This Is Brilliant

“Administrative Hour” Is The Perfect Antidote To The Roommate Years Of Marriage

The solution you need if you feel like all you ever talk about with your spouse is the boring chores and errands part of life.

Happy excited Black mixed race couple celebrating financial success at laptop, getting income, loan,...

So much of life and marriage can feel tedious. Sure, you have fun. But in the middle of that romantic dinner, have you ever found yourself worried about whether the budget can handle this expense? Or has movie night ever been ruined when one of you realized you forgot about trash night (or some other chore)? Two words, friend: administrative hour. No more letting all that tedious shit take up valuable real estate in your head when you're trying to spend quality time with your partner. Instead, TikToker Celine Hartford suggests creating a designated time on your calendar just for dealing with the duller aspects of everyday life. In fact, she says it saved her marriage.

In a video titled, "5x Stupid things we don't want to fight over," she explains that administrative hour is their time to do all the little nagging chores that would otherwise pester them throughout the week.

How Administrative Hour Works

"Husband and I hold weekly 'administrative' hours to prevent us from fighting and procrastinating," writes Hartford. "Here's what we do: 1. Check if we ordered any packages that need to be [sent] back. We do it right then and there. 2. Set up appointments for things like therapist, dentist, doctor, or hairdresser. 3. Think of anything we need to buy, order, or fix in the household. We make a list or fix it immediately. 4. Plan fun dates or outings for the week, make reservations for restaurants. 5. Get back at people/friends who reached out during the week and make plans with them."

In other words, get all the humdrum chores, tense conversations, and usual home-running questions out of the way in one hour a week — and then spend the rest of your week focused on actually living your life and nurturing your marriage. None of that stuff takes up much time on its own, right? But consider how much time you spend thinking about needing to do it. Worse yet, think of all the awkward times you've had to do it at an inconvenient time before you kept forgetting about it when you "weren't busy." Doesn't it just seem easy to condense all those tasks into one small hour of your week? Hartford just has one small rule about administrative hours. "After 60 minutes, we're done," Harford writes. "Sounds a bit rigid, but this hour really helps us organize our life."

Administrative hours aren't exactly a new concept. For generations, married couples have sat around kitchen tables to budget and plan their calendars together. Yet, somewhere along the way (probably in the '80s), the world got too busy. Then with the invention of the internet and smartphones, it just made it easier than ever before to do chores from your phone. Forget the water bill? You'll pay it at a red light on your way to lunch. Need to make that dentist appointment? Sounds like a great call to make once the F Train rattles above ground in Brooklyn.

During the last couple of decades, things just got easier to do while "on the go." But what that actually means is that you're constantly doing all those little things that need to be done and never focusing on the stuff you want to do. If you've ever paid your phone bill from in front of a slot machine at the famed Flamingo Casino, you undoubtedly understand.

Thinking an administrative hour might be your relationship's saving grace? Whether you book yourself for one hour or two, there are some big things you can delegate into that window of time.

Administrative Hour Tasks

  • Pay bills and budget
  • Look over your calendar and plan for all your kids' crap, too
  • Meal plan
  • Set appointments
  • Plan for birthdays/holidays (gifts, budget, food, location, etc.)
  • Revisit your family and household goals (Can you check anything off? What can you do to accomplish those goals?)
  • Talk. Once everything else is checked off, now is your time to air any concerns — just like you would at a staff meeting.

What are you adding to your administrative hour?