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Take an “Administrative Day” So You Can Focus the Rest of the Week

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.