Unable to do basic life admin? Congratulations, you have Errand Paralysis
Your ASOS will packages will remain unposted FOREVER
You need to do a food shop, your hair needs cutting, and there’s about seven group chats demanding you reply to them – but you ignore it all. Instead you’re lying in bed watching Vine compilations in a bedroom that really needs a clean. You’ve been meaning to buy something to decorate your room for a while now, but you won’t.
The reason you won’t do any of this stuff is because you have Errand Paralysis. You may have heard it called Millennial Burnout before.
It’s not just that you have a lot of things to do. As far as your working life goes, you get shit done, but it’s the little bits of life admin that totally freeze you in place – the jobs that would obviously benefit you a little, but not enough to warrant you pausing that Vine compilation. If you’ve ever felt any of these things, I hate to tell you, you have Errand Paralysis:
Your phone is a graveyard of unread messages
Obviously as someone under the age of 30 you’re surgically attached to your phone as a matter of principal, but that doesn’t mean you use it to chat to your mates a lot.
In reality, you mainly use your phone to entertain yourself in your downtime – YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, news – your use of social media has become a one-way exchange. The knock-on effect of that is your group chats need to be caught up on rather than participated in, and your unread emails are well into the thousands.
You put off arranging to see friends for weeks
At uni it’s simple seeing your mates – you all live in the same area, go on the same nights out, and study in the same library. But once that bubble bursts, getting your mates together in once place becomes a Herculean effort of admin.
Suddenly no one’s free at the weekends, everyone becomes quite tight-fisted when you suggest a ticketed club night, and that group holiday you were always gonna go on when you were earning legit money never happens.
You realise it's been months since you've seen your home friends, because your Errand Paralysis never syncs up with theirs. The cycle is cruel and vicious.
You know you’re running out of food, but you won’t do a food shop
Doing a food shop is the Pandora's Box of life admin: First you need to make a list of what you need, which probably involves planning what you want to eat this week, then you need to buy it all and lug it home. Some of what you buy might have to be repackaged and frozen. Then you've got to spend time cooking it all? The audacity.
The rigmarole of micro-errands inherent in buying food to see you through a whole week has taken you the best part of a whole day – and for what? To eat more healthily? I'll have a Deliveroo next week, please and thank you.
There’s a bag of ASOS shopping at your door, but you’ll never post it
Look you are not the returner girl and you never will be. You simply don't have the organisational skills or the motivation to operate the revolving door clothes shop your housemate does. She orders seven different outfits, tries them all on, then returns seven. Every week.
That hasn't stopped you trying to imitate her though, but that unfortunate hurdle of leaving the house and posting your unwanted outfits back is just a little too much. The packages sit by the door like an unwanted box of puppies in a Disney movie.
The only practical stuff you do in your spare time is work-related
We've been told since school to be working always – whether that's doing uni work while you watch TV in the evenings, blocking out the entire month before exams to do nothing but revise, devoting very possible moment of free time to "my diss."
Doing proper work engages the productive version of you, so the only time you sit at home and feel like you're getting anything done is when you have to take work home with you.
The only social plans you can commit to are last minute ones
Arranging for anything complicated with your mates more than a week in advance has become a total non possibility. Instead, you live for spontaneous pub trips and nights out with whoever is in the immediate vicinity, usually it's work people (i.e. your work mates or your housemates).
Your weekends become either a one-two punch of being fucked then hungover, or "chilled ones" where you accomplish genuinely nothing. You only have so much spare time, and spending it doing anything other than the above feels like you're being cheated out of it.