Updated: Mar 20, 2019
Lifefyle. Can one simple tool can restore harmony in your relationship and bring an end to nagging? In this post, Rachel Smith, Head of Product at Lifefyle, explores an unexpected benefit of our productivity software.
109. That’s the average number of admin tasks an adult in the UK performs in a year. As a couple that’s over 200 things to do. That’s over 200 times that one of you likely says to the other “have you done this?” or “please could you do this”, or “argh, we / you / I forgot to do this”. That’s 4 times a week.
That’s a lot. That’s a lot when you are both busy. When you’re working, juggling school & childcare, being present for your kids, keeping them and yourselves fit & healthy, making an effort to have some sort of social life (even if you can only manage 10% of the social life of the kids). That’s a lot when you really don’t spend very much time together alone, and the time that you do spend is when you’re exhausted and barely have the energy to ask about each others’ day.
So you do one of two things: you either ignore it and trust that the other person is doing their bit, hope you haven’t forgotten something yourself, and everything is fine; or you spend a lot of your time together talking about mundane admin stuff, checking that things have been done, trying to allay that nagging feeling that you’ve forgotten something, and, well, nagging.
No-one wants to be a nagging wife, any more than anyone wants a nagging wife, but I’m a working mum of two primary school children, and when I’m just about managing to keep all my plates spinning, I need to be reassured that nothing is suddenly going to bring one of those plates crashing down.
Before I got married, I lived by myself for a few years so was used to being in control and doing everything. That’s neither practical nor right in a marriage so my husband and I muddled our way to a vague division of responsibilities and got on with it. It’s great to share the load, but I also hated the feeling that if something happened to him, I would have no idea who was even providing our utilities, let alone how to pay for them. I hated the feeling that if something happened to me, he wouldn’t know who provided our home insurance, or which days the kids needed their PE kit. So I did ask. I did tell. I did ask again a few days later.
Periodically, I would have a word with myself try the other tactic. Just trust that everything would get done between us. Inevitably, one of us would eventually drop a ball (like realising we’d been driving around for 3 weeks with no MOT, or one of the kids coming home upset because subs for their lunch-break sports club hadn’t been paid so they’d not been able to go), and we’d have to stop and reset.
Then came Lifefyle. And now, everything is better.
Lifefyle is an online platform that captures, organises and remembers all of your life admin. There’s a free version so anyone can try it out, and with a premium account, couples or families can share an online to-do list and personalised, structured document storage.
Documents don’t just sit there waiting for you to remember them. Lifefyle reads them for you, and pulls out the dates to add to your to-do list, so when things like insurance policies, EHIIC and MOTs are about to expire, you get a timely reminder to renew them.
Better still, you can assign each other tasks, help each other out with tasks when you know you’ve got a minute but your partner hasn’t, and, crucially, see when things have been done so you don’t have to ask about it when they get in the door after a long day.
Because it’s online, you can access it on laptop, tablet and phone. We can get calls made, forms submitted, emails sent wherever we are, whenever we have a spare moment. We don’t have to wait to get home and spend the evening finding the paperwork instead of spending quality time together, it’s all on Lifefyle, so everything is literally in our pocket.
Other handy side-effects are that even Marie Kondo would be proud of the lack of paperwork on top of our microwave these day, and that the fruit bowl now gets to sit on a worktop instead of atop a pile of A4 envelopes.
“Admin evenings” are a thing of the past because we feel on top things, and simply check our dashboard if either of us don’t.
On ‘date night’, we sometimes check who’s done the most tasks that fortnight, and they get rewarded with the final say on the take-away or restaurant, or the other one pays for dinner.
Don’t get me wrong, we still have one of those bonkers column-for-all-the-family calendars on the kitchen wall that I couldn’t function without (trust me, I tried when it took it down for 3 days while the kitchen was being repainted. I don’t know how many times I stared at the empty, half-painted wall wondering which kids I’d promised to come for playdates). But Lifefyle works for us. It has helped restore harmony in our relationship and in our household. We don’t nag each other anymore.
Lifefyle was designed by busy parents, for busy parents, to help them manage life admin online. Go to www.lifefyle.com to try it for yourself and see if it can help you too.
 Source: Association of Accounting Technicians, Jan 2018. www.aat.org.uk/news/article/aat-research-adults-carry-out-109-‘life-admin’-tasks-every-year