Sorting out finances is the UK’s most popular task

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To-do list tension: UK households face an average of 33 tasks a week

A new study has revealed that Britain’s to-do-lists are jam-packed, as the nation battles to get an unwieldly number of tasks ticked-off each week.

The FCA, which commissioned the research and is encouraging people to put checking whether they’re eligible to claim for PPI on their to-do-list, has subsequently enlisted the help of 90s icon Mr. Motivator and ultra-organised Rachel Riley, to help the public complete those tasks they’ve been putting off. 

The research revealed that three in five (60%) admit to feeling completely overwhelmed by the volume of tasks they need to complete each week, such as sorting out finances, walking the dog and mowing the lawn. While more than two thirds (67%) feel like they are operating on “autopilot”, meaning that to-do-lists get forgotten.

With so much to do, and almost a third of us (29%) saying we’re simply too busy to do it, it’s clear to see why people struggle to do everything on their list each week. It’s therefore understandable why three-quarters (75%) of the population plan to use the long bank holiday weekend to tick things off their to-do-lists.

Rachel Riley, Countdown's numbers expert and supporter of the FCA’s PPI campaign, says: “Life can often feel overwhelming with the number of things we need to do, so it’s easy to understand why many of us find it difficult to tame those to-do-lists. This is especially true when it comes to tasks that we don’t consider urgent, feel like too much of a hassle or just sound a bit boring, like checking whether you’ve been mis-sold PPI.  “But tackling our to-do-lists doesn’t have be tortuous and we all know how good it feels to finally tick off that one nagging task that’s been stuck on there for what feels like forever. That's why I’m supporting the FCA’s PPI Deadline campaign, to give a little bit of help to those who need it to get that satisfying feeling of smashing through their to-do-list this week.”

There are a number of motivating factors that help people get things off their to-do-list, including: feeling less stressed when it’s done (62%), a deadline (48%) and feeling like it will impact loved ones, as well as ourselves, if the task isn’t completed (40%). As an added encouragement, the FCA has worked with 90s icon Mr. Motivator to help inspire people to tick things off their to-do-list. To view the video, click here: 

Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, says: “Almost half the population say a deadline is the motivation they need to get things done, so we’re urging everyone to make sure they get one important thing ticked off their list this bank holiday, and that’s checking whether they’re eligible to claim for PPI.  The deadline for making a complaint is 29 August 2019.”

If you need help checking if you were mis-sold PPI or want to decide whether to make a complaint before the deadline, visit

Rachel’s top five tips for ticking things off your to-do-list

1.      Plan – Write your to-do-list the night before. You’ll wake up knowing exactly what you need to do.

2.      Prioritise – Tackle your trickiest task first and for the rest of the day you’ll feel like you’ve achieved something. 

3.      Go digital – Hunting around for scraps of paper down the back of the sofa isn’t the way to stay on top of your to-do-list; keep it all in one place, such as on your phone.

4.      Don’t procrastinate – Set yourself a deadline and stick to it!

5.      Reward – Keeping on top of your to-do-list is a tricky business, so when you manage to tick things off make sure you take time to reward yourself for having been so organised!

Top 20 most common tasks

Sorting out banking / finances

Planning and preparing evening meals

Booking appointments: dentist / doctors etc

Taking out the rubbish

Changing the bed linen

Filling in forms e.g. passport applications

Renewing insurance

Purchasing new clothing / uniform items

Holiday planning (booking / organising)  

Doing the ironing

Filling the car up with petrol

Speaking to energy companies to get a better deal

Loading the dishwasher

Garden maintenance

Calling repair men/tradesmen

Booking the car in for MOT/Service

Organising days out with friends

Planning family get togethers

Cooking breakfast 

Hosting a Sunday lunch


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