Tackle your to-do list and ease your worried mind

September 25, 2018

Research suggests we’re finding it harder to stay on top of our day-to-day lives and keep our paper-work in check. Here are a few ways to lighten the load.

At any given time, the average Australian adult has four urgent ‘life admin’ tasks to complete – but lack the time or willingness to tick them off the list.

A recent British study concluded that adults are saddled with 109 of these life tasks every year – including sorting out superannuation, filing a tax return, paying bills, even calling the internet provider or local council.

Yet, in this age of banking apps and online insurance, many of us feel busier than ever.

All work, no time

Dr Danielle Einstein, a clinical psychologist with positions at the University of Sydney and Macquarie University says our work culture could be to blame. “Today, people put more pressure on themselves during the workday than ever before,” Einstein says. “Culturally, we have become accustomed to directing the vast majority of our energy and effort into doing well at work, but we can only stretch ourselves so far.

“Often, what suffers is our life outside the office.”

Einstein says creating a regular time each day or week to address personal administrative tasks is a good step.

“It will help clear your pile of paperwork,” she says. “More significantly having systems in place and having a routine can also contribute to a general sense of wellbeing.”

Take stock

Another tactic is to conduct a one-off “life audit” as a way to reduce the ongoing burden of life admin. Is your superannuation spread across multiple employer funds, generating paperwork and reducing returns? It could be time to consolidate.

If you have a self-managed super fund, take the opportunity to brush up on the complex rules and requirements governing the sector. And as you do, keep in mind the threshold question: Is the burden of maintaining a self-managed fund really worth the theoretical return?

Shave and save

Personal debt can generate considerable paperwork, as well as stress. Australia’s household debt-to-income ratio has now hit 200% – one of the highest in the world – and research shows a direct link between money stress and poor mental health.

Ask your adviser

Your Mercer financial adviser can help you take steps to free yourself from debt that may be holding you back. Ask them about turning your attention from managing it to enjoying life without it. Book time to speak to your Mercer financial adviser: call 1300 850 580.

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