etc Columnist - Louise Margaret

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Louise Margaret on the tricks she uses to make household chores more bearable

Box-set binge watching is a First World problem caused by being able to stream entire seasons of TV shows.

For me and my hectic life, they are a God-send. I am not proud, but I have completed mammoth box-set binge watching over the years – from 81 hours of paranormal demon hunters to FBI profiling teams and every zombie series in-between.

I used to snuggle up on the sofa, iPad at hand, a huge mug of tea and an assortment of chocolate and snacks to keep me fed during the wasted hours, but I have now found the answer to making this monster procrastination pay off: I add chores.

Now before you turn the page because I have mentioned potentially ruining your escape from the real world by including the word ‘chores’, please stick with me.

You see, I no longer look at my ironing mountain with a feeling of exhaustion, despair or gloom, no, no: I now view my three-foot high pile of creases as three episodes of whatever TV series I am watching.

So now, instead of flicking on the TV and being at one with the sofa for a couple of hours, I now place the ironing board in front of the TV screen, find a jug of water for top ups and a can of spray starch (just to add a couple of minutes extra if doing sheets), and enjoy a couple of hours of complete uninterrupted bliss getting all hot and steamy – depending on who the main actor is, and how much extra steam boost I apply.

I have never been so productive in my chore-ridden life and have started applying this procrastination solution to just about everything I’d rather not be doing… like paperwork and paying bills. There is something about me watching something and doing a chore that seems to prevent children wanting something from me every two minutes, and curiously I seem to be left alone.

My kids, on the other hand, think they can get away with staying up later than they normally do as, somehow, I will completely forget that my two mini-mes are upstairs. So occasionally I hit the pause button and go and remind them that I am still in fact Wonder Woman with psychic powers and I know for a fact they’re still awake.

I have also recently discovered the joy of audiobooks: hours and hours of literature and all through my headphones, leaving my hands free…wait? – stares at the vacuum – oh yes indeedy, listening to words of advice on how to become happier, whilst vacuuming? That is so happening.

“An earful of audible, helps the housework go down, the housework go down….”