Six tips to regain control now that the kids are back at school.
Updated: Mar 18, 2019
Can you hear that collective sigh of relief coming from working parents all around the country?
The long summer holiday period has come to an end and the kids are back at school! Hooray! It’s been wonderful to enjoy some quality family time, but if, like most of us, the ‘actual’ holiday only lasted a week or two, the rest of the school break has probably been pretty chaotic.
Undoubtedly, it’s been a period of rearranging working patterns, requesting ad-hoc holiday days and taking it in shifts with your partner just to be able to manage the child care. Your time has conceivably been a whirlwind of ferrying the kids around to various holiday clubs, activities and play dates in and amongst your working hours. Exhausting!
Then of course, you’ve probably just completed your ‘back to school’ project – ordering new uniform, buying new school shoes and managing any incomplete homework. Textbooks have been bought, schedules have been looked at and name tapes have been ironed on. At last, the little cherubs are all safely back at school and their lives are under control again! Phew! Yours on the other hand…? (Cue another collective sigh as we consider all the things on our to do list, and the paperwork building up that we need to sort through).
Do you remember that feeling of starting a new term at school? When you had smart new uniform, newly covered textbooks and that shiny new pencil case that you begged your parents to buy you each time? That feeling of optimism. You’d taken a break from the previous routine, and now you had a chance for a fresh start. The line had been drawn in the sand, and you had the opportunity to be a better version of you.
Just because we no longer have term time ourselves (if only!), it doesn’t mean that we can’t apply the same rules. Why not make the new term your opportunity for a fresh start too? A chance to get on top of that paperwork in all its mundane glory and regain control of your to do list.
We’re calling it the ‘Life Admin’ project. And like any project, where the end result feels totally unlikely and the path fraught with obstacles, you simply break it down into manageable chunks, and tackle each element one step at a time.
Below you’ll find some simple suggestions to kick-start your life admin project, so that you can stop worrying and enjoy life!
1) Schedule a couple of ‘life admin’ minutes a day in your calendar: Try and link that time to your usual routine (e.g. think about your normal ‘trigger’ time for life admin… is it when you pick up the post as you walk through the door each evening, or when you open your emails first thing?). As you open your post or emails, be sure to acknowledge the task at that point – don’t file it away to ‘deal with later’. With Lifefyle you can upload a document at the touch of a button and load it into your online portal. Add the task to your to do list and schedule it for the appropriate time. The whole process takes less than a minute. The document is loaded in, stored safely, easily accessible and the task is scheduled. Voila! Immediate relief.
2) Try it for at least a month, every day. They say that it takes 30 days of repeated action at the same time to normalise a new habit. Each day, at your pre-scheduled time – simply load it, task it and forget it. If there’s no post that day, then just grab one of your documents from an outstanding pile and upload it. You’ll be amazed at how quickly that pile diminishes!
3) Remind yourself to complete the task at the appropriate time: If you’ve got Lifefyle, then don’t worry. We’ll send you a reminder on the day that the task is due.
4) Focus on what you can do: When you run through the mountain of tasks that you need to complete, it can start to feel very overwhelming. You might feel like you don’t have the time to tackle the list properly and so you put it on the back-burner! But try to think back to the project management approach. With Lifefyle, you can link multiple tasks to one document – so simply break it down into small, manageable tasks and take it one step at a time. Even going through that process will take a weight off your mind.
5) Repeat the mantra…’A stitch in time saves nine’: When you feel like you can’t be bothered, just remember back to the last time you had to spend a whole day/evening/weekend on ‘life admin’ - working through that pile of paperwork or managing your diary. A minute now will suddenly feel like the easy option.
6) Reward yourself with ‘me’ time: Don’t give up the time you’ve saved yourself! Take the time that you would have blocked out for a life admin ‘session’ and do something wonderful with it. Read a book, learn a new hobby or relax with a glass of wine. You deserve it. You’ve worked hard to live the life you want to.
What are you waiting for? Click here to start your free 60-day trial with Lifefyle now and kick start your life admin project today!
Find out more at www.lifefyle.com