The Case for a Monthly Life Admin Day
Weekends: a time to tune out the expectations of your boss, family, society, humankind, yourself — whomever — and recharge. At least, in theory.
The likelier scenario is that there are a million and one tiny tasks you’ve put off in the days since last weekend. Like handwashing that cardigan you wear too often. Or paying that bill you haven’t opened since the weekend before last. This shit weighs you down. You can’t properly enjoy your brunches, 10K training runs, or belated Cheer binge when the vibe is killed by the thousand cuts of chores, catching up on mail, and figuring out what to do about the slightly nightmarish situation blooming under your bathroom sink.
There’s no trick that will make your bills stop coming, and no easy hack to erase routine obligations like dentist appointments from your life. But, if you’re not someone who’s blessed with a coterie of servants and personal assistants, this simple strategy is the next best thing: a monthly personal admin day. Or, if you’d prefer: a Get Your Shit Together day.
Choose one day a month when you promise yourself you’ll finally open that scary IRS mail or donate those bags of old clothes. To help enforce the habit, try to maintain schedule consistency from month to month (one easy-to-remember option is to have your admin day fall on your birth date of each month). Then, find a way to remind yourself, be it a recurring calendar event or a circled day in your planner — whatever works for you. On that day, you just have to pick a couple of the most annoying things on your endless to-do list.
One great personal admin day activity is to log on to your bank account and go down your list of transactions looking for any recurring bills you don’t use or can consolidate (or pay for one of those apps that does it for you). Do you really need a subscription to Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and Amazon Prime? Run an inventory of the subscriptions and services you actually use, and cancel the rest. (It’s called “unbundling,” and it feels great.)
Another useful activity is to do a deep clean, or part of a deep clean. Empty out all your kitchen cabinets and throw out the open baking soda or the molding sriracha whose origins you can’t even remember. What’s under your bed, and is it something you’re ever going to use again? Vacuum up the zoo of dust bunnies down there.
This is also a great day to set aside for that most dreaded and old-fashioned of all the chores. That’s right: Call somebody back.
By the time the next weekend rolls around, you’ll have a clean slate, a clear conscience, and plenty of time to chill.