Defining Housework Part 2 - Tasks of Daily Living

by Lisa Woodruff

Jul 16, 2021 | Episode 424 | 34:24

In November of 2020, I did a two part podcast on the four kinds of work in business (361 & 362). It turns out, there are also four kinds of housework, and I introduced these in Podcast 418. There are many of these business concepts that also equate to our homes, we just don’t think of running our household like it is a business. We hear a lot about work/life balance as though these are two separate ways of getting things done. There are so many parallels between your day job and your home job. 

A few podcasts ago, I shared that Organize 365 is pursuing research about organization. One of the first challenges we faced is that we do not have a common vocabulary around work inside the house like we have for work in the workplace. As part of our research, we needed to define the words we were using in the survey questions. That meant, we needed to define housework. This is the second of a four part series that defines and explains the different kinds of work we all have to do inside of our homes. 

Today, I am sharing some details about a second kind of housework, tasks of daily living. This type of housework is a set of skills we all need to do or have done for us for our survival. Tasks of daily living are related to the Social Security Disability definition of disability and include things like grooming, grocery shopping and meal preparation, transportation, and paying bills. Some transitional high schools offer training in these skills through Project search and other programs. 

Tasks of daily living follow the individual. In college, as a new parent, and as a grandparent, you will always have to feed yourself and do laundry. Conversely, the amount of cleaning likely went up and down depending on your stage of life. However, once you share a home with another person, you begin to negotiate to divide and conquer the tasks for convenience and productivity. Generally, these tasks become consolidated as the responsibility for the person who is home more often.

Tasks of daily living are the hardest and most expensive to delegate. Some small portions of them can be outsourced, but it is not convenient to have help with these items. Most of those surveyed reported they did their own tasks of daily living. In the study, we also asked what the major barriers to doing these tasks were, and most of the general population reported a lack of motivation or being too tired. See more about the research at organize365.com/research.

The major solution to keeping your tasks of daily living organized and getting them completed proactively is the Sunday Basket®. You need to create better systems, better habits, and reduce your expectations!