Life Admin Life Hacks
About Life Admin Life Hacks
Tools, techniques and tips to tackle your life admin with efficiency. Dinah Rowe-Roberts and Mia Northrop introduce ways to save you time and money, create peace of mind and restore harmony in your household.
In this episode, Mia and Dinah tap into the expertise of coach Nicole Alesios to discover how your money mindset and archetype impact your relationship with money, your habits and decisions about money management, saving, investing and outsourcing. About Dr Nicole Alesios Nicole is an economist, money mindset coach and speaker who is passionate about helping people to have easier money conversations through money mindset coaching and also helping them set a clear and achievable strategy that is in alignment with their unique money personality. One of the biggest benefits of getting your life admin organised is that it can save you money, through budgeting and money monitoring, sorting out your tax and estate planning, and comparison shopping major household expenses. But money is an area where people bring complex feelings, childhood lessons and personality traits to the decision-making. Having the right app and a process will get you most of the way there, but recognising your behaviours when it comes to money is also important. In this bumper episode, we interview Nicole Alesios and discuss: the taboo that still surrounds talking about money, which can limit our financial literacy what your money stories and money mindset are the eight money archetypes Nicole uses in her work to describe your predisposition toward money. RESOURCES Nicole's website Nicole’s Money Personality Quiz Nicole's Instagram SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
In this episode, Mia and Dinah dive into how to share the mental load, drawing on expertise from relationship expert and psychologist Dr Morgan Cutlip. About Dr Morgan Cutlip Morgan Cutlip has a PhD in Psychology, is a wife, mom to two kids and life-long lover of all things relationships. Dr Morgan's work centres on creative content development for My Love Thinks.com and delivering educational content for your relationships in a way that is not just professional but also practical. Dr Cutlip has been a featured relationship expert for Teen Vogue, the New York Times, Flo Tracker app and is the upcoming author of two books with Thomas Nelson, How to Love your Kids Without Losing Yourself and The Mother Load. In this episode we talk about: what inequity in the mental load looks like the impact this inequity has on other areas of your relationship how to explain the mental load without your partner getting defensive the difference between ‘within work’ and ‘between work’, and why you need to do both thoughts and behaviours that can sabotage an equitable relationship minimum acceptable standards and letting go of control taking initiative versus making requests for support how frequent check-ins with your partner are essential RESOURCES MyLoveThinks.com My Love Thinks podcast The 5 Love Languages SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
In this ep, Mia and Dinah talk to an expert about the life admin side of investing - it's a great way to build your wealth but also comes with paperwork and passwords. While anyone of working age has investments through their superannuation, in the last two years there’s been a surge of first-time share investors. About Sophie Dicker Sophie Dicker is an M&A consultant by day and the co-host of You're in Good Company (YIGC), a podcast that aims to make investing accessible to anyone, by night. Although working in finance, she had no idea about investing until her partner encouraged her to start. Her investing goal is to build the freedom to do things that she's passionate about - whether it be starting a business, donating to causes close to her, or taking time out of the workforce to start a family. The ultimate goal of YIGC is to build a community of like-minded people right alongside. In this episode we talk about: the challenges of getting into the property market in Australia and other factors leading to an influx of younger investors in the share market developing an investment strategy and the importance of understanding your money type and risk tolerance why you might want to engage a financial adviser and how to find one where to find information from experts to guide you on your investment journey micro-investing: investing small amounts regularly through apps like Spaceship and Raiz ETFs: a bundle of shares that provide exposure to a range of companies listed on the stock market, allowing you to diversify your investments more easily finding an online trading platform that works for you and testing out the apps managing the paperwork that comes with investing by adopting a folder structure to keep all the paperwork for purchases and dividends the importance of your HIN on CHESS statements and making sure you keep these in a secure place like your password manager managing your account and password with the share registry the process of setting up an online share trading account the benefits of developing a consistent investment routine setting up investment goals (short, medium and long term) considering auto investing - a regular direct debit into an ETF using your Hours of Power to do the initial research and education into investing so that ongoing investing can become a Ten Minute Timekiller task in the long run. RESOURCES YIGC podcast YIGC Instagram YIGC Investing Podcast Discussion Group on Facebook Invest Like The Best podcast How I build this with Guy Raz - podcast Livewire Markets Spaceship app Raiz app Stockspot SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
In this ep, Mia and Dinah share their experiences and top hacks to streamline life admin for new parents. Conventional wisdom recommends parents-to-be focus their discussions and planning on housework and parenting. But there is a third dimension of domestic life to discuss and organise: life admin. Life admin explodes when you have a baby, just at the time you are sleep deprived and learning to care for a new member of your family. In this ep, Mia and Dinah discuss: that before you have children you have more leisure time, physical and mental energy and life admin is done independently or designed around two people. When a baby enters your family life admin systems need to accommodate another person. When the baby is first born it's really important to prioritise what life admin you need to do. Prioritising is about deciding what you won’t do, getting clear about what’s truly urgent or important and letting go of the rest that in different-sex couples there is a tendency for stereotypical domestic roles to kick in and that it's essential to have the negotiation early with your partner about who will do what in terms of housework, child care and life admin. It's important to get good at having this conversation as the discussion will need to be had again and again as the baby develops, its needs change, parental leave finishes and paid work resumes. Some of the life admin you can attend to before you have a baby: choosing your healthcare provider and managing appointments adding your baby to waiting lists for childcare meal preparation - planning for sleep deprivation creating a checklist of what to take to the hospital setting up a keepsake system securing all the baby equipment and supplies you will need updating your