Life admin. Time poor. These are buzz words that get thrown around a lot but there’s no denying that in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, it’s hard to find time to stay on top of everything we need to do – those errands and tasks that we say we’ll do on the weekend but never get around to.
Throw family responsibilities and work into the mix and it’s even more challenging to set aside time to cross things off as ‘done’. Things like sorting out your insurance, doing your tax, making appointments – the list just goes on and on.
Top tips to save time and tackle your life admin tasks
We’ve put together some tactics to help you manage your time as effectively as possible – and you might even be able to save some money.
- Set deadlines and stick to them
Put notes in your calendar as reminders for what you need to do, and stick to the deadline. It sounds simple but you’ll feel proud that you’ve achieved this! Remember, the longer you leave a task, the longer it will take to finish it. You can also use your calendar to add deadlines and reminders for bills, service renewals, RSVPs and special occasions.
- Write lists
This seems obvious and simple, but writing lists can help. Whether on an actual notepad or on the notepad feature on your smartphone, listing things that you need to do can make you feel more in control of all your personal admin. And it’s satisfying to cross them off, one by one!
- Bundle your tasks
Some things go together, such as food shopping, food prep, cleaning and washing. Bundling some tasks, such as doing your weekly food shop (remember to make a list, so you don’t spend on things you don’t need), food prep for the week ahead, and cleaning/washing on the same day, can help free up time in the rest of your week for more important things.
- Bundle your services
If you can bundle your tasks, why not bundle your services too? This means using the same provider for a range of services – internet, phone, insurance and even your utilities, such as electricity. One-stop shopping in this way can help you save time and money, plus you benefit from the support of reliable brands, flexibility, discounts and great customer service. You could save a bundle, simply by bundling your services.
- Prepare for tomorrow’s activities today
Do the kids have swimming lessons tomorrow? Already know you won’t have time at work for anything other than lunch on the run? Get ahead of the game and use the evening to prep for what’s to come in the morning. Simple things like packing a bag or preparing a lunch can save you oodles of time when you’re in a hurry.
- Make the most of wait time by multi-tasking
If you find yourself with a spare 10 minutes while you wait for your doctor’s appointment or sit out the bus journey home, don’t give in to the temptation to spend it scrolling away on social media. Even a short amount of time invested wisely can go a long way towards paying that bill, updating your calendar or finding a plumber to fix that leaky tap in the bathroom.
- Batch up birthdays
Whip your calendar into shape with a full list of birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions. Then, at the start of every month, dedicate time to writing cards and organising gifts all in one batch. Many service providers, like florists and gift stores, will take your orders early and send later – and some will even set up recurring reminders or presents. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!
8. Get smart with autofill apps
There’s an app for everything these days – and that includes ones which can save you time typing on your phone. Two handy ones to try are password managers, where you store your log in information for various websites so you can log in with one click. And replacing your phone’s default keyboard app with one that has pre-prepared responses, as well as swiping options for typing, is a small investment that could save you big in time management.
9. Set up email inbox rules
Newsletter, notifications and spam – with so much junk hitting your email inbox every day, it can be hard to keep track of what’s important and what’s just noise. Set up simple rules for your inbox, like auto-sorting emails from certain senders into folders called ‘Newsletters’ or ‘Bills’, to help keep your focus on what matters. And don’t forget to hit that ‘unsubscribe’ button!
10. Use a filing system to find things
Always searching for that elusive customer ID number or the latest bill from your supplier? Buy a simple A-Z expanding filing folder and pop all your important documents in there. Electricity bill? That goes under ‘E’. Receipt for your new mobile phone? Pop it under ‘M’. It’ll make everything physical much easier to find, saving you time and bother.
11. Automate, automate, automate
Wherever you have recurring tasks that are hard to find time for, look to automate them. Got a bill which comes in regularly? Set up direct debit payments. Hate grocery shopping or finding recipes? Consider a standing order for a grocery delivery or meal prep service.
12. Make it fun
Been dreading the thought of tackling all your life admin tasks? Whack on your favourite music playlist, turn up a podcast or enlist the help of another member of your household (alongside a bit of yummy finger food) to turn a tedious task into something worth celebrating. Or at least make it a little less insufferable!
Time to be time poor no more
We hope you’ve found some useful tips to manage your time and perhaps save some money too Now what are you waiting for? Go do the things you love!