• New research by comparethemarket.com shows that over a third of Britons spend up to 15 days per year delaying health, money and relationship matters.
  • The average British person will spend at least 45 minutes per day putting off tasks such as visiting the doctor (32%) or dentist (31%)
  • Nearly one in 10 (9%) Britons claim to have made themselves ill by putting off visiting the doctor, while over eight million people lie awake at night thinking of tasks they are yet to complete.
  • Nearly one in 10 (9%) wait until their health suffers through stress to get things done.  Despite this, one in 20 (5%) have faced a fine due to avoiding a bill.
  • Stats also suggest that over eight million people lie awake at night thinking about the tasks they are yet to complete.
  • Study shows that chances of succeeding in completing an important task is increased even further if progress is publicly reported on social media.
  • The Institute of Inertia aims to understand why British people put things off and create action to help us get things done.

 

The effects of the UK’s time wasting habits have been laid bare in research released by comparethemarket.com. The results show that, while the average GP appointment lasts just 10 minutes, a British person will spend at least 45 minutes per day putting off tasks such as visiting the doctor (32%) or dentist (31%).

What’s more, this reluctant approach to important tasks is having a detrimental effect on our health.  Nearly one in 10 (9%) Britons claim to have made themselves ill by failing to make it to the doctor, while over eight million people lie awake at night thinking of tasks they are yet to complete.

Research shows that inertia plays a significant part in sacrificing British people’s wellbeing, with nearly one in 10 (9%) waiting until their health suffers before getting things done. This lifestyle approach not only effects our health, but also spans into our personal finances, with one in 20 (5%) people facing a fine due to avoiding a bill. Despite this, nearly three-quarters (72%) of British people claim to feel a positive sense of achievement from completing previously avoided tasks.

The Institute of Inertia, a partnership between comparethemarket.com and the University of Sheffield, has been set up to help tackle this wide spread issue and provide real life solutions to drive habitual change amongst consumers.

Ben Harkin, Institute of Inertia panel member and cognitive psychologist at the University of Sheffield, says of these findings: “This study indicates that people put off the things that matter most – such as health, relationships and financial wellbeing – and distract themselves with repetitive activities such as browsing the internet. The Institute of Inertia was set up to find simple solutions to widespread inaction.”

“Research I have been doing reveals that our chances of achieving our goals are enhanced if our progress is recorded, frequently monitored and made public. So stating your goals on Twitter or Facebook may increase your likelihood of success.”

Brits would rather be doing menial tasks rather than addressing more important daily tasks, see below for the top 10:

Top ten tasks UK put off doing

Top ten things done whilst putting things off

1. Cleaning the oven

2. Going to the doctor

3. Going to the dentist

4. Catching up with friends/family

5. Reviewing personal finances

6. Completing work admin

7. Sending thank you cards

8. Going to the gym

9. Completing a task at work that’s passed       its deadline

10.Going to the bank

1. Browse the internet

2. Watch TV

3. Make a cup of tea

4. Check social media

5. Sleep

6. Go Shopping

7. Spend time with family and friends

8. Talk on the phone

9. Clean the house

10.Clean your room 

 

Chairing the Institutes panel is Dr.Thomas Webb a social psychologist at the University of Sheffield, whose research into financial inertia will be analysed by a panel of experts who have been hand picked for their knowledge and expertise in personal and consumer finance, consumer behaviour, policy and research. The role of the panel is to provide strategic advice on how the UK can overcome common issues and behaviours caused by inertia when it comes to saving money on household bills. 

A YouGov survey conducted in November 2015 sample size of 2,000 adults (aged 18+) representative of the UK population as a whole.

* 41% of Brits procrastinate for up to an hour each day, 1 hour equates to 7 hours a week, which is 364 hours a year, divided by 24 (number of hours in a day), equals 15 days

**The average Brit procrastinates 45 minutes per day

*** 13% of Brits sometimes lie awake at night worrying about procrastination, if the UK population is 64 Million this equates to 8 million  

****Average GP appointment source www.nhs.co.uk

 

About the Institute of Inertia

The Institute of Inertia, a partnership between comparethemarket.com and the University of Sheffield, launched in 2015 and looks at the psychology behind financial inertia to help consumers save wasted time and money.

The Institute of Inertia is a network of experts and academics led by The University of Sheffield’s Dr Thomas Webb, a specialist in consumer behaviour.

A programme of qualitative and quantitative research tranches inform the Institute of Inertia to help shape and test potential solutions to drive behavioural change.  

For more information on the Institute of Inertia, please visit www.Instituteofinertia.org   

 

About Meerkat Movies

Meerkat Movies is comparethemarket.com’snew customer rewards programme, which was officially launched on 3rd April 2015.

Meerkat Movies offers comparethemarket.com customers 2 for 1 cinema tickets for a whole year from date of purchase, redeemable at participating cinemas every Tuesday or Wednesday.

You can only have one Meerkat Movies membership in any 12 month period. It can take up to 48 hours to activate your membership.

For more information visit http://www.comparethemarket.com/media-centre

 

About comparethemarket.com

comparethemarket.com was launched in 2006 and has grown rapidly over the past nine years to become one of the UK’s leading price comparison websites.

comparethemarket.com provides customers with an easy way to make the right choice for them on a wide range of products including motor, home, life, travel and pet insurance as well as utilities and money products such as, credit cards and loans

comparethemarket.com actively selects its brand partners, working with the best and most trusted organisations to ensure quality service to consumers. 

comparethemarket.com is a trading name of BISL Limited.  BISL Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Address: Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough, PE2 6YS. Registered in England number 3231094