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Admin is About Habits

By Emma Grounsell
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Admin is About Habits

Wow, that title sounds really boring, so what does that say about me!?  However, I do believe that admin is what gets things done & makes life run smoothly, and yet admin tasks, whether it be for work or for your home life, are always the things that take up precious time and invariably get left to last.  We all know that they need to be done and that they won’t go away UNTIL they are done because often they are really important things like finding new car insurance, completing forms for your daughter to go to her new school, or setting up new clients on your database BUT we still leave them until the last minute.

So why do we leave them?  Do we not consider them important enough?  What would happen if we didn’t do them?  What would it mean if we did do them regularly?  How would a regular admin habit impact on your life?  That last question sounds really boring and I realise that people don’t do admin of any variety because it is a drag – I’m a little unusual in that I love doing admin, and mainly because it makes me feel like I’m in control!

But why is it so important to do the admin tasks?  If you can keep track of your clients and their needs your great customer service will lead to more business.  If you can get paid regularly and on time you can pay yourself!  For peace of mind – we waste so much time and energy worrying about the things we aren’t doing but which we know would add value to our business or personal life.  By just doing those tasks you will free up a huge amount of head space that can then be used for more exciting things.

So what can you do to make this easier?

Often we need Clarity rather than motivation by noticing when the moment comes to act.  It is hard to create a habit if you keep forgetting what you need to do because there is no cue for you to do it e.g. the bills that need paying are in a drawer so you never see them.  Put them somewhere within your sight or create a reminder.

Find the Desire – not an easy one with admin tasks but what would create the motivation for you to do them?  Tick them off your list when you have done them or cross them through on a wall planner so that over time you can see how often you have done them and celebrate that achievement.  Once you get going and that chain starts lengthening you are less likely to want to break it, and so your habit forms.

DON’T focus on the milestone or goal – what actually gets us there are the small tasks in between e.g. you wanted to sign up 2 new clients but it was the regular posting on social media and the monthly blog that attracted them to you in the first place.  Once you have set your goals you need to focus on your PROCESS and your SYSTEM.  Habits follow your system.

Monthly habits – a month is a much shorter time period than a year, so is much less daunting.  When you start out with something new, thinking that you are going to have to do it for a year before it becomes a habit is enough to put me off straightaway.  But a month?  That I can cope with.

Start small and build on that – try one new habit per month e.g. doing all your invoices & invoice chasing on a Monday morning.  The benefit of doing this on a regular basis is that you will get paid faster and more frequently.  You can’t argue with that!

Time blocking – block regular time in your diary to do those tasks and use reminders on your phone so that you get a loud buzz when you’re meant to be doing them.  Don’t organise meetings when you’re meant to be doing those admin tasks.  Just keep doing it, again and again, especially the boring ones because inevitably they will be the ones that keep your business or home life ticking over and which are probably weighing most on your mind.

Little and often – leaving everything for one big blitz every couple of months is a sure way to put you off doing it at all because the task has just become too big, and also you don’t have enough time left in the diary to complete the whole job.  It is much easier to squeeze in the odd half hour.

And, if this all fails, and you either can’t do the admin or really don’t want to do it – get someone else to do it for you!

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