budget to reflect your new circumstances and be confident about how much time off from work you can take preparing or updating your will including identifying guardians for your children reviewing your life and income protection insurance identifying options for online shopping and meal kits for the first few months when leaving home can be challenging planning a babymoon! After the baby is born and you are on parental leave, the day and week lack the normal structure that work once provided. It can be helpful to create a schedule for the housework and life admin tasks and a daily routine for yourself and baby. When you return to work, routines and schedules support the smooth functioning of your household. As the baby develops your daily routine needs to shift as eat, sleep and play times will change from month to month. You need to embrace the idea that you need to redesign your life every three-six months as their needs change. Some of the other life admin hacks for after the baby is born include: lists! - checklists and to-do lists that are shared with your partner registering with Services Australia for the parental leave payment decluttering - developing habits to declutter as you go meal planning and bulk cooking - particularly when your baby starts solids keeping track of health appointments in a shared digital calendar starting a cloud storage system for filing important documents adding your baby to your private health insurance policy if you have one planning your social Life - hard but important - people priority vs event priority - lots of changes - need to be deliberate. RESOURCES Life Admin Hacks the book Episode 26: Optimising kid admin Episode 45 - Tracey Spicer on upskilling your kids to contribute at home Episode 51: Michael Grose on upskilling your kids to contribute Episode 54: Daycare and school transitions SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
With the cost of living on the rise, a key way to save money is to comparison shop your major household bills. In this ep we’ll help you get an understanding of the payoff to a methodical approach, seven steps to make your choices straightforward and point you to the best comparison websites. We start this episode talking about why you need to make the effort to comparison shop - not only to save money but also to give peace of mind that your product or service fits with your needs. We also chat about the frustration that most providers offer the best discounts and deals for new customers. This means you need to accept that you'll need to do the work if you want to save money. We also talk about the challenges of finding the time and the complexity of comparison shopping: We have more products that we need to choose due to the privatisation of services like utilities It can be complex to choose between the hundreds or thousands of products out there 'Satisficing' - achieving a good result as fast as possible by choosing something sufficient that satisfies you - will yield a better result than trying to find the best possible deal. We also talk about the elephant in the room: making the time to get the comparison shopping done. We recommend you set up a regular Hour of Power in your schedule to get more complex life admin tasks done, including comparison shopping. We talk through the seven steps that make choosing a better deal efficient and effective: Take stock Jump onto your online account or review recent statements – to gain an understanding of your current plan, assess your usage and sense of value If it's a product you're not that familiar with, listen to one of our podcast eps or dive into the relevant book chapter, where we break down the jargon and the typical product features Then think about what will make you happy. Is it saving $100 a year or $500? Is it getting more convenient service in some way? Or simply peace of mind that you have the right product for your needs? Decide on the goalposts upfront so that you know when you’ve scored. Set up your comparison table The next step is to create a table to set out the criteria you need to compare A comparison table makes it much simpler to pick the best offer, rather than tirelessly going through the features of each, one at a time You can use one of the downloadable checklists from our website or set up your own table. Compare three We recommend that you compare three options: your current provider and two others There are diminishing returns if you compare beyond a handful of alternatives, and the more options you compare, the more confused and dissatisfied you will be The key thing is to use the best comparison website to find the three offers to compare Where possible, you want to use the government websites, so for PHI and energy that is usually your best bet Choice, Canstar, Finder and Whistelout are the comparison sites we recommend the most but in our book we recommend which sites are best for which service. Make the 'keep me' call Sometimes your current provider can offer you a better deal. When you’re armed with the details of what competitors are selling, calling your current provider may be all you need to do to save money If your current provider comes to the party with a competitive offer, this might be the last step Call around If your current provider can’t offer you a better deal and the alternative isn’t obvious, or there are complexities you want to check, you’ll want to call one or both of the competitors you identified in Step 3 We recommend you jot down a script to guide your chat Try to call in when call centre queues are likely to be shorter - when they open, on evenings or weekends. Decide...and switch Go back to your goals and pick the offer that best meets them. There’s usually a clear winner If you’re struggling to make a decision, it can help to think about what you would advise a friend. Integrate and celebrate You’ll need to integrate this new plan or provider into your life admin systems and tools This includes things like updating your password manager, opting into paperless communication, direct debits and adding important documents to your cloud storage Take time to celebrate your achievement. 🎉 RESOURCES Life Admin Hacks the book Episode 33 - Comparison shopping in an hour Choice Canstar Finder Whistleout SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
At some stage, we all have to navigate appropriate aged care for ourselves or a loved one, so in this episode we turned to aged care expert Grace Petherick to demystify it for us all. Many of us are in the sandwich generation, and are the support people for parents as well as young children. Some of us are also of an age where we’re having to investigate aged care services for ourselves or our partner. This can be an overwhelming task because, let’s face it, the aged care system in Australia is complex, unfamiliar and bureaucratic, and if your family member is suffering poor health or has had a health incident, it's all the more anxiety-triggering. About Grace Petherick Global experience in service industries and the shock of accessing aged care for her grandparents sparked Grace Petherick’s passion to revolutionise an industry. It became clear for her that what her grandparents had suffered was unacceptable, and it was time to shake up 100 years of unchanged service standards in aged care. Her visionary and innovative approach has attracted extensive investor and media attention, including placing as a finalist in the current