No matter how many home cleaning hacks you master, there are some tasks that’ll never become more enjoyable. So instead of suffering through chores or errands you dread, science says you’d be better off paying someone to do them for you.
Yes, it sounds obvious—but according to this new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the key to happiness lies in saving time, not money. (Who couldn’t use more moments for their passionate pursuits, right?)
“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,” Elizabeth Dunn, the study’s author and professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, tells 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.”
Through a series of surveys of more than 6,000 people in four countries, she and her researchers found that people who outsourced disliked tasks were happier and reported greater overall life satisfaction—and they didn’t see that same effect when people used the money for material goods. Participants were given $40 to spend on either a service to make their lives easier (like taking a cab instead of driving) or treating themselves to new clothes or shoes.
Disposable income is a luxury not everyone can afford, of course, but if you can put more money toward time-saving stuff, it could seriously pay off. Study participants who did reported being in a better mood at the end of the day. TBD what that means about paying someone to text your Alexander Wang x Adidas order this weekend.