NEW YORK — In the business world, many people live by the phrase “time is money.” For many busy Americans however, a surprising new poll finds they would rather choose time over money. A OnePoll survey of 2,000 U.S. adults finds three in five would rather get an extra vacation day for “life admin” tasks than a pay raise.
Specifically, 57 percent prefer the idea of getting an extra day off each month to perform personal administrative work; which includes paying bills and making appointments. Those respondents say they like that idea even more than making 10 percent more money each year.
According to the survey, commissioned by Trust & Will, younger respondents are especially interested in having an extra day off. Sixty-nine percent of Generation Z (ages 18-24) and 64 percent of millennials (ages 25-29) say they’d prefer a “life admin” day. On the other side, 68 percent of baby boomers (age 56+) would take the bigger salary.
Forty-six percent of respondents admit they’ve already taken an unpaid “life admin” day to sort out all of their tasks. This includes over half of Gen X (ages 40-55), who outpaced any other age group (54%). Half of all respondents (51%) even agree that most of the time, they don’t actually feel like an “adult” — including 55 percent of men and 46 percent of women.
Making more decisions isn’t always better
Decision fatigue — when long periods of decision-making lead to worse decisions being made over time — is a common problem for 80 percent of respondents. Seventy-three percent have also experienced some form of executive dysfunction. This is marked by an inability to focus, prioritize, or complete simple tasks. Another 67 percent of the poll admit they can be easily overwhelmed by life admin tasks. To that point, 57 percent often procrastinate on tasks they know will only take a few minutes.
Some of the commonly cited procrastination-traps include making medical appointments (37%), renewing an ID or license (34%), scheduling a haircut (31%), and updating or writing a will (31%).
Nearly six in 10 people (58%) claim they frequently worry about doing life admin tasks incorrectly. According to Trust & Will’s Head of Legal, Patrick Hicks, this is a frequent cause of procrastination.
“A lot of people put off important responsibilities, like drawing up a will or trust, because they have no idea how to get started,” Hicks explains. “But with the proper resources, it’s not nearly as difficult, time-consuming or expensive as it might seem.”
Back to school to learn life skills
Instead of seeking professional advice in these areas, however, more people tend to turn to family members (42%), friends (39%), or their own research (34%) for guidance. Not surprisingly, four in five people agree that teaching these types of life management skills should be a requirement in schools.
“There should absolutely be more education about how to do important life admin tasks like estate planning,” Hicks adds. “But people also need to be educated about why these tasks are so essential in the first place. After all, what’s the point in knowing how to fill out paperwork if you don’t know what the paperwork can do for you?”
Of course, there’s always the feeling of accomplishment to motivate you; which is probably why over half of those polled (58%) admit to adding tasks to their to-do lists that they’ve already completed just so they can cross them off.