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Almost half the 1,000+ Australians recently surveyed said they felt overwhelmed by ‘life admin’ as personal and work pressures take hold, with 79% reporting struggling to keep up, to the point of needing help.

Research released this week by Airtasker has revealed the toll from pressures of everyday life, with 49% of Australians feeling overwhelmed by the volume of tasks on our personal to-do lists. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that 41% of us have admitted that we would be willing to pay nearly $98 a week (over $5k a year) to get help.

Between cleaning the house, making personal appointments, and everything else, the average Australian spends over eight hours a week ticking off their personal to-do list.

We’re also struggling to balance this with jobs. Australians are on average working an extra six hours in unpaid overtime per week, which has to be balanced with parenting and spending time with family and friends.

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COVID impacts

Life admin pressures have been further exacerbated by the pandemic. Just as Australians have been told that increased flexibility is giving us more time to tackle our to-do lists, 20% say they feel more pressure to keep on top of personal admin since spending more time at home.

But in reality, 79% are struggling with this, with just under half of those surveyed citing a lack of motivation (46%) with being too busy or having a lack of time (42%) as the main obstacles.

This is disproportionately affecting women, who are still carrying the lion’s share of the load. In fact, women are twice as likely to spend more than twenty hours a week completing life admin tasks. No wonder 54% say they feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks on their personal to-do list, compared to just 43% of men.

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Perfect storm?

Speaking on the research, Productivity and Time Management Expert Barbara Clifford (The Time Tamer) said, ‘The flow on effect from COVID has been change… and this brings extra work.

‘At the same time, working from home has increased the pressure to be “always on”, so we’re in a perfect storm where we not only have more to do in our personal lives, but feel a need to go above and beyond at work too,’ she said.

‘The thing about juggling so many tasks is that the more you throw in the air, the more you have to keep your eye on and the faster you need to move. The physical and mental energy is exhausting.’

56% of those surveyed agree that the volume of tasks on their to do list has caused them difficulty or stress. Not only that, but a quarter also say that this anxiety is actually holding them back from ticking off their to-do list, yet 20% feel like a failure if they aren’t able to do so.

Advising on how to gain back control, Ms Clifford advises that delegation is key to recovering time and control. Is there someone in your life already that can help or do you need to hire someone?

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A marketplace for tasks large and small

Speaking on the evolving demand for life admin help, Airtasker CEO Tim Fung said, ‘Between work, looking after our families, catching up with friends and looking after our mental health, it’s not too surprising that we’re feeling anxious about the number of extra tasks we’re expected to complete.

‘We’re really proud that Airtasker connects Aussies with people in their local community who can share their expert insights, skills and advice to help us tackle what can feel like a never-ending to-do list,’ he said.