Telstra Business Awards and winning a City of Melbourne Innovative Business Grant, for her business Age Up Health. Our recent survey revealed that one in three of our listeners is doing life admin for a parent or elderly relative and that often includes researching aged care services. In this episode we discuss: how the aged care system is very complex and waiting lists can create a lot of stress for families that you shouldn’t wait until a crisis occurs to investigate aged care - as soon as everyday things feel harder you should consider investigating options the preventive measures you can put in place - allied health to improve balance, ramps and handrails the differing roles for Residential Aged Care - including temporary respite and rehabilitation after a hospital stay how to fund aged care - the first step should be the government website - My Aged Care you can also find information on aged care provider websites and there are paid aged care advisers you can access the range of services and products that Home Care Package funding can be used for including home modifications, cooking and meal delivery, supplements, companionship and social support - anything to keep you safe and well at home the assessment process for Home Care Packages - government assessors come to your home and consider what support/funding you are eligible for - a letter of support from a GP can be helpful after your Home Care Package is approved - means testing is conducted by Services Australia to determine what (if any) income tested fee you will need to pay (there is an income and asset test similar to that for the Aged pension - the maximum contribution you can make is $40 per day) after an assessment you receive a notification of your level of funding and estimated the waiting time until the funding will be available the wait list for a Home Care Package can be up to 9 months - while you are waiting you may be able to access CHSP or other organisations that may provide support - Carers Gateway and some providers provide limited free support while you wait after the funding comes though you need to select from one of 900 providers within 56 days or you will lose the funding 3 months before your funding is allocated you will receive notification and this is a good time to start selecting a provider things to think about when selecting a provider include: what support you need, what level of admin you are willing to do, how they manage workforce, consistency of workforce, costs (care fee, administration fee, other fees including setup fee, exit fee, surcharges, travel fees) that the comparison websites for Aged Care that exist are commission based - however Aged Care Guide seems to be most representative of the market My Aged Care is an online application system and you don’t need a power of attorney to represent your parents as long as your parent advises My Aged Care that you may act on their behalf. My Aged Care is a paper based system so will receive a lot of letters which you need to keep! RESOURCES Government website - My Aged Care Age Up Health What to do about aged care when on the National Waitlist How to compare Home Care Package providers Surprising ways you can use you Home Care Package funds Free Seminar on understanding and more easily navigating the Home Care Package system 1hr Free Care per week for anyone on the National Waitlist Book an initial free 15-min consultation with Home Care specialist Aged Care Guide Carer Gateway SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
In this episode, we interview Ayla Toyokawa, certified wedding planner and founder of WedSites, about the key steps in planning a wedding. About Ayla Ayla Toyokawa is a certified wedding planner and founder of WedSites, an all-in-one project management platform designed for collaboration and streamlining the wedding planning process for modern couples. There are two types of life admin: Everyday life admin - occurs cyclically or seasonally - daily, weekly, monthly, annually Life event admin - occasional life events that trigger life admin. If your everyday life admin isn't humming then dealing with a major life event can tip you into overdrive. Weddings have always been a significant life event for people to manage and in the last two years since the pandemic kicked off, planning a wedding takes Olympic-level administration skills. In addition, some life events like getting married have an ongoing impact on your life admin and in our survey 27% of you identified planning a wedding as generating a significant amount of life admin so we thought we should talk with an expert. We discuss: setting a budget and vision for the day selecting a date and contemplating a weekday wedding to save money - in particular because there have been so many weddings delayed over the past two years booking a venue as a key first item as it is likely to be one of the biggest expenses. booking a photographer, videographer and wedding planner with enough lead time that the average couple will spend 200-300 hours planning their wedding selecting a dress which can take 6-9 months to be made or 4 months even if purchased in store the overwhelm of so many options and the risk of the comparison trap that the pandemic has reduced the expectation to have a large wedding being prepared to have a Plan B - like reducing guest numbers or changing the date having a wedding website - to provide all the information for guests that can change as things evolve using the RSVP process to collect guest information including dietary requirements, assistance with transportation to the venue, song requests, choice of plated meals, travel plans for overseas guests, RSVP to additional events using checklists to remember important tasks - checklists that might be helpful include wedding planning checklist, checklist for photographer of photos you want, questions for venue, packing checklist for the actual wedding day using checklists to help share the load with your partner and other members of the bridal party and family members wedding planning is a marathon so take breaks you as you need plan a regular time when you will talk with your partner about wedding planning. We also talk about the admin tasks that need to be done after the wedding including: thank-you notes for guests and gifts cleaning and/or selling wedding dress sharing photos with family members changing your name on all legal documents if you choose to change your name combining your finances if you choose to do that. keeping your marriage certificate in a secure place. RESOURCES Wedsites Webistes - blog post with wedding planning checklist SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
