Life Admin: How I Learned to Do Less, Do Better, and Live More

Life Admin: How I Learned to Do Less, Do Better, and Live More

by Elizabeth F. Emens


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Reading this book should be at the top of your To Do list. Life Admin will give you many hours of your life back.
Every day an unseen form of labor creeps into our lives—stealing precious moments of free time, placing a strain on our schedules and our relationships, and earning neither appreciation nor compensation in return. This labor is life admin: the kind of secretarial and managerial work necessary to run a life and a household.
Elizabeth Emens was a working mother with two young children, swamped like so many of us, when she realized that this invisible labor was consuming her. Desperate to survive and to help others along the way, she conducted interviews and focus groups to gather favorite tips and tricks, admin confessions, and the secrets of admin-happy households.   
Life Admin
tackles the problem of admin in all its forms, from everyday tasks like scheduling doctors appointments and paying bills, to life-cycle events like planning a wedding, a birth, a funeral. Emens explores how this labor is created, how it affects our lives, and how we might avoid, reduce, and redistribute admin whenever possible—as individuals and as a society.
Life Admin is the book that will teach us all how to do less of it, and to do it better.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544557239
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 01/01/2019
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 152,619
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth F. Emens is Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law at Columbia Law School.  She earned her BA and JD from Yale, and her Ph.D. from King’s College Cambridge, where she studied as a Marshall Scholar.  She currently lives in New York City with her two children, after becoming a master of Divorce Admin.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Part I Admin Problems

1 What Is Admin? 3

2 The Costs of Admin, or Where's Your Head? 17

3 Admin Personalities, or Who Are You? 29

4 Who Does Admin?, or Is Admin for Girls? 44

5 Admin Is Sticky, or If Everybody's Doing It, How Come Some People Are Doing More of It? 55

Part II Admin Surprises

6 Admin That Can Wreck You 67

7 Admin That Can Fix You 82

8 Admin Judgments 96

9 Admin Pleasures 104

10 Admin to Win Friends and Influence People 114

Part III Admin Futures

11 Relationship Tips 129

12 Individual Strategies 155

13 Collective Possibilities 174

Epilogue 199

Note to the Reader 205

Acknowledgments 206

Appendix A Ideas to Try 210

Appendix B Admin Personalities Quiz 216

Notes 224

Index 251

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Life Admin: How I Learned to Do Less, Do Better, and Live More 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous 9 months ago
This book is a marvel. It beautifully blends life-changing conceptual insight with life-altering practical strategies. I understand my life better after reading it, and I have concrete plans on how to tackle previously unseen, unnamed, and underappreciated problems. As one person quoted by the author says, it’s like reading a book about air—but only if air hadn’t been discovered yet. Admin is all around us. It pervades our lives. Understanding that has already changed my marriage, and my professional relationships as well.
Anonymous 8 months ago
As a retired person "things that I need to do" fill my life..........and this book has helped me to put them in perspective............I am fascinated by the various "personality types" that we inhabit related to "getting things done". The book is clever, full of interesting stories and people's comments about how they handle the sometimes overwhelming life managing tasks. The time taken to absorb the ideas in this is well worth it because it reaps benefits in how I think about all this "stuff". I have ordered two more copies of the book to share. I need to keep mine!