life Admin?

Life admin is a term that encapsulates all the behind-the-scenes tasks and responsibilities that keep our lives running smoothly. Think of it as the managerial side of your personal life. It includes everything from paying bills, scheduling appointments, and managing household chores, to planning vacations, organising paperwork, and even decluttering your living space.

While these tasks might seem mundane or trivial when looked at individually, collectively, they form the backbone of our daily existence. Neglecting life admin can lead to disarray, missed opportunities, financial penalties, and added stress. On the other hand, effectively managing your life admin can lead to a sense of accomplishment, peace of mind, and more free time to enjoy the things you love.

In today's fast-paced world, where work, family, and personal commitments often overlap, life admin has become more complex than ever. But with the right strategies and tools, it's possible to streamline these tasks, ensuring that you stay on top of things without feeling overwhelmed.

The Hidden Costs of Managing Life Admin

The time and energy required to manage life admin can be a hidden cost. We often don't think about the time it takes to pay bills, schedule appointments, or plan meals, but these tasks can add up.

But the costs of life admin go beyond just the time and energy required to manage it. There is also the potential for increased stress and burnout. When we feel overwhelmed by the demands of daily life, it can take a toll on our mental health. Symptoms of stress can include difficulty sleeping, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. If left unchecked, stress can lead to more serious issues like anxiety and depression.    

Recent research paints a concerning picture. A staggering 52% of individuals report difficulty in staying on top of their life admin tasks. These aren't just minor chores; they encompass a range of critical activities. From sorting out finances, managing bills, handling subscriptions, to ensuring essential documents are in order, life admin tasks are multifaceted and often time-consuming.

Here are 10 costs of disorganisation:

  1. Time: 4 hours, 45 minutes spent on organising life administration per week.
  2. Finances: 28% witness direct financial repercussions from overlooking tasks.
  3. Productivity: Reduced efficiency due to time wasted searching for misplaced items or information.
  4. Stress: Increased levels of anxiety and overwhelm from not knowing where things are or what needs to be done next.
  5. Opportunities: Missed deadlines and opportunities due to lack of planning or forgetting important dates.
  6. Reputation: Damaged personal and professional reputation from being perceived as unreliable or unprepared.
  7. Relationships: Strained relationships with family, friends, and colleagues due to missed commitments or lack of follow-through.
  8. Health: Physical and mental health issues arising from the constant stress and chaos of disorganisation.
  9. Space: Cluttered living and working spaces that hinder movement and creativity.
  10. Energy: Mental fatigue from constantly trying to remember tasks, appointments, and where things are located.

In summary, it is clear how disorganisation can impact us all. Most importantly, on our time, finances, and mental well-being.

The Impact of Procrastination

In an era driven by efficiency and productivity, the role of organisation cannot be overstated. However, beyond missed deadlines and cluttered workspaces lies a profound impact of disorganisation, affecting not only our productivity but also our mental and emotional well-being.

Ever had that niggling task, seemingly straightforward, yet lingering endlessly on your agenda? You're in good company.

A recent study shows that Brits neglect almost 100 pieces of life admin yearly. These tasks span multiple areas of our lives, including:

Why Do We Procrastinate?

Procrastination, often framed as the thief of time, is a complex interplay of psychological, emotional, and cognitive factors. At its core, procrastination is not always a result of mere laziness or poor time management. Instead, it's frequently rooted in deeper emotions such as fear of failure, perfectionism, or even fear of success. Cognitive dissonance also plays a role; when our actions (or lack thereof) do not align with our self-image or goals, we delay. Furthermore, the human brain is wired to prioritise immediate rewards over long-term benefits, leading us to choose pleasurable or easy tasks in the present moment, even if they're inconsequential or detrimental in the long run. 

This preference for short-term gratification, coupled with the innate desire to avoid discomfort or uncertainty, propels us into the cycle of procrastination. By understanding these underlying causes, we're better equipped to address and overcome this pervasive behaviour.

Impact on Time

One of the most conspicuous costs of disorganisation is time, a non-renewable and invaluable resource. Life admin, often viewed as mundane necessities, exacts a heavy toll on our daily schedules. To put it in perspective, an average individual spends approximately 4 hours and 45 minutes daily attending to these tasks. This chunk of time could be better utilised for more fulfilling activities: one could complete the London Marathon, take a leisurely flight from London to Malta, or immerse in the magical world of the first two Harry Potter films. Aggregating this on an annual scale, we are talking about a whopping 10 days and 7 hours. Project this over an average lifespan and it totals to an astonishing 2 years and 3 months! The need for structured strategies to streamline these tasks, enhance organisation, and repurpose our time for more valuable pursuits becomes paramount.     

Impact on Finances

Beyond the time-absorbing implications, disorganisation digs deep into our pockets. A significant 28% of individuals who habitually delay or overlook mundane tasks witness direct financial repercussions. Such oversights manifest in several ways: inadvertently continued free trial subscriptions that dent the bank balance, penalties incurred from belated payments, or inflated energy charges due to missed meter readings. These seemingly small drains, when accumulated, can substantially impact one's financial health.

Impact on Mental Health

The repercussions of neglecting life admin extend beyond mere inconvenience. Over a third (38%) of respondents have admitted that the burden of life admin has had a negative impact on their mental well-being. This strain is not evenly distributed across all age groups. Alarmingly, among those in their early careers, specifically individuals aged between 25 to 34 years, a significant 57% acknowledge the detrimental effects of life admin stress on their mental health.

