Unfortunately, the rest of life doesn’t stop when we have a new creative challenge or a project. Errands don’t stop. Friends and social lives don’t stop. Physical fitness and health don’t stop.

But we do have a choice in how we manage our time. We don’t have to let these tasks take our awareness away from our creative output. Author and professor Cal Newport shares a trick to handle all these administrative tasks while improving focus on work:

Choose one day a week to do nothing but accomplish small tasks. Your goal should be to finish every obligation for the week that can be accomplished in less than 20 minutes and/or does not require any serious thought. For a college student, these include:

  • Laundry
  • Phone calls
  • Cleaning
  • Getting your car washed
  • Filling out applications
  • Sending long or important e-mails
  • Paying bills
  • Writing blog posts
  • Catching up on your online reading
  • Handling any administrative work or planning for extracurricular clubs and related obligations

While spending an entire day on administrative tasks may seem like a waste, it ensures our ability to perform at our peak the other six days of the week. Taking a small step back on one day means being able to use the other six to make a giant leap forward.

  • Hyacinth

    Great idea! Soooo do I call in and take off from work? 🙂

  • Jen

    A friend and I had admin days when we were travelling in India. Unfortunately it took a long time just to buy train tickets then so we needed that time. Admin days were also regroup days.

  • http://www.cyclelove.net/ CycleLove

    “Can be accomplished in less than 20 minutes and/or does not require any serious thought.”

    What kind of blog posts are you writing?! Ones like this?

  • http://blog.relenta.com/ Dmitri Eroshenko @Relenta

    Get things out of the way. What a sound advice! Aside from getting things done so they don’t nag you in the back of your mind, this admin day off also has an intrinsic value of changing gears and coming back to the grind refreshed.

    We at Relenta have a weekly Library day to catch up on reading and research which we don’t have time for when we’re in the flow, and also to break the routine.

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