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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.

Neil: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute

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B1 UK admin rob life elizabeth list aka

What's on your 'to-do' list? Add listening to 6 Minute English to it

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    odo1025q posted on 2019/03/27
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