6 tips to simplify your life admin
Smash through your to-do list and get on with the fun stuff.
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Don't you love that feeling when you've ticked something off your to-do list? Especially when you've been putting it off for ages and it's been hanging over your head.
But life admin can feel like a never-ending cycle. You tick one task off and two more appear in its place.
Life admin can include tasks like paying your bills, grocery shopping, doing your laundry or booking that doctor's appointment. All important and rewarding things, but they can become overwhelming.
So, here are some tips to help you simplify all that life admin so you can have more time for the fun stuff.
1. Schedule your time more effectively
Sometimes it can feel like time is running away from you and before you know it, it's been 2 weeks and you still haven't responded to that email or booked that appointment. It can be a good idea to schedule in times when you commit to doing certain things.
For example, Sundays could be the days you do 1 or 2 loads of laundry each week. Then you can head into Monday knowing that that particular task is done for the week.
Block out an hour once a week (or more if you need) and commit that time to opening mail or responding to emails.
Make use of your trusty phone or email calendar to add recurring appointments to remind you to pay certain bills or spend some time answering emails.
2. Use a convenient payment service
Speaking of bills – that's definitely not something you want to put off. Paying bills is an important life admin task. Whether it's rent, electricity or gas, it's something we all need to do.
One of the problems with paying bills is that they all come in at different times. You might have weekly or fortnightly rent payments, monthly Internet bills and then quarterly electricity bills.
Not only that, every billing company has a different website for you to navigate, and varying salary cycles from company to company can make it difficult to ensure you have the right funds in your bank account at the right time. If you have direct debits set up, you can find yourself low on cash if they come out at an inopportune time. You may even end up overdrawn and facing bank charges.
These are the bills we need a little more control over. Fortunately, a convenient payment service such as BPAY can make staying in control of bills easy. Plus, you can choose exactly how much comes out of your account and which account to draw from. You can even schedule when you want the money to come out*, all from within the security of your online banking.
You can pay your bills with BPAY by using the company's biller code and your customer reference number (found on your bill). Whenever you're ready to pay, simply tap the BPAY option on your mobile or Internet banking, enter the biller code and Customer Reference Number from your bill and the amount you're sending, and confirm. Done!
If you know there are bills you don't need that type of control over, you can even schedule one-off or recurring payments* for stress-free money management.
3. Make the most of good, free software
There are much more sophisticated tools out there than your email calendar that can help you stay on top of all your tasks.
Apps like AnyList, Todoist or Google Task can help you keep track of any life admin tasks you've got to work on. There are additional features to make everything easier too, like attaching photos, sharing tasks with friends or family, or creating separate folders.
There are also apps like Things or Microsoft To-Do which help you schedule when to do those tasks.
4. Switch to online
While some tasks unfortunately still require you to fill out paper forms or speak to someone over the phone, many things can be done online now.
Renewing licences or policies can usually be done online through your account or filling in a quick online form. Even booking an appointment at your doctor or opticians can be done with a few clicks online, rather than waiting on hold on the phone.
And if you're still receiving paper bank statements and bills, make the switch to email statements. This will allow you to declutter your space and keep track of everything in one secure location. You can then start sorting your digital paperwork into handy files so you know where everything is.
5. Organise and prioritise
If you find yourself overloaded with bills, policy renewals, Medicare claims or appointment letters, make sure you have a good system where you can keep track of what needs your attention and when.
Create specific folders for those things that need immediate action and get rid of any additional clutter that you don't need. When you look at the pile of paperwork or inside your email folder, you will just see a list of what needs action.
Make sure to delete or remove anything you've completed – and celebrate having one less task to do!
6. Don't be afraid to outsource
While they're taking care of all the big stuff, you have more time available to handle the life admin tasks that keep niggling away.