There are challenges to life admin but they’re not what you think they are. In this episode, Mia and Dinah dispel the most common myths they hear that people tell themselves when it comes to life admin. We’ve been talking to people about their life admin for the last 4 years: one-on-one with friends and coaching clients, in corporate presentations that we give, and when we’re running workshops with groups. We hear the same myths mentioned again and again when it comes to streamlining life admin. It just takes willpower Willpower is about self-control, emotional regulation, being mindful to respond rather than react and make intentional choices Research has shown that willpower is finite, that it is depleted by self-control tasks during the day. So if you’ve had a day where you’ve had to exercise willpower to avoid certain things or to do certain things, then by evening you’re more likely to succumb to things you want to avoid. If you’re relying on willpower to get on top of life admin then doing anything in the evening is likely not going to happen as your willpower is too depleted. Mia and Dinah recommend: scheduling your Hour of Power for the morning or lunchtime making your important decisions during high-willpower moments. However, willpower is only required when a task or decision is hard. As you build your life admin skills and set up your environment to make things easier, then you won’t need to draw on willpower. The tasks won’t demand you to control your emotions and you won't feel that you're forcing yourself to do something unpleasant. It just takes more motivation Motivation is a reason for acting or behaving in a particular way. Mia and Dinah discuss the benefits of linking the time dedicated to life admin to your goals and values, so you can see the bigger picture. You need to reflect and ask yourself what it's costing you not to have this sorted and anchor the activities to what is important to you. They also discuss how they based each chapter of their book to support behaviour change based on the habit model from BJ Fogg’s book Tiny Habits - Behaviour = Motivation x Ability x Trigger (B = M x T) If you maximise your ability to do life admin, and are aware of the relevant triggers for certain life admin tasks, then you don't need to draw on a huge amount of motivation to get it done. Focus more on mastering skills and you won't have to summons motivation to do life admin tasks. I know how to do it well Most people overestimate their ability with respect to life admin. However, if you ask people when is the best time to do certain life admin tasks or the steps involved or the criteria you should focus on, they struggle to respond. Investing time in learning shortcuts, decision making criteria, better apps, better websites to consult, means you increase your ability and it's easier to make behaviour changes when it feels easy. I just need more time Pandemic lockdowns taught us that even given more spare time due to no commutes, no social lives, no extracurricular activities, not everyone tied up all the loose ends in their lives. Most people try to do life admin in an ad hoc way with no dedicated time slot You need to ruthlessly prioritise, delegate, share, and outsource and schedule a regular Hour of Power to make the time for tasks that require you to concentrate. This means you have less admin to do, are focused on valuable life admin tasks, and have a dedicate time slot to do it within where you can get in a flow state and achieve more. My paper system is ok If you are single and live alone and don’t need to consult with anyone about your time or need to share tasks then, paper systems are ok. However, if you continue with paper you are likely to play the CEO of your household and carry the mental load that goes along with that The key benefits of digital tools for to-do lists, calendar, passwords are: accessible from anywhere via your phone ability to file in one click from email to cloud storage shareable - others can contribute and provides transparency backed up in cloud reduces clutter environmentally friendly. RESOURCES BJ Fogg’s - Tiny Habits James Clear - Atomic Habits SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
About Christie Flora Christie Flora is the owner of florandorder, she’s a Time Trainer and Goal Strategist and she’s the one overwhelmed professionals turn to when they want to ‘do life differently’. Christie’s strategies around time management, combined with her heart-centered and gentle approach keeps her clients on track to accomplishing their goals and seeing their calendars reflect their best life. Christie believes that focus, planning and inner stillness create efficiency and purpose-led action. This is the basis of her coaching programs and the content and resources she creates. Getting your life admin under control isn’t just about time management but it's certainly an essential skill to hone if you want to streamline your approach. We’re big fans of time boxing life admin tasks, where you set yourself a time limit, do what you can, and then stop. We’re also advocates for aligning your life admin with meaningful goals, scheduling tasks in a calendar and using to-do lists so you’re working on your priorities rather than red herrings. Making the most of your time is a quest for the ages, so in this episode, we talked to time management expert Christie Flora to expand our thinking about the dimensions of time management. The highlights of our chat include: the way we live our lives is changing and we are changing time as we work more flexibly and remotely time management is not a one-size-fits-all solution and your approach needs to adapt over time based on the chapter of your life time management is actually about accommodating your energy and attention, recognising that you have different energy levels on different days and at different times of the day everyone has a unique relationship with and perception of time observing yourself when you are procrastinating or distracted to break down your habits and create new habits undertaking a time audit for two weeks: using a reminder on your phone or using a digital time tracker to help you diagnose your time management challenges how setting goals helps you manage your time with intention how our values can guide what we focus on and are the basis of our goals the difference between productivity (getting the right things done) and efficiency( getting things done with the least amount of effort) getting out of the “busyness” competition thinking of your calendar as your best friend and having a shared family calendar to manage family logistics to-do lists are a capture tool and if tasks will take longer than 10 minutes they should be included in your calendar scheduling an Hour of Power in your calendar for chunky life admin tasks scheduling planning time to review your calendar. RESOURCES Nir Eyal - Indistractable Make Time Flor & Order - Christie’s website Laura Vanderkam Screentime for iPhone Toggl - time tracker Rescue Time Episode 1 - Setting up a Shared Family Calendar Episode 5 - Scheduling the Inevitable, the Inspirational and an Hour of Power James Clear - Atomic Habits Chris Bailey - Productivity Project Kate Northrup - Do Less Alisa Vitti - In the Flo List of values SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