Such statistics underscore the importance of recognising the signs of being overwhelmed early on. Common indicators include:

Constant Fatigue Feeling perpetually tired, even after a full night's sleep.
Procrastination Continuously putting off essential tasks, leading to a mounting to-do list.
Heightened Anxiety Experiencing increased levels of stress or anxiety, especially when thinking about pending tasks.
Forgetfulness Missing deadlines, appointments, or forgetting to pay bills on time.
Feeling Out of Control A general sense that things are spiraling out of control, leading to feelings of helplessness or hopelessness.


Understanding these signs is the first step towards addressing the issue. By acknowledging the challenges of life admin and its impact on our well-being, we can take proactive measures to manage and eventually overcome the overwhelm.

5 Ways To Organise Your Life Admin

Here's a summary of the top ways to organise your life admin, with more detail provided below:

  1. Organise & Prioritise Tasks
  2. Use Tools & Resources
  3. Automate & Delegate
  4. Declutter
  5. Practice Self-Care & Seek Support

Organise & Prioritise Tasks

Creating a list of tasks and prioritising them can help us to feel more in control of our workload. This might involve breaking larger tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks or using tools like calendars and to-do lists to stay organised. Distinguish between what's urgent and what's important. Take the time to identify which tasks are most important and urgent, and focusing on them first. This will help you to avoid getting bogged down in less important tasks and ensure that you are making progress on the things that matter most.

Or, instead of viewing your to-do list as an endless stream, group similar tasks with the batching method. For example, you might schedule all of your errands for the same day, or set aside a specific time each day to answer emails and return phone calls. This will help you to complete your tasks more efficiently and reduce mental fatigue.

Finally, the 'two-minute' rule can be really beneficial for people. If you come across a task that takes less than two minutes, do it immediately. It's surprising how much you can clear off your list this way.

Use Tools and Resources

Apps like Lyfeguard, Todoist, Trello, and Google Calendar can be lifesavers. As a first step, using secure cloud document storage is a great way to consolidate your information in one place. There's a whole range of productivity and time-saving tools that are available to use and with most, you can get started for free.

Alternatively, 'old-school' and tested methods like planners, whiteboards, and sticky notes can be equally effective, offering a tangible way to visualise tasks.

Finally. tasks like house cleaning or food shopping can be outsourced. For instance, you could consider services like food deliveries or house cleaning businesses. 

Automate & Delegate

Automating your tasks is a fantastic way to cut down your to-do list. This might include setting up automatic bill payments, using a service to manage your appointments and reminders, or using a digital platform to store and organise your documents.

Or, delegate tasks and give yourself some breathing room. This might mean asking a friend or family member to help you with tasks such as food shopping or laundry. By delegating tasks, you can free up more time and energy for the things that are most important to you.

Declutter

A calm environment can be incredibly important to set an environment to reduce your stress and increase your productivity. By decluttering and simplifying your physical space, you can create a more calming and organised environment

Practice Self-Care & Seek Support

Taking care of ourselves is essential for maintaining physical and mental health. This can include exercising, getting enough sleep, and setting aside time for relaxation. It's important to make self-care a priority and to carve out time for activities that bring us joy and help us to recharge.

Life is unpredictable, and there will always be unexpected tasks and responsibilities that arise. By being flexible and willing to adjust your system as needed, you can ensure that your life remains organised and under control, even in the face of unexpected challenges. It’s essential to regularly assess and adjust your strategies. What works well today might need tweaking in the future. Periodically reviewing your organisational methods ensures they evolve with your needs.

Life can be mentally and emotionally exhausting, so it's important to take regular breaks and prioritise self-care. This might mean taking a walk, meditating, or spending time with friends and family to recharge and refocus.

Asking for help from others can be a great way to alleviate the burden of life admin. This could include delegating tasks to a partner or family member or seeking professional support through therapy or coaching. It's important to remember that it's okay to ask for help and that seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Addressing the Need: Lyfeguard

In response to these challenges, father-and-son team Gary and Fraser Stewart founded Lyfeguard, a digital platform that aims to simplify life planning and management. Lyfeguard is a comprehensive solution, providing users with a secure, centralised hub to store, sort, and share their personal information.

Lyfeguard’s suite of tools, reminders, and visualisations enables users to organise and plan their lives more effectively. The platform facilitates seamless information sharing with loved ones and advisers, making managing personal organisation and end-of-life arrangements easier. It does this while providing unique insights, tools, and benefits that equip users with the necessary resources to stay on top of their life admin tasks.

Lyfeguard, with its focus on addressing the challenges of life admin, is at the forefront of innovative solutions in the market. It aims to alleviate the burden of life admin, empowering users to spend more time living their lives and less time managing them. As life admin struggles persist, platforms like Lyfeguard serve as beacons of hope, setting the stage for a future where managing life admin is streamlined and stress-free.

Conclusion

Organising your life admin can be a challenging task, but it is essential for maintaining your overall well-being and productivity. By establishing a system, prioritising your tasks, batching similar tasks together, automating whenever possible, and remaining flexible and adaptable, you can take control of your life admin and streamline your tasks for maximum efficiency.

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