Basic UK 473 Folder Collection
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Neil: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute
English, I'm Neil. And joining me it's Rob.
Rob: Hello.
Neil: Now Rob, would you say you're
someone who is quite organised?
Rob: I'd like to think so.
Neil: What's the best way to organise everything?
Rob: You need a 'to-do' list - a list of all
the jobs you need to do that you can work
your way through.
Neil: That's a good idea and something
we can include in today's
discussion about life
admin. Admin is short for administration -
that describes the activities
and tasks you have
to do to make a business or organisation
run smoothly - but life admin
is administration you have to do
to make your day-to-day life run smoothly
- like doing housework, or paying
a bill. And the first thing on my 'to-do'
list is to ask you and the listeners,
a question.
Rob: Yes, you wouldn't want to forget that.
Neil: So, the website Hotels.com
commissioned some research about
how much time young adults
- that's millennials - spend doing
life admin. Do you know what
proportion of their free
time they spend doing life admin tasks?
Is it... a) a quarter of a day, b) a third of
a day, c) half a day?
Rob: Based on my personal experience,
I would say about a quarter of a day.
Neil: Well, we'll see if you're
the same as other people at
the end of the programme.
But as we all know, life admin
is necessary but it can be a bit of
a chore - a boring,
ordinary task you do regularly.
Rob: Experts have studied the subject
and looked at how we do it and
how we can make
it less boring. One of them is
Elizabeth Emens, Professor of Law
at Columbia University and
author of The Art of Life Admin.
Neil: She's been speaking to the
BBC Radio 4 programme, Woman's Hour,
and described what
she thought life admin is...
Elizabeth Emens: Life admin is the office
work of life, it's the invisible layer of
work that is the kind of thing that
managers and secretaries,
aka admins, do for pay in
the office but that everyone does in their
own lives for free.
Rob: She calls life admin the invisible
layer of work - so it's work, tasks
or chores we
carry out that people don't notice
we're doing - or don't realise we have
to do them it's
extra work in our life.
Neil: And we don't get paid for it - unless
we're at work when it is
the role of someone
to do it - such as secretaries or aka
admins - aka is short for 'also known as' -
so secretaries might also
be known as admins - that is short
for people who do administration.
Rob: Right, so we know life admin
is boring and we don't get paid for it -
and also, trying
to renew your house insurance or trying to
query a bill with a utility company can be
frustrating and feels like a waste of time.
A utility company by the way, is one that
supplies something such as electricity,
gas, or water to the public.
Neil: My problem is I never get round to
doing my life admin - there are
better things to do - so you
could say I procrastinate - I delay doing
things until later, probably because
I don't want to do them.
Rob: You are what Elizabeth classifies as
an 'admin avoider'. So this is
where my to-do list comes in handy, Neil.
You have a written record of tasks
that can be quite satisfying
to cross off as you do them. But this is
something Elizabeth Emen has found
to work, at least for some people.
Let's hear from her again. What type of
people did she find get most
satisfaction from completing a to-do list?
Elizabeth Emens: If you've ever made
a list and put things on it
you've already done,
just to cross them out, then you know the
kind of 'done it' pleasure that goes with
that. But actually I interviewed people,
especially the super-doers that
I interviewed, actually
can find real pleasure in the actual doing
of it - so trying to understand how we can
get to that when we have to do it - how we
can make it so that there is
some meaning in it
and some texture and there're ways
of doing it that please us.
Neil: So she was describing the
super-doers - these are the people
who love admin and would
spend an evening putting their book
collection into alphabetical order!
Rob: Elizabeth mentioned that we should
learn from the super-doers
and get some 'done it'
pleasure in doing our life admin. We need
to find a meaning for doing it - in other
words, what is represents - so we can see
the benefit of completing our to-do list.
Neil: How we find pleasure from doing life
admin is different for different people - so
personally, I think I'll stick with being
an 'admin avoider' - but that might explain
why I just got charged extra for not paying
my credit card bill on time!
Rob: Well please don't avoid giving us
the answer to the quiz question
you asked us earlier.
Neil: Yes. Earlier I asked, researchers,
commissioned by Hotels.com, polled
2,000 young professionals about their
lives. How much of their free time
do they spend doing life admin? Is it...
a) quarter of a day, b) a third of a day,
c) half a day?
Rob: And I said a) a quarter of a day.
Neil: Yes, they spend a quarter of their
days carrying out tasks like
doctor's appointments,
waiting in for packages to be delivered
and doing household chores. Boring!
Rob: Unlike this programme Neil, which
is not a chore - one of
the words we discussed today.
Neil: Yes, our vocabulary today included
chore - a boring, ordinary task
you do regularly.
Rob: We also mentioned admin, short
for administration - the activities
and tasks you have to do
make a business, organisation or
just your life, run smoothly.
Neil: We heard aka - meaning 'also known
as' - so for example, Rob aka
The master of 6 Minute English!
Rob: Thanks very much, Neil.
Next we heard utility company.
That's a company that supplies
something such as electricity, gas,
or water to the public. And we also
heard how Neil
likes to procrastinate - that's delay
doing things until later, probably
because he doesn't
want to do them.
Neil: Finally, we mentioned super-doers -
an informal term to describe
people who get satisfaction
out of doing life admin and do lots of it.
Rob: Like me.
Neil: Well, it's time to go now but there's
plenty more to discover on our website at
bbclearningenglish.com.
Goodbye for now.
Rob: Bye bye.
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473 Folder Collection
odo1025q published on March 27, 2019
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