In this episode, we talk about planning and making time for managing the clothes, accessories and shoes for you and your family. Keeping you and your family clothed might not automatically come to mind as life admin but it most certainly is. The shopping, storing, and eventual decluttering of our clothes, accessories and shoes doesn’t happen by itself - someone has to plan for it and make time for it. Depending on your relationship with fashion and shopping, these tasks can be guilty pleasures, a proud part of your identity, or a relentless chore. So we turned to stylist Lisa Stockman to get all her top hacks. About Lisa Stockman Lisa Stockman was born in Australia, and in her twenties lived in Italy and Japan. She studied a Master of Professional Styling at the Australian Style Institute and worked in the fashion industry both as a stylist and boutique owner for over 15 years and held global training roles in the retail sector. Her personal styling career began over a decade ago as a side hustle while owning a clothing boutique in Melbourne. Today, she is Personal Stylist to a diverse range of clients and specializes in working with people who are experiencing life-changing events such as gaining a job, getting divorced, beginning to date, post-surgery, post-baby, or getting ready for an event of a lifetime such as a wedding or anniversary. In this fun-filled chat we discuss: that most people don’t have a strategy for managing their wardrobe, often leading them to wearing 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time, and buying multiple copies of similar items that you should think about how you want to feel in your clothes - consider writing down three words to keep in mind when shopping and decluttering most wardrobes don’t have the basics you need to make sure your wardrobe considers your lifestyle and how you spend your 7 days each week - for many people this has changed considerably and yet their wardrobe has not kept up for each item you buy consider what three items you already own you can wear this with - how can you 'outfit it' fashion maths - consider how often you will wear something (cost per wear) spending money on buying quality clothes that you will wear most of the time the risk of buying items on sale - just because they are cheap researching online to find outfits you like and then using this as inspiration of where to shop scheduling time to go shopping and try things on rather than buy things in a rush culling your wardrobe - consider how long since you have worn something and letting go of the guilt that you spent money on clothes organising your wardrobe in sections (ie pants, tops, dresses) and then by colours so it makes it easier to visualise what you have - if you can’t see it you won't wear it swapping over your wardrobe at the end of summer/winter the importance of keeping on top of decluttering your kids wardrobes teaching your kids to look after their clothes, that they should only have the clothes they need - working with them at the end of each season to identify what no longer fits them having a system to manage hand me downs for your children storing your clothes to protect them and treating your wardrobe like it is your fashion collection - use wooden or felt hangers and trousers on clip hangers, fold knitwear selling clothes on facebook marketplace or in groups and selling kids clothes in bundles or as outfits setting up systems to make it easy to sell or declutter so that items don’t languish around your homes consider, dying, tailoring or upcycling clothes and handbags RESOURCES Instagram - Lisa Stockman (@lisastockmansylist) Lisa stockman website Facebook Marketplace Dress for Success Uniqlo - clothes recycling Zara - clothes recycling H&M - clothes recycling Country road - clothes recycling SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
There are more than three million homes across Australia that have rooftop solar, but with installation costs in the thousands, it can be difficult to figure out if it makes sense for you. This ep gives you all the shortcuts to figure it out, including how to optimise your investment if you already have a system. The first thing Mia and Dinah discuss is that if you are thinking about getting solar, get clear on why you are considering it. Is it an economic decision only or for the environmental impact or for some other reasons? It's also important to do some basic research about solar so you know what you should consider. Dinah recommends using the Clean Energy Councils’s solar buying guide to get some basic understanding (Link in Resources below). Understanding if your house has the appropriate conditions - north facing and slope of the roof - is important to know. Understand your energy consumption - as this is the main source of savings as feed-in tariffs are much lower than they used to be. Know yourself - will you be willing to change your energy patterns to make the most of your system? Think about how long you are planning to stay in your home to take into account as part of your investment decision. How are you going to fund the purchase and what other costs will there be? Once you have decided to explore it, get a couple of quotes to compare. You can use a service like Solar Quotes to get a number of quotes from providers that are accredited by the Clean Energy Council. Providers will also help you with rebates available to support the system purchase. The things the quotes should include are: a site-specific system design (which takes into account shade at different times of the year) a performance estimate an itemised list of components/products a clear breakdown of costs, including the total value of any discounts or rebates warranty (including STC snd state-based rebates) full terms and conditions of sale. The providers will provide a return on investment calculation but make sure you think about: the time horizon - do you plan to live in the house for that time period? will your energy consumption patterns change? what other costs will there be (eg buying more roof tiles)? what else you would do with the money? You may also wish to consider a battery, however, for most people, this doesn’t make economic sense and fewer than 10% of new installations include a battery. The costs start around $4k plus installation costs. You need to consider the same factors and you need to make sure the battery can be fully charged from your solar panels even in winter. In addition, for most people, the time to make a return is longer than the warranty period, so this is probably not something to do for purely economic reasons. For both solar PV and batteries, those that make the best returns are those that are willing to change their behaviour by downloading the apps and optimising your usage. If you already have solar, it's important to understand the feed-in tariff and the implications when choosing an electricity provider and a plan. The feed-in tariffs have been falling across the board in the past few years. The higher the solar feed-in tariff (i.e. what you get for ‘exporting’ power), the lower the discount on electricity the household draws from the grid (i.e. what you pay for ‘importing’ power). In order to secure the highest solar feed-in tariff, you will need to choose the plan that offers the lowest discount on electricity imported from the grid. This means that if you usually export a lot of power to the grid, you should go for the highest feed-in tariff. If you end up using most of the power your system generates and only export a little bit on occasion, you should go for the highest discount. For comparison shopping, Canstar seems to have the most comprehensive list of the feed-in tariffs on offer by the various retailers in each state (make sure you scroll to the bottom past the promoted results and you’ll see the complete lists for each state). You can also use the government comparison sites but they are a bit confusing when it comes to taking into account the feed-in tariff and therefore their results may be a bit hard to understand. RESOURCES Clean Energy Council - Solar Buying Guide Solar Quotes - get 3 quotes on a PV system Energy.gov.au - Available rebates Canstar - compare feed-in tariffs SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta, or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions, or suggestions.
