Are you struggling to get your admin done?

Do you always feel behind in your reports, emails, progress notes and calls?

It’s an awful feeling when the work starts to pile up.

We start by feeling terrible, blaming ourselves and soon it’s so overwhelming that the procrastination and complete avoidance kicks in.

I understand because I have been in this exact position. 

In a recent session with a mentee, we were chatting about admin. She mentioned her experiences and wished she had asked a very important question.

Her question was, is it me or is it the environment?

I would go one further.

Is it me? The environment? Or type of task or process used to complete it?

So when the issue is you or me, then it’s because there is a breakdown in skills. This could be time management, planning, organisation, prioritisation etc. 

This would mean that regardless of whether you worked in a communal space, at home or in the world’s quietest, least distracting space, the issues would still be there. If this is the case, getting help to develop these skills is going to be necessary and vital.

If the issue is environmental, it means that when left alone and given the time and space, you can get it all done. Nothing is missed. Nothing is forgotten. But things fall apart when you are in a busy workplace with distractions, colleagues dropping in for a quick chat, or not enough blocks for admin. 

So if this is you, asking for modifications is essential. This could be a close-door policy with an ‘in workflow, don’t disturb’ sign, or the ability to change your hours to be in the office before/after others, or being able to book out a space that is quiet and distraction-free to work in or having bigger blocks of admin time built into your day or week. 

These simple changes will make a significant difference to your output and sense of accomplishment. 

Sometimes though, the issue is the type of admin task or process. I often speak about my dislike of report writing. This leads to me procrastinating a lot. What has helped is having a great template that works really well and a process that is quick, clean and efficient. 

If typing is slow for you, using speech-to-text could be a game changer. 

If you are finding that you are typing the same sentence, phrase or paragraph, using a text expander could save you so much time. 

Maybe your handwritten progress notes don’t need to be typed up and can simply be scanned in. 

Maybe you could dictate your reports and have admin type them out for you. 

By working out what is the issue with the task, you can generate a solution that is tailored to your needs. 

So if admin is getting you down, before you start blaming yourself and spiraling, check in and ask yourself; is it me, my environment, or the task itself that’s making it hard for me to do my job?