I devote a surprising amount of mental real estate to vacuuming, even though on the list of weekly chores it is minuscule — maybe fifteen minutes at most (usually closer to eight). Certainly it is less than dishwashing (around ninety minutes a week), which I don’t even bother capturing on a todo list — it is just a Thing That Happens, when we run out of dishes. I don’t mind vacuuming either: certainly it is a bit of a hassle, having to lug it up the narrow basement stairs and I hate flushing out the repository of hair & dust & grime. So why do I assign it the weight of an hour-long effort in my head? It is not clear.
I think there are a lot of work items that I do this to, as well. Writing out PR descriptions — something that certainly takes less than five minutes but leads to a much more harmonious product, both for me and my reviewer. Answering certain emails: ones that involve DNS spelunking, for instance (a slightly annoying task, but one with a very bounded problem space.)
Maybe it’s the Sisyphean nature of vacuuming? Left to my own devices — and absent any other humans — I would probably vacuum once a quarter. I am not sure.