If you’re looking for the motivation, apps, and process to get your digital photos sorted once and for all, this ep where we interview Carly Michael is for you. About Carly Michael Carly Michael has spent her whole life surrounded by photos having grown up in her family's camera store - Michaels Camera Video and Digital in Melbourne's CBD. When covid hit, the family decided to close the store so she took the opportunity to become a professional photo organiser - something she had developed a passion for during her time managing the family's photo lab. She now spends her days organising both physical and digital photos, helping people get back in control of their photo mess! Digital photos made the top five life admin pain points in our 2021 community survey and while Dinah has had her photos sorted for some time until we recorded this ep Mia felt like there would never be enough time or motivation in the world for her to get her photos into a format that other people can actually access and enjoy. After the interview Mia downloaded the apps suggested, they did their magic, and her photos are finally organised. Carly starts the interview by talking about her background and how she became interested in the digital dark age. The digital dark age is a concern that, as technology advances, we will lose access to photos and other data as our current media (including hard drives and USBs) are not designed to last. Mia and Carly discuss how setting yourself a deadline and having a photo project as a goal will give you the motivation Carly discussed the key characteristics of an organised photosystem being: organised - chronologically is the easiest centralised accessible - ideally on your phone backed up (consider the 3-2-1 system - 3 copies of your photos, stored in 2 locations with 1 of those being off site) Carly discusses the risks around cloud storage (eg Google's recent change to its terms and conditions that states If you're inactive for two years Google may delete the content. She also discusses the importance of distinguishing between a back-up and a sync. The key steps to get your photos organised are: Gather - Make a list of all your photos (including on devices and in the cloud)and gather them into one physical location Centralise - Put all your digital photos into a central hub - ideally using a hard drive. If you have issues extracting photos consider using Dropbox. It is also useful as a backup Back Up - Carly recommends using BackBlaze Deduplicate - Get rid of duplicates - Carly recommends using Photosweeper for a Mac and Duplicate Cleaner Pro for a PC Organise your photos (folderise them) - Carly recommends using Big Mean Folder Machine for Macs and Photomove for PC. If you run into issues with dates you can use Adobe Bridge to assist with finding the original dates Maintain - consider using dropbox to make a backup of your photos from your phone (not a sync) until you reorganise them. Then create a habit (perhaps by pairing with another regular task) to make sure you oragnise your folders on a regular basis. Also consider changing your behaviour to curate your collection as you go. Adopt the same mindset as you had when you took photos with film. Carly also discusses scanning hardcopy photos - noting that if you are going to scan photos you want to scan once and to the quality you want. You can scan photos using your phone with apps such as photomyne, however, the quality will be limited. She notes that if you are going to scan you want to organise as you scan. Carly also recommends changing your photo setting on your iPhone from HEIC to JPG and not using the Live feature. RESOURCES PhotoGenie - Digital Reset Service Back Blaze - Backup service Photosweeper - to deduplicate photos on a Mac Duplicate Cleaner Pro - to deduplicate photos on a PC Big Mean Photo Machine - to organise photos on a Mac Photomove - to organise photos on a PC Adobe Bridge Dropbox Camera upload Photomyne - app to scan photos from your phone SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
It is important to have a mental model of what life admin is in order to be able to approach it in a more systematic way Mia and Dinah start the episode by discussing how: for most people, life admin is a blurry amorphous bundle of tasks - and with no mental model of the different categories and types of tasks is can be difficult to approach or share the tasks in a systematic way their definition of Life admin - that it is not housework or parenting but it often overlaps; housework is defined as cooking, cleaning and laundry, parenting is about child-rearing and supports the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of your child; life admin is the third piece of the domestic labour puzzle - it includes the scheduling, booking, shopping, paperwork, and planning that often facilitates housework and parenting tasks, but also has its own areas of responsibility. life admin is often conflated with housework and parenting and that can be problematic because it can become hidden which is a big issue as life admin generates a significant portion of the mental load life admin often gets more complex and time-consuming at the precise time you have less time to manage it - particularly having children generates a significant amount of life admin their recent survey of more than 300 Australians revealed that the average Australian does almost 500 life admin tasks each year parents grapple with 33% more life admin tasks than households without dependents 37% of people do life admin tasks for a parent or adult relative most people think the reason their life admin is out of control is their lack of motivation and/or time - but usually, the problem is not having the know-how or system and/or the lack of a scheduled time to do life admin They discuss the cost of not having your life admin in control including: spending more time than is necessary on it wasting money - it has been estimated that Australians are paying more than $11 billion in ‘loyalty tax’ by not shopping around. cognitive load - stress, anxiety, overwhelm - worrying, scared of forgetting, monkey mind, brain chatter. relationship friction - their survey showed that life admin causes friction in 85% of two-parent households Mia and Dinah describe their framework for life admin: that there are two types of life admin - everyday life admin that occurs cyclically or seasonally and event-based life admin (eg getting married) that there are four categories of life admin and that these can help you prioritise and determine how you will share them in your household household operations eg meal planning, decluttering, paying bills personal affairs such as tax, super, other investments wills and health checks comparison shopping for plans and policies leisure and social planning eg holidays, Xmas, social life, kids extracurricular think about life admin tasks by how much time is required to get them done - Hour of Power - recurring slot in the schedule for chunky life admin tasks 2 Minutes Too Easy - tasks to complete as they arise 10 Minute Time Killer - tasks to complete in idle time - include them in a to-do list SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
