For most of us cleaning the house from top to bottom or getting the weekly shop done are chores we want to get out of the way as quickly as possible.
According to the Daily Mail, experts have now revealed that we're spending too much time on activities like dusting or vacuuming.
A new guide from the Good Housekeeping Institute recommends limiting chores to just 30 minutes a day, and taking on one task at a time.
Once the duster is out, it makes sense to go round the whole house dusting rather than dusting one room, putting it back to run the Hoover round and then getting it out again in the next room.
The same applies to the vacuum cleaner, the mop, the dustpan and brush, cleaning windows and all the other chores, claims the GHI.
Other practical tips include putting oven sheets take away the hassle of scrubbing off grease and stains and placing newspaper at the bottom of a bin to soak up leaky liquids.
Meanwhile keeping sets of sheets in their matching pillowcases make it easier to find the whole set when changing the bed.
Other tips are more psychological - for instance, GHI recommends setting a timer to 30 minutes and then challenging yourself to complete as many tasks as possible in that time.
Some are life hacks learned from experience - put a damp sock on your hand to wipe the dust off blinds, add dishwasher rinse to water to clean windows to leave them streak free and a slower speed on a washing machine reduces creases to make ironing easier.
The GHI's report, "12 brilliant time-saving cleaning hacks" added: "Some household jobs we do day in, day out, week in, week out, on autopilot without really thinking about whether there's a better way to get tasks done.
"But what if you could streamline regular jobs and save time to devote to other more fun things?"
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING INSTITUTE'S CLEANING HACKS
1. Set a time for 30 minutes and get as much done in that time with no distractions.
2. Swap cleaning room by room by doing it chore by chore.
3. Keep a running list of groceries on your phone to get what you need when shopping.
4. Put sheets of old newspaper in the bottom of bin liners to absorb any liquids.
5. Line ovens with a piece of foil or easy clean oven sheets.
6. Add dishwasher rinse to water for streak-free window cleaning.
7. After spraying bathroom cleaner on a basin, leave it for 10 minutes for best effect.
8. Keep folder sheets inside their matching pillowcases - takes up less room and is easier to find.
9. Put a slightly damp sock over your hand and use it to clean dusty blinds.
10. Wash small fittings such as fridge shelves and extractor fan filters in the dishwasher.
11. Slower spin speeds and shaking clothes out reduces creases to make ironing easier.
12. Push in the small, perforated tabs on a box of clingfilm to stop the roll falling out when you use it.
This article was first published on Daily Mail and is republished here with permission.