Chore addiction – It’s easier to tidy your desk than work at it.
As the end of the year draws closer, here are some questions that might be uncomfortable to answer:
Did you keep up your gym membership and get those workouts in?
Did you carve out some extra time for your side hustle?
Did you pick up the skill you said you’d try?
For a few of you: Yup, yup, tick, done.
For most of you: Life, Netflix and time-wasting got in the way.
Let’s be real. You can’t change things in life unless you make the time to form new habits. And you can’t maintain new habits if your old ones keep getting in the way.
So what’s stealing your time away from the things that matter most?
According to Forbes magazine, busyness is our worst addiction, with people increasingly tying their sense of self-worth to the tasks that they accomplish, regardless as to how meaningful the task itself actually was.
“When people ask us how things are going, our first instinct is to say that we are busy. If you are not busy, it may seem that you are not doing anything interesting. We believe that when we appear busy we are successful and important”.
Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to “chore addiction”, the inclination to put off vital tasks in place of doing mindless work around the home.
Home guru Chris Carrol coined the term ATHD — Addicted to Housework Disorder — to describe a modern condition where someone compulsively cleans, tidies and arranges the household, all at the detriment of progress in other, arguably more important, areas in life.
If you tot up the time you spend cleaning, hoovering, putting on a wash, and working through your household to-do list you may find you’re approaching — or even surpassing — the 208 hours a year that UK residents spend doing chores around the house.
Smug as you might feel, action addiction in the household can also be considered a form of laziness.
Not because it’s lazy to clean the kitchen every morning, but because it’s the easiest thing to do with your time.
What is harder, for example, is sitting down to meditate and set up your mental state for the day. Or facing a blank page and getting the first 1,000 words of your novel written. Or taking the time to update your LinkedIn and starting the process of finding the new job you want, paving the way for a far more profound change in your life.
Do try this at home.
Have you thought about what you might be doing in place of grocery shopping, cleaning and bills?
Here’s an exercise to set for the upcoming week:
- For the next seven days, make a note of the minutes spent on chores. This is anything from cleaning surfaces, to ironing, to waiting for packages, to calling your energy supplier.
- At the end of seven days, tot up the time.
- Now take 45 minutes off that number, and see where you can clamber it back from. Perhaps 10 minutes off the daily ironing? Or outsourcing your 20 minutes of hoovering to your flatmate?
- Now consider what you would rather spend those 45 minutes on this week (reading, doing a yoga class).
- And do it.
How might that impact your week?
But what about the chores we can’t just cull?
One thing we know for sure is there will always be endless pants to wash. What there won’t be are endless moments to invest in yourself.
Prioritise the things you want to do — and outsource the admin. The whole reason services like HomeHero came about was to deal with the things people didn’t want to spend time doing, so they could pursue goals, spend time with family or just take a moment to themselves.
We challenge you to think harder about what is necessary to do every day and what’s just filler.
Deep down you know what’s really important, right?
HomeHero is a digital home manager, taking care of your chores, bills, maintenance and admin, to free up your time for what matters most.