Bexley native Elizabeth Emens, a Columbus School for Girls alumna and Columbia Law School professor, is looking forward to returning to her hometown for the launch of her first book, "Life Admin: How I Learned to Do Less, Do Better, and Live More," she said.

Bexley native Elizabeth Emens, a Columbus School for Girls alumna and Columbia Law School professor, is looking forward to returning to her hometown for the launch of her first book, "Life Admin: How I Learned to Do Less, Do Better, and Live More," she said.

Emens is scheduled to read and sign books at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at Gramercy Books, 2424 E. Main St.

Emens said the idea for her book grew out of her experiences as a working mother with two children, when she found her life was consumed by a seemingly endless stream of chores.

"This is a project that started in my home life and became an academic project," she said during a recent phone interview from her home base of New York City.

Balancing a career and home life, "I didn't realize there would be this kind of 'office work' -- you're filling out school and doctor's forms over and over again. I looked around (and) it seemed like everyone I knew was handling more of this than they could deal with," she said.

Curious to find out how others successfully juggled life's responsibilities, Emens began conducting interviews and focus groups to gather tips and best practices.

"I did the interviews largely through 'snowball sampling,' where you find your next person through the first person," Emens said.

The book, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, offers solutions for administration tasks large and small, from scheduling doctors' appointments and paying bills, to major milestones such as planning a wedding or buying a home. The book also explores how to navigate circumstances such as funerals and divorces.

"Individual situations take precedence," Emens said.

"I also find that big life changes bring on different kinds of this work."

"Life Admin" shares different strategies and challenges faced by four distinct "admin personalities" that Emens identified: the Super Doer, the Reluctant Doer, the Avoider, and the Denier. The book also includes a quiz to help readers determine which personality they are.

Emens said her research included the challenges that people of different socioeconomic backgrounds face.

"I really wanted to know more about the 'life admin' of poverty," she said. "If you don't open your mail for a week, you could lose your housing. It's hard to do 'office work' when you don't have an office -- people want you to scan things and fax things. How do you do that if you don't have office equipment?"

After graduating from CSG, Emens received her bachelor's and law degrees from Yale University and a doctorate from King's College, Cambridge. Her main areas of research and teaching at Columbia include disability law, family law, anti-discrimination law, contracts law, and law and sexuality.

Emens said she's interested to receive feedback about her book from the Bexley community.

"I'm looking forward to coming home and seeing people there," she said.

"This is my first book, so I'm looking forward to talking to people about it."

For more information, visit gramercybooksbexley.com.

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