Brits stressed by ‘out-of-control’ life admin

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 08:47 am

  • We spend eight days on life admin each year, but this still isn’t enough time to get through these tasks
  • Nevertheless, 44 per cent say they spend more time doing life admin than five years ago
  • Worryingly, 16 per cent have fallen behind on their financial obligations due to not spending enough time on their life admin, which is affecting their credit score

Our ‘life admin’ to-do lists are growing faster than we can work through them, leading to stress, guilt and even damaged finances.

Whether it’s doing DIY, making medical appointments, paying bills or taking pets to the vet – a new study by free-for-life credit report and score provider finds that we now need 10 days a year to work through all our life admin1.

And although half (44%) say they spend more time on it than five years ago, we are still falling short – spending only eight days in total each year. This means that many tasks are falling by the wayside.

The most neglected tasks include doing home maintenance (36%), checking your credit score (26%), organising social gatherings (20%) and making appointments to see your dentist or doctor (20%).2

And the consequences are contributing to the nation’s anxiety. One in five (20%) feel like their life admin is out of control and a third (32%) say it’s making them feel stressed. Millennials are particularly at risk, with over half (52%) feeling stressed because they are falling behind on these everyday tasks.

When it comes to finding the time to get these jobs done, 35 per cent are using free time, such as weekends and holidays. Even more concerning, a quarter of Britons (26%) are doing life admin at work. It’s therefore not surprising that 16 per cent would like to pay someone to do these tasks for them – taking away the strain of doing it in the week.

The research also finds that 16 per cent have fallen behind on their financial obligations due to not spending enough time on their life admin. And this is having wider repercussions on our financial health. 14 per cent say that not being on top of it has affected their credit score, potentially costing them more in interest payments when taking out personal loans and mortgages.

Jacqueline Dewey, Managing Director at said: “We live busy lives; juggling work, kids and life admin can be really difficult. It’s no surprise that so many of us struggle to keep on top of everything.

“However, as innocent as it can seem, not being on top of life admin can have consequences for our financial health. That’s why it’s so important to remember to check your credit report, at least once a month.

“By checking your credit report, you can keep track of your payments, check that information is correct and identify any potential fraud. It will also enable you to see any changes in your credit score over time – so you’re more clued up about the information a lender will use to consider you, should you make any future applications for things like a mortgage, credit card or loan.”

Here are Noddle’s top tips for staying on top of your life admin:

  1. Say no to procrastination: Make the decision to be productive. Try to work through a few life admin tasks before you settle down to watch TV or surf the web. By taking this approach you are much more likely to stay on top of your life admin.
  2. Short bursts of activity: We know that falling behind on your life admin can have repercussions for a whole host of things, including your finances. But no one said that you have to spend hours and hours all at once. Rather than letting the list build up, why not incorporate short bursts, say 15 minutes each day into your routine. Soon enough, you’ll have everything ticked off your list.
  3. Tracking progress and success: In the same way it’s important to keep track of your expenditure and manage a budget, it can be helpful to clearly note down all your life admin tasks. It will also help you track progress and give you a sense of satisfaction as you tick them off.
  4. Know your priorities: It can be tough to fit life admin tasks in alongside busy work and social schedules, so try to prioritise the most important. For example, checking your credit report may not seem like the most urgent task but it’s important to check it at least once a month. Regular checks can help you keep a track of your payments and also help you flag any potential fraud and identity theft. Access it for free at
  5. Follow this formula: To help you prioritise tasks more effectively you can split them into these four categories: 1. Those you must do today (urgent) 2. Quick wins (easy) 3. Complex and important (difficult) 4. Longer term tasks (non-urgent). By splitting the tasks into these four categories, you can ensure that you spread your focus across all the categories, rather than just the quick, easy ones.


Total Male   Female
Doing DIY/home maintenance 36 % 37 % 35 %
Checking my credit score 26 % 27 % 26 %
Organising social gatherings/and or parties 20 % 19 % 20 %
Making appointments (e.g. dentist, doctor, hairdresser etc) 20 % 16 % 24 %
Doing your dry cleaning 15 % 16 % 13 %
Returning unwanted online shopping orders 12 % 11 % 12 %
Booking a holiday 11 % 14 % 9 %
Managing finances (e.g. going to your local bank branch, online banking, telephone banking) 10 % 12 % 8 %
Taking your car in for a MOT/and or service at the garage 6 % 8 % 5 %
Paying bills (e.g. credit card, gas, electricity, Wi-Fi, rent, paying friends) 6 % 8 % 4 %
Taking your pets to the vets 6 % 7 % 5 %
None of the above 30 % 28 % 32 %
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