House Holding Pattern

The familiar 8 hour workday schedule assumed the presence of domestic labor (a wife, a boarding house matron, etc.) responsible for maintaining the residence. Based on that, a household’s effective workday was closer to 16 hours or more. This math hasn’t changed.

More and more, though, every adult member of a household puts in full workdays. For a couple, this means an effective workday of 32 hours. You can’t fit that into a 24 hour day, and that’s a best case scenario. Consider the impact of raising kids, or of pursuing side income, or of accommodating a disability. It’s only natural that no one feels like they have the time or energy to keep everything cleaned and organized these days. Even clocks don’t have enough time for that. It’s impossible to do it all, at least not with what you have now.

Pare down what you can. The less you have, the less you have to maintain. This won’t cure you of productivity anxiety and inherent stress, of course, but it can help. Wouldn’t you rather focus on what you are glad to keep clean instead? How little time do you have left to enjoy most of it, anyway?