Art of Life Admin
Elizabeth Emens

Book cover image

Narrated By: Elizabeth Emens

Duration: 6 hours and 47 minutes

What to expect

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Art of Life Admin, written and read by Elizabeth Emens.

This book will give you many hours of your life back.

Every day, an unseen form of labour creeps into our lives, stealing precious moments of free time, placing a strain on our schedules and relationships, and earning neither appreciation nor compensation in return. Scheduling doctor's appointments. Planning a party. Buying a present. Filling out paperwork. This labour is 'life admin' - the kind of secretarial and managerial work necessary to run a life and a household.

Elizabeth Emens was a working mother with two young children, swamped like so many of us, when she realised that life admin was consuming her. Desperate to survive and to help others along the way, she gathered favourite tips and tricks, admin confessions, and the secrets of admin-happy households.

Drawing on her research and writing in a wholly original manner, Emens shows how this form of labour is created and how it affects our lives; how we might reduce, redistribute and even prevent it; what 'admin personalities' we might have; and how to deal with admin in relationships.

The Art of Life Admin is the book that will teach us all how to do less of it, and to do it better.


Self-help, personal development & practical advice, Business innovation, Business strategy, Lifestyle & personal style guides, Family & relationships: advice & issues

Listen to a sample

This practical proven book shows you how to immediately take control of your life, clarify your goals and concentrate on the most valuable use of your time every minute

Brian Tracy, author of Eat that Frog

Life admin is apparently invisible even to the authors of most time management books, which is what makes Emens's book so refreshing . . . solid advice

Guardian magazine

In her illuminating book Elizabeth Emens maps why life admin weighs us down and how, practically, we can shed the load. It's a must read for everyone burdened with to-do lists and searching for more time to do the things they really want

Shift up, Marie Kondo . . . Elizabeth Emens is on to something with her analysis of the time-gobbling role that admin now plays in our days . . . When she describes it to others they tell her she is seeing into their marriages and minds . . . She has instant practical suggestions . . . Emens' book is a call to distinguish what we must do from what can be minimised . . . In our uncertain world at least we can deal with the small stuff

The Times

This book is a must-read for anyone who feels overwhelmed by admin at home

Cal Newport, author of Digital Minimalism

Ms Emens' tips for working through admin knots have given me lots of ideas, especially for clearing the "murky admin" that has been on my list for too long . . . I'm also making another list - fun things to do with all the time I've saved

Financial Times

Reading The Art of Life Admin is like sitting down with a friend who knows exactly how it feels to be drowning in your To Do list, and throws you a very welcome lifeline to help you to make your way out

Brigid Schulte, author of the New York Times bestseller Overwhelmed

This clever book is for both the lovers and the haters of admin! Most importantly for me, reading about the practical solutions on how to simplify your admin, is the biggest pull of all