Episode 258

Elizabeth Emens on the Admin Tasks of Life


February 5th, 2019

44 mins 18 secs

Your Hosts

About this Episode

Elizabeth Emens is a Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, and the author of Life Admin: How I Learned to Do Less, Do Better, and Live More.

Elizabeth Emens was a working mother with two young children, swamped like so many of us, when she realized that this invisible labor was consuming her. Desperate to survive and to help others along the way, she conducted interviews and focus groups to gather favorite tips and tricks, admin confessions, and the secrets of admin-happy households.

Life Admin
tackles the problem of admin in all its forms, from everyday tasks like scheduling doctors appointments and paying bills, to life-cycle events like planning a wedding, a birth, a funeral. Emens explores how this labor is created, how it affects our lives, and how we might avoid, reduce, and redistribute admin whenever possible—as individuals and as a society.