It's hard to keep up with best practices for technology and the latest apps, so in this episode we chat to expert Lynette Coulston to get her tips on essential digital life admin tools. About Lynette Coulston Lynette Coulston had a 30+ year career in software development and IT but in 2012 she left that all behind to create iTandCoffee, a business focussed on offering technology support and education to residents of her local area, through relaxed, social gatherings and individualised support - where technology topics could be discussed and explained in a friendly, understanding environment, over a cuppa! Over the years this has extended to include support and training for those in small business, for parents struggling to manage the family’s technology, for those returning to the workforce or study, and for those who just want to better understand how their technology can help them manage their day-to-day life. This episode is full of practical tips and recommendations including: the importance of having a digital filing system and understanding where your files are saved - this is important to teach kids too! using inbuilt functionality on your computer (eg Time Machine for a Mac) to make sure you backup your files using apps like Reminders to remind you of important life admin tasks making the most of Voice Assistants to add reminders on the go (Siri or Google Assistant) selecting a calendar app that works best for you - Lynette uses Fantastical and WeekCal when you are helping others with their technology ask them to read to you what they see on the screen or use the share screen feature in programs like Zoom setting up parental controls like Screen Time before you give children a device setting up a home router that can restrict internet access for each device to supplement parental controls making sure you have good scanning apps on your phone to scan straighten, crop, clarify documents - Lynette recommends Scannable, Office Lens, Adobe Fill & Sign and Photomyne making sure you have strong and different passwords to reduce the risk of phishing, Lynette recommends using a password manager (Last Pass, One Password, Dashlane) or a secure note. We also discuss the curve of forgetting and how people can become easily frustrated when trying to use technology, particularly when they compare themselves to others. Lynette discusses the curve of forgetting and that it will be difficult to retain how to use technology unless you use it on a regular basis. RESOURCES IT and Coffee - Lynette’s support and training business Time Machine - for backing up Apple computers Siri Voice Assistant Reminders App Fantastical Calendar App WeekCal - iPhone App Setting up screentime on an iPad/iPhone Parental control routers Scanning Apps - Scannable by Evernote, Office lens, Photomyne photo scanning app, Adobe - Fill and sign Have I been pwned? - check you credentials for data breaches Password Managers - Last Pass, One Password, Dashlane The curve of forgetting - how information is lost over time when there is no attempt to retain it. Episode 2 Going paperless - cloud storage Episode 4 - Mastering To Do Lists Episode 3 Managing passwords and form filling data SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
This episode explores why transitions can be stressful, the key tools and processes you need to have humming to support daycare and school admin, and Mia and Dinah's top hacks for saving time, money and sharing the load. Mia and Dinah reveal that in a survey they conducted earlier this year, one in three respondents reported that their child starting at daycare or school generated a significant amount of life admin. Mia discusses how transitions, particularly when starting at a new daycare or school, can be hard for both parents and kids because we are letting go of the familiar and need to adjust to new ways, people and routines. We are hard-wired to resist change and it can trigger a stress response. There can be a sense of loss of what was, wishing things could stay the same and perhaps some fear and anxiety about what’s to come. Transitions are also an opportunity to lean on our strengths, reach a new equilibrium and bring a sense of renewal and growth. We can let go of old beliefs and assumptions with excitement and enthusiasm. Given the potential emotion of the transition to a new daycare or school, ensuring your life admin is sorted is a tangible way you can make the change easier and reduce the stress for everyone. Dinah discusses the key foundational life admin systems to have in place to make the transition easier: Have one central dedicated shared document or checklist for you and your partner to store all the information, to-dos or discussion points with your partner and child. It's important to get all that detail out of your head to reduce your mental load. Set up a folder in your cloud storage to file all documents related to the daycare or school when you enrol, so that you can file as you go, making filing a Two Minutes Too Easy task Use a shared life admin email address so all school communication can go there, and agree on a system for sharing the management of this inbox with your partner. Ensure your password manager is installed across all your devices, so you can easily store the multiple passwords needed for school portals, uniform and book ordering etc. Add frequently used form filling data to your password manager once so you can speed up the process of the endless form-filling. Set up informal communication networks like a WhatsApp group with other parents. Plan any traditions that are important to you (eg photo on the first day) so that you don't forget and it is calm and intentional, rather than rushed and last minute. Consider the costs of a new school, such as fees, uniforms, books, technology, excursions and camps, so you can budget in advance and plan ahead if you prefer to buy second hand. Mia talks about morning and evening routines, considering which things will change and what will stay the same. Some continuity is reassuring. You can preview what the new routine will look like by replicating the new schedule ahead of time as practice. In terms of daycare transitions, particular life admin tasks to consider are: putting your child on the waiting list which may be more than one year in advance filling in enrolment forms including information about your child’s wellbeing such as sleeping patterns, emotional and social preferences, family circumstances and comfort items proof of immunisation status - download a PDF from MyGov and consult GP if need catch -up vaccinations procuring a second copy of your child’s comfort item in case it gets misplaced at daycare applying for child care benefits via Centrelink getting a Working with Children Check if you want to volunteer or spend time in the daycare dress code & wardrobe - you might need to do some shopping adding the new schedule and any key dates like centre closures to your family calendar including orientation dates adding everyone who might potentially collect your child as authorised contacts borrowing or buying picture books about the transition to share with your child ahead of time ordering personalised labels and labelling belongings creating a checklist for what needs to be packed in the daycare bag adding passwords for sign-in apps and parent portals to your password manager. In terms of primary school transitions, make time for life admin tasks such as: selecting the school based on what is important to you having all the paperwork you need for the enrolment form fostering friendships with children going to the same school planning for daily lunchboxes (particularly if your daycare has provided food), Mia created a lunchbox matrix, Dinah made lunches the night before practice how long it takes to get to school: walking/biking/driving beforehand consider making time to explore the school grounds and showing your child the options of where they will be collected and where after school care is held get feedback from your informal networks of other parents about what uniform items are actually essential and how strict the school is about uniform compliance explore what the second-hand uniform options are so you know where to buy and sell make sure you have two sun hats (a spare) as this is usually a compulsory item to play outisde during sunny school terms consider having your surname only on any personalised name labels you order, so