Summary of “‘I feel bombarded with to-dos’: the hell of life admin”

According to one 2018 survey of 2,000 Brits, the average adult carries out 109 life admin tasks a year, from sorting out car insurance to paying council tax; about half the respondents admitted they struggled to keep up with household paperwork.
Life admin might be at once the most boring and overwhelming anxiety of our age: look closely, and we are procrastinating and blind panicking our way into an organisational crisis.
Now I’m 31, and my inability to manage life admin has become a shameful character flaw.
My admin ineptitude still makes me feel I’m lacking a fundamental piece of the “Adult” jigsaw.
“A lot of my admin is keyboard-mediated – for example, I do my bank accounts online. My dad gave my mum the household cash each week and she separated it into different old handbags. If she wanted something, she’d go to the relevant handbag and see what she had in notes and small change. And if you needed the bank, you had to go there. For my parents, there seemed to be fewer things to think about. I now feel bombarded with to-dos, but many of them take no time at all. I can hit a button and it’s done. The quality of the interaction is different, and perhaps that’s why it can feel like drudge work – there’s rarely a human there.”
Emens argues that, “Certain features of modern life make admin more pervasive. One of them is the rise of the bureaucratic state: we have more paperwork to complete, particularly around things like weddings, divorces, births and deaths. And another is technology, so admin reaches us with greater insistence and frequency. People expect us to respond to emails and texts; there’s an escalation of demands.” And where once we might have outsourced the business of booking a holiday, or the drudgery of filling in our tax return to an expert, we now turn to Airbnb, Skyscanner and Booking.com, or download apps such as QuickBooks.
Millions of us watch “Admin routine” YouTube videos and follow “Cleanfluencers”, Marie Kondo disciples who have become famous for their tips on effective life admin management, as well as cleaning.
As Emens points out, “Even people who avoid life admin have some really useful strategies to teach those who get it all done – namely, that there are some tasks you shouldn’t devote masses of energy to, because it’s not an effective use of your time.” In a world where there is more junk life admin than ever before, we all need to get strategic.

The orginal article.