A study of 5,000 UK adults also revealed that finding a parking space, having to see the in-laws more often and being away from home more regularly were other top irritations.
Filling up the car or managing finances also featured in the 20, with more than a quarter of adults revealing they spend up to four hours a week entangled in inconvenient duties.
However, these daily time-consuming activities actually make over six in 10 value their free time even more.
Tara Foley, CEO of AXA UK Retail Insurance, which commissioned the research, said: “Most people’s lives fundamentally changed over the past 20 months and with tasks such as commuting and meeting face to face put on hold, many used this period to spend more time with loved ones or to try something new.
“With the return of some pre-pandemic normality, our research shows that life’s more mundane tasks are again getting in the way of people making the most out of life and almost half are dreading the return of pre-pandemic constraints.
“However, it’s good to see a shift in mindset with the majority saying they value their free time more now than before the pandemic and many people are making changes to their lives to ensure the improved work-life balance remains.”
It also emerged having to attend social events, doing the school run and face-to-face meetings were other tasks Brits were left frustrated by the return of.
And 42 per cent wish they could make more time to go away on day trips, and the same number would like to spend more quality time with friends and family.
While the vast majority make the most of the free time they do have, more than a third admit to not doing so.
Those who don’t said everyday life gets in the way, finding themselves worn out by the working week – and 34 per cent accidentally waste the free time they do have.
Instead, more than a quarter like to plan ahead to ensure they make the most of their free time now, compared to before the pandemic.
And 27 per cent like to make sure they do more with their weekends.
One in five have also made major changes in their life to preserve their good work-life balance, like leaving or changing their job, and another quarter have tried to make more modest changes.
Nearly half of respondents polled via OnePoll said they live for their days off, with 49 per cent admitting to dreading the return to ‘normality’.
A third have also found themselves reverting to their ‘old’ pre-covid lifestyle in recent months, with seven in 10 admitting they need to get back to making the most of life.
AXA UK has partnered with actress and broadcaster Nadia Sawalha, in a bid to inspire the nation to enjoy their free time and make the most out of their lives.
The Loose Women panellist and her family hit the road for a truly British weekend adventure, showing the nation why it is important to treasure time with your loved ones and ultimately get back to the good stuff in life.
Tara Foley added: “This research supports our ‘Get Back to the Good Stuff’ campaign which aims to show how insurance protects what matters to people and helps them get back to what they really want to be doing in life.”
TOP 20 EVERYDAY IRRITATIONS NOW NORMALITY HAS RESUMED
1. Sitting in traffic
2. Taking COVID-19 tests
3. Spending more money on everyday things e.g. commuting
4. Filling up the car with fuel more often
5. Finding a parking space
6. Having less spare time to do household chores
8. Having people visit and having to clean the house
9. Having to attend social events
10. Managing your finances
