A recent article in BBC News cited a study that found that people got more satisfaction from spending to pay others to do tasks they disliked than spending the same amount on treats, food/wine splurges, clothes, or books.
Granted this was only a two-week experiment, but the study concluded that people greatly raised their happiness levels if they bought themselves some time rather than material objects.
The researchers then devised a two-week experiment among 60 working adults in Vancouver, Canada.
On one weekend, participants were asked to spend £30 ($40) on a purchase that would save them time. They did things like buying lunches to be delivered to work, paying neighbourhood children to run errands for them, or paying for cleaning services.
On the other weekend, they were told to spend the windfall on material goods. Material purchases included wine, clothes and books.
The research, published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found time saving compared with material purchases increased happiness by reducing feelings of time stress.
So obviously that raises the question -- What would YOU like to be able to pay someone to do for you? Do you want to free yourself from household chores or yardwork? Are you uncomfortable with the thought of trying to paint the garage?
Would you like to have someone house-sit and wait for repairmen to come, so you can go to work with peace of mind that things will be taken care of? Do you have a list of chores and minor repairs that seems to get longer every month, with no likely end in sight?
One of the things I would like someone else to do for me is handle phone calls for me. Not that I get so many, but I am just not a phone person. Let someone else call to make appointments or ask if a store has such-and-such in stock. And let someone else search nearby retail stores for hard-to-find small items; am really disappointed with grocery stores, especially, because they never list items on the shelf except for those in the weekly flyer.
Let me know what you would like someone else to do for you. After all, electronic helpers like Siri won't wash windows or put away laundry at all!
Briggs, Helen, Time, not material goods, 'raises happiness', July 25, 2017, BBC News, BBC.com, http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40703519