005: Scheduling the Inevitable, the Inspirational and an Hour of Power

Season #1 Episode #6

This episode covers another foundation for establishing a robust Life Admin system: scheduling.

Mia and Dinah discuss how most people have no set time when they do their Life Admin tasks, which often means doing only the ‘urgent’ and not the ‘important’. The important tasks weigh on your mind, yet you never complete them. Mia and her partner refer to these tasks as ‘blockers’: tasks you spend more time thinking about than they would actually take to do it.

They discuss how many of us have routines for our personal life but usually only schedule tasks and commitments at work. However, scheduling can be very useful for Life Admin. At its essence, scheduling embraces the idea that if it’s on the calendar it gets done.

How to start scheduling your life

They discuss three aspects of scheduling:

  1. To Do List tasks. Tasks can be divided into three types:
    • ‘Hour of Power’ - requiring a focused effort. They recommend scheduling in an Hour of Power to tackle challenging tasks.
    • ‘Two Minutes Too Easy’ - can be done as they arise.
    • ‘Ten Minute Time Killers’ - chunky tasks that can be done in idle time.
  2. Inevitable tasks and activities - Tasks we know that will arise on a regular basis such as car servicing, hairdressing and dentist visits. Proactively schedule them in when it is convenient to you, rather than reacting to them.
  3. Inspirational and fun activities - Make time for what you want more of like movie nights, mountain bike riding, trips away with friends, gardening, book club and date nights.

Scheduling is a natural extension of using the shared calendar and To Do lists tackled in previous episodes.

The benefits of scheduling include:

  • making time to get the important, distracting tasks done so you no longer have to dwell on them
  • forcing you to make choices about how to best spend your time
  • helping make new habits stick.

Life admin highs of the week

  • Mia talks about having an ‘unsubscribe festival’ - taking the time to unsubscribe from regular e-newsletters to eliminate the noise in her inbox.
  • Dinah talks about cleaning the lingering paperwork from the desk in her study which makes it a much more inviting place to work.

Life admin lows of the week

  • Dinah talks about how she needed to renew her passport but she failed to get to the post office within the month required on the paperwork and so she now needs to redo it. Scheduling would’ve helped!
  • Mia planned to start working on her digital photo backlog over the weekend but found the activity pairing strategy she employed didn’t work.

Book review

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKeown - book about evaluating  what is essential in your life to regain control of your choices and focus on things that really matter.

Life admin resources

  • The Fly Lady - free daily, weekly and monthly routines and coaching for house cleaning and organisation.


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