How to Better Manage Your Life Admin and Learn from Netflix's Failed Social Strategy

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Sep 28, 2023

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How to Better Manage Your Life Admin and Learn from Netflix's Failed Social Strategy

Managing our personal lives and households can sometimes feel like a never-ending list of tasks. From relationships with friends and family to taking care of our children and maintaining our homes, there is always something that needs to be done. Life admin, as it is often referred to, is the "office work of life," according to Emens. However, despite its importance, finding the motivation to tackle these small, simple tasks can be surprisingly difficult.

The first step in getting a handle on your life admin is to actually know what life admin tasks you have going on in your life. Similar to the advice given by Allen in "Getting Things Done," if you can take action on a task in less than two minutes, do it now instead of later. The same principle applies to life admin - if you can do it now, then DO IT NOW! By taking immediate action, you can prevent these tasks from piling up and becoming overwhelming.

Automation is another powerful tool to streamline your life admin, including your social life. While it may not be something you've considered before, automating certain aspects of your social life can save you time and energy. For example, setting up automatic reminders for birthdays and anniversaries can ensure that you never miss an important date. Additionally, consider reducing the amount of additional admin you bring into your life by carefully evaluating the cost and obligations associated with purchases or new endeavors.

Outsourcing life admin tasks can also be a game-changer. If there are certain tasks that you find particularly time-consuming or stressful, consider delegating them to someone else. This could be hiring a virtual assistant to help with scheduling appointments or a house cleaner to take care of household chores. By outsourcing these tasks, you free up valuable time and mental energy to focus on the things that truly matter to you.

Now, let's shift our focus to what we can learn from Netflix's failed social strategy. One of the main reasons for their failure was the assumption that everyone would want to reveal all the movies they had viewed. However, this assumption quickly proved to be false, as movie tastes are highly unique and personal. It became clear that people didn't want to share their movie choices or receive recommendations from friends with different tastes.

Netflix's failure can be attributed to biases that clouded human judgment and the difficulty of inventing the future. They believed that by implementing a social feature, members would enjoy getting movie ideas from friends and there would be a network effect. However, they failed to recognize that the project would never reach a critical mass of engagement.

Small wins can easily cloud judgment and make it difficult to kill features or projects that are not performing as expected. In the case of Netflix, the focus on addressing challenges and improving execution distracted them from evaluating the social strategy itself. It is essential to take off your blinders and objectively evaluate the idea on its own merit, regardless of its source.

Ignoring sunk costs is also crucial when it comes to making decisions. Just because you have invested time, money, or effort into a project or feature does not mean you should continue with it if it is not delivering the desired results. Be open to better ideas and be willing to let go of projects that are not meeting objectives.

In conclusion, managing life admin and learning from failures like Netflix's social strategy require a proactive approach. Take immediate action on tasks, automate where possible, and outsource when necessary. Evaluate ideas objectively and be willing to let go of projects that are not working. By incorporating these practices into your life, you can better manage your time and energy, and avoid unnecessary stress and overwhelm.

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