How to Spend Less Time on Chores and More Time on Yourself

Which of these two statements sounds more accurate: “Wow, I got a lot done today,” or “Wow, where did all the time go?”

When you’re at work you expected to be busy, you’re at work after all. That’s what they pay you for. But what about when you get home? Do you find yourself rushing from task to task and then collapsing in bed in an exhausted heap, or do you enjoy a decent amount of leisure time as well?

If you have a home (house, apartment, whatever) and enjoy the usual creature comforts it comes with, there’s no escaping household chores. It’s part of the deal. But do you know exactly where you’re spending your time and how that’s impacting your stress levels?

According to this report from LendingTree, there are eight household chores that Americans spend most of their time on. These include things like housework, car maintenance, food preparation, garden work and so on.

The report also takes into account how much leisure time Americans afford themselves on a daily basis. Not surprisingly, men spend more time relaxing than women. I’m not pointing fingers here, I think the fairer sex could learn from their example.

Sure, men could probably work harder at divvying up the chores around the home, but still. I admire their steadfast commitment to downtime. Netflix binge sesh anyone?

Interestingly, LendingTree’s report revealed that the amount of time spent on household chores differs from state to state. It turns out folks in Alaska work harder than those living in Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts, where some of the lowest averages countrywide were recorded.

But while it’s fun to know what your fellow citizens are up to at home, the more pressing issue at hand is figuring out how you can better manage the time you spend on household chores so that you have more time for the things that matter, such as hanging out with friends and family, exercising and working on your passion projects.

DAY-TO-DAY DUTIES

How Well Are You Budgeting Your Time at Home?

Take a look at the infographic and figure out how much time you typically spend on each of the tasks listed. Once you’ve tallied up how much you’re spending on household chores, start brainstorming some ideas to reduce your total daily time investment.

One way could be to get a neighborhood kid to wash your car or mow your lawn (maybe even both) once a week. You’d be doing the kid a favor by giving him the opportunity to earn some pocket money and you’d effectively be buying yourself an additional hour or two of leisure time. Win, win.

IT’S TIME TO DOWNSIZE

As someone who hasn’t owned a car in four years, I can honestly say I don’t miss the grind of keeping a vehicle shipshape. If you’re a two car family, you might consider downsizing to one. If you can get away without owning a car, even better.

Owning (or renting) a smaller home is another way to cut back on the time you spend on household chores. A smaller space means less to clean and it also means less yardwork and maintenance.

Decluttering brings with it a host of benefits, too. It’ll make you more productive, it promotes positive energy in the home and it can help reduce stress. Owning less stuff also means you’ll spend less time on household chores and more time doing what you enjoy.

TAKING CARE OF YOUR HEALTH

The average American spends about 30 minutes a day preparing food and cleaning up afterwards. This is one of the areas we should be spending more time on, not less. Preparing healthy food at home instead of ordering take-out will save you money, help you lose weight and it gives you the opportunity to spend time together as a family.

INVEST IN YOURSELF

How Well Are You Budgeting Your Time at Home?

Regardless of which state you live in or whether you’re male or female, there’s a good chance you’re feeling stressed about something. The usual suspects are money and work, and with good reason. Without either you’ll be sans a roof over your head.

However, if all is well on those two fronts and you’re still feeling stressed, it’s probably a time issue. Specifically, that you don’t have enough of it. Just like you can’t manage your finances properly without a budget, neither can you keep a handle on your time if you’re not allocating it correctly.

Taking the time to schedule those daily household chores into your calendar will go a long way to avoiding unnecessary stress in your life. Those things have to get done, so build them into your day instead of dealing with them when they arise.

While you’re at it, make sure you also include some leisure time when you’re adding tasks to your schedule. Taking time to put your feet up and enjoy a cup of tea (or glass or wine) is just as important as washing the dishes or helping the kids with their homework.

Related Stories:

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

55 comments

Marie W
Marie Wabout a month ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
KimJ M
KimJ M3 months ago

Tfs

SEND
KimJ M
KimJ M3 months ago

Tfs

SEND
KimJ M
KimJ M3 months ago

Tfs

SEND
KimJ M
KimJ M3 months ago

Tfs

SEND
KimJ M
KimJ M3 months ago

Tfs

SEND
Amanda M
Amanda M5 months ago

Past Member, that only works if you're living single or your partner is good about doing their half of the housework/yard work. If you're a stay-at-home parent who does the lion's share of the work and then some like me, you spend all your time doing work, and then having to do it AGAIN at the end of the day because your partner and/or kids messed the place up as soon as you got it clean (today's "Baby Blues" comic strip, January 28, 2018, sums it up to a tee!). Virgene L, today is the first time in MONTHS that I've gotten online to clean out my inbox and catch up on stuff because I've been slammed with not just the usual hamster wheel of housework/shuttling the kids around, but also the holiday stuff on top of that. And to the author, not having a car or only having one works only if you live in an area with good public transportation. We have one car and NO public transportation, and it's driving me insane. I'm a volunteer firefighter, and since most of the calls have happened when my husband is at work and needs the car, do you know how many I've missed in the past five months since my truck died? TOO MANY, and running calls is the sole thing I do that doesn't involve housework or child raising! Without a car, I can't run errands or simply go out for "me time" during the day when the kids are in school because my husband needs it for work, so I'm practically under house arrest! Needless to say, this article burned my butt. I

SEND
Lesa D
Lesa D6 months ago

keep it simple...

thank you Angela...

SEND
beba h
beba h6 months ago

New Year's resolution is organizing personal time into my schedule. That would relieve a ton of stress. I never feel I have enough time.

SEND
Angela J
Angela J6 months ago

Good ideas.

SEND