File Your Inbox
An easy place to start – and an essential step to make WFH life that much more streamlined – now is the ideal time to file your inbox to try and reach zero. Tech experts at Inc.com swear by the FAST system: once you read it, decide whether to File it, Assign it to someone, Store (or Scan) for future reference, or Trash it. Also go through what’s currently sitting there and assign a ‘Junk’ filter to divert anything which warrants it. When it comes to setting up files, make sure they’re as personal to you as possible – it means you’re far more likely to use them – and schedule a weekly or monthly review of those files to eliminate anything which is no longer useful. If you’re a Gmail user, you can even colour code the files or ‘labels’ to give any ‘live’ emails sat in your inbox some sense of order, too. Remember to empty your inbox as your first order of business and your last task of the day. It helps prepare a potential to-do list for tomorrow and provides a sense of accomplishment.
Unsubscribe, Unsubscribe, Unsubscribe
After filing your inbox, consider which emails on your personal account you want to permanently unsubscribe from. You can install Gmail Unsubscribe as a Google script – and because the script lives entirely on your Google account, no third parties have access to your data while using it, unlike other popular services. Just click this link to copy the script to your Google Drive account. Click ‘Make a Copy’ and you’ll be brought to the spreadsheet in your Google Drive. Click the ‘Gmail Unsubscriber’ button, then click ‘Configure.’ You’ll be asked to authorise the spreadsheet to access your Gmail account, and when you do, you’ll be asked to name a label for emails you’d like to unsubscribe from. Head to Gmail and create a label with the same name you specified to the spreadsheet. To unsubscribe from emails, simply apply the label to any newsletter you don’t want to keep getting – the unsubscribe link will be automatically clicked, and a note will be left on the spreadsheet. Still not sure? Follow this step-by-step guide.
Send All Bills Digital
If you’ve been living in one property for some time, it’s possible some of your household bills – think electricity, gas, water – are still posted in hard copy. Now’s the time to log on and switch up your accounts so that everything is digital and payable at the click of a button. Direct debit is usually the cheapest way to pay, so think about whether it’s worth setting up a second bank account (you can also do this online with your current provider) from which bills get paid. Then, each month, all you need to do is transfer the total amount for suppliers to charge you individually.
Clean Out Your Direct Debits & App Subscriptions
With more time on our hands, it’s time to sort through the list of direct debits on your bank account. In fact, it was estimated in 2014 that the UK wastes more than £14bn each year in unnecessary direct debit charges – around £70 per month on average per person. We’re not talking important stuff like mortgage payments or utility bills, but the little bits and pieces you might think you could do without – think magazine subscriptions you can never keep up with, gym memberships you aren’t using or mobile phone insurance you’re bound not to take up. Given the current situation, it might even be worth chatting to your travel or car insurance provider to see if you could pause or cancel your policy without penalty. A clear example of unnecessary direct debits, app subscriptions deserve proper attention. Whether its photo-editing apps or recipe platforms – if you’re not using it, get rid of it. Not sure how? Follow this handy guide.
Create A Password/Login Database
With so many apps, websites and platforms demanding original usernames and passwords, it can be hard committing them all to memory. With that in mind, consider setting up a secure database with all the info you need. We recommend Google Sheets for this – the format is incredibly similar to the Microsoft version, and you can encrypt it with just a couple of clicks. To secure the document, select ‘Protect File, Encrypt File’. You will be asked to enter a password (the only one you will have to remember!). Once done, this will scramble the content in each cell in the document, so nobody can read it without having the password you’ve set. Still not confident? Read this.
Organise Your Spotify Playlists
Whether it’s for your daily run or just for Sonos, it’s time to tidy up and get to grips with Spotify – or any other music streaming or purchasing apps for that matter. Start by assessing your existing playlists – do any of them need a refresh? Which do you never listen to? Are there any which aren’t downloaded but should be? With music platforms having grown exponentially over the last few years it can be difficult knowing whether you’re getting the most out of them. If you’re not sure, read this.
Set Up Online Prescriptions
Although this will depend on the services offered by your local GP surgery, the prospects for online prescriptions have never looked better given the current circumstances. That said, there is usually a choice to nominate a pharmacy or dispenser to dispense all your prescriptions. When you get a prescription, it will then be sent electronically to that dispenser. You can collect your medicines or appliances without having to hand in a paper prescription, or drop into your surgery to collect it first. For people on regular medication or looking to cut down on GP visits, this can prove especially useful. For more information, contact your registered GP or visit the NHS website here.
Finally, Four Extra Tips To Help You Keep On Top Of Life Admin…
Integrate your calendar with your email account
Never miss another Zoom meeting or call by making sure all appointments go straight into your phone. You’ll get a notification when you’ve got one coming up, and it’s also possible to integrate multiple calendars at once – so your professional and personal life can co-exist side by side.
Keep all your admin apps in one place
Create an app file on your phone full of your favourite life admin apps. That way, you can easily switch between them if you’re using more than one for a certain task.
Plan your week
Scheduling certain tasks into your week makes it far likelier you’ll complete them on time. Likewise, schedule time for recreation, exercise or catching up with friends and family.
When in doubt, put pen to paper
If you find it helps to physically crossing things off a to do list, it can still be highly satisfying and cathartic. Just be sure to keep your notes in order and up to date with any on your phone.
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