If you want to be happy, outsource your chores
Domestic drudge depression
If fairy tales can be believed - they can, there's truth and a moral underlying every Brothers Grimm story - as soon as Cinderella ditched the rags and the relentless domestic drudgery she found love, a spectacular new place to live (which she didn't have to clean herself) and lived happily ever after. And according to a new Harvard University study taking Cinder's domestic drudge dropping route may actually be the path to true happiness. Thank you science!
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and reported in The New York Times, looked at a series of surveys on "wellbeing and time-saving purchases" from a number of countries including the United States, Denmark, Canada and the Netherlands. The time-saving purchases included, "ordering takeout food, taking a cab, hiring household help or paying someone to run an errand," which pretty much covers all the unpaid domestic drudge we're faced with on a day-to-day basis.
And the results? Paying to outsource disliked chores will lead to happiness. Ashley Whillans, assistant professor at Harvard Business School lead author of the study said to The New York Times, "People who spent money to buy themselves time, such as by outsourcing disliked tasks, reported greater overall life satisfaction." According to the study level of income didn't make a difference to how happy the survey participants felt - both rich and poor people had higher wellbeing if they bought themselves some time and outsourced life admin.
Interestingly the authors of the study found that spending money on material possessions didn't have the same wellbeing increase as spending money on buying extra time. Elizabeth Dunn, another author of the study said to The New York Times, "If there's some task that just thinking about it fills you with dread, then it's probably worth considering whether you can afford to buy your way out of it."
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