New Research reveals life-admin tasks languish on to-do lists for 180-plus days for busy Leeds locals

  • Stressed locals blame mounting work pressures for putting tasks off
  • DIY, paying bills and booking travel take longest to make it to the top
  • Psychologist urges Leeds to wise up, get ahead and reap the benefits of ticking off to-do lists

February 2018: People in Leeds are allowing mounting to-do lists to pile up until after June and wish they were wiser when it comes to personal admin, according to new research from Virgin Trains.

In the poll of 1,000 locals, the research found that 72 per cent still have tasks on their to-do lists from 2017, with the average person in Leeds having started the year with at least three outstanding things on their list. Nearly 50 per cent of these tasks have sat stagnant for over 180 days, from as far back as June last year.

Of those claiming they have less time than ever before for their to-do lists, almost two-thirds blamed mounting work schedules and changing priorities for putting things off. When asked, the people of Leeds said super-long to-do lists are leaving them feeling stressed (30 per cent), overwhelmed (18 per cent) and out of control (14 per cent).

The top six things people in Leeds will put off doing in 2018 include:

  • DIY
  • Booking travel and train tickets
  • Sorting out bills and finances
  • Cleaning the house
  • Cleaning out the attic or garage
  • Booking doctors’ appointments

In contrast to the tasks that will be put off the longest this year, the two tasks that will sit on to-do lists for the least amount of time were shown to be posting on social media and setting up direct debits.

When asked how respondents felt when they were on top of their busy to-do lists, a staggering majority said that it made them feel satisfied (60%) and happier (37%). To explore this research further, Virgin Trains has partnered with writer and psychologist, Corinne Sweet, who revealed the benefits of tackling your to-do list early.

To manage mounting to-do lists and effectively tick-off tasks, Corinne’s top tips are:

  • Write your full to do list in priority order and then cross out the bottom half of it. Complete your most pressing tasks before re-visiting the second half of your list.This will reduce the anxiety associated with a long list and create achievable goals
  • Tell someone you trust about a few of the tasks you want to achieve. The knowledge that someone else is aware of your to-do list will help motivate you to get stuff done
  • Reward yourself for completing tasks to cultivate a positive mind-set towards life admin

Virgin Trains is helping locals reap the financial benefits of getting ahead with their travel plans. From February 5, a new low-price fare between Leeds and London, capped at £29* each way when bought up to a week in advance, goes on sale.

Suzanne Donnelly, Commercial Director for Virgin Trains’ east coast services, said: “Our research shows buying travel tickets is one of the tasks people in Leeds leave until the last-minute, but there’s certainly financial rewards to be had by being wise and getting in early. Whether you’re buying two weeks or more before, there are bargains to be had.

“And now, by taking advantage of our new Standard Advance capped low-price fare between Leeds and London, our customers can reap the financial and emotional benefits of getting in early, while enjoying all the comforts of travelling with Virgin Trains. These include great food, free Wi-Fi**, powersockets, extra leg room***, and our onboard entertainment service, Beam, where you can catch up on your favourite movies and box sets.”

To find out more about advance journeys from Leeds with Virgin Trains, visit

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