all your children can use the same labels buy school shoes in advance so you can get the style/size you want and there is enough time to wear them in. In terms of secondary school transitions, prioritise these life admin tasks: you need to enrol by April/May of the final year of primary school or many years in advance for independent schools with longer waiting lists start planning for the new transport arrangements - consider scheduling in some practive runs ahead of time consider how homework will work - where they will do homework and what their afternoons will look like if there are more pieces of uniform, work with your child to set up a system so they can remember what uniform items to take on which days consider having an adult at home in the afternoons for the first few weeks of high school to check in with your child allow time to assist them with their technology set up and help them safely store their passwords consider when you will give your child a mobile phone - this might be something you want to do several months in advance find out the options for school canteen and cafes - they might need a debit card or an account to purchase items. RESOURCES Episode 4 - Mastering To-Do Lists Episode 3 Managing passwords and form filling data Episode 2 Going paperless - cloud storage Episode 52 - An Hour of Power and the Monthly Momentum Meeting - Two Minutes Too Easy Task Raising Children - Starting Childcare Raising Children - Choosing, Starting or Moving Schools Raising Children - Starting Secondary School SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
In this episode, we interview Tina Paterson, remote working and productivity expert, about burnout and how to avoid the ultimate level of exhaustion. About Tina Paterson Tina Paterson has worked across nine industries and 12 countries over the past 20+ years. She has led large departments, governed billions of dollars of assets and her teams have delivered Transformation Programs and Projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars. She has achieved all this while raising two kids with her husband James, running marathons, raising a million dollars for charity and taking 3-month sabbaticals every 5 years with her family. Following her own story of burnout (where she ended up in the local Emergency Department due to being at work with pneumonia), she now partners with large organisations to help their leaders embed the strategies she has learned, lives and breathes. What we talk about During the interview, we chat about: what burnout is - a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress Tina’s story of burnout and how it slowly crept up on her that people often abandon their self-care right at the time they need it the most how Tina’s burnout was the impetus to do things differently that the mental load of parenting and household management contributed to her burnout that reducing the number of decisions she has to make is an important contributor to relieving the mental load how she relies on friends to make recommendations about what to buy to save herself the time to do the research that 'being busy' is not a badge of honour that doing a time audit of your 168 hours per week can help you consciously see what you are spending time on and how you can swap your hours to activities more in line with what is important to you that it’s common to get out of touch with what’s actually fun for you setting up your environment to make the things you enjoy easier to do how Tina shares the load with her husband and kids - by having a regular family meeting and agreeing who owns what and ensuring end to end accountability how watching Teenage Boss inspired Tina and her husband to put their kids in control of the family budget for a month to provide a real lesson in the value of money how she has a chart to help navigate what fruit and vegetables her kids enjoy to simplify family dinnertime. RESOURCES Tina Paterson’s website Tina Paterson on LinkedIn Time to Breathe : Navigating Life and Work for Energy, Success and Happiness, Dr Bill Micthell 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, Laura Vanderkam Teenage Boss Money Brilliant App SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
We chatted with parenting expert Michael Grose about how we can get our kids to contribute more, relieve the life admin burden and grow up to be efficient at their own life admin. Michael Grose, the founder of Parenting Ideas, is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators, informing and inspiring audiences in Australia and around the world for more than 20 years. Micheal is a former primary school teacher with 15 years of experience. He holds a Master of Educational Studies specialising in parenting education and is the father of three children He is a bestselling author of 12 books for parents including Spoonfed Generation, Thriving!, Anxious Kids and his latest re-release Why First Borns Rule the World and Later Borns Want to Change It. Michael has had parenting segments on The Project, The Today Show, Weekend Sunrise, ABC radio and more. He has contributed to Huff Post, Kidspot and Mamamia, and is a former columnist with both News Ltd and Fairfax newspapers. What we talk about Our recent survey of over 300 Australians revealed that parents do 33% more life admin than those without kids, and they are twice as likely to struggle for time. During the interview, we chat with Michael about: how parents often underestimate what their kids can do by up to three years that we should never regularly do for our kids what they are capable of doing for themselves that kids want more autonomy and independence that as family sizes have shrunk we know more about each of our children, and so we give them less space to become more independent being aware of developing independence and providing small opportunities for kids to feel and be useful starting where your kids are at and pushing them along over time developing a 'junior version of the game' (eg like Auskick for AFL) for life admin and housework and setting the standards based on their age and stage that we need to not rescue kids so they can learn from their experience accepting what kids do as a reasonable standard if they have tried their best that pocket money is a great way to increase autonomy and independence and you can start from age 5 deciding what your benchmark will be in your family for handing over responsibility for a task (eg when they make their own lunch) thinking about sharing the 'jobs and the joy' and wealth within your family using a roster to allocate chores to create the sense that the roster is creating the “ask” rather than the parents when kids start asking for more independence we can look at ways that we can make it happen by giving them the skills they need to do at least part of the task pets are great to teach kids what it is like to have someone else reliant on them thinking less about the amount of time that kids are spending on screens and more on what they are consuming and what the opportunity cost is (what else could they be doing) teenagers need parents who will challenge them that gender and birth order can create different expectations girls are often more organised at a younger age and boys may need more coaching, due to the way the brain develops differently between the genders firstborns tend to be more detail-orientated and introverted there are three aspects to consider when parenting - a child's genetics & temperament, birth order and the family frame that sets the landscape for everything else. Resources Parenting Ideas website Michael’s books Dr Kristy Goodwin - Michael Grose's collaborator and colleague Share Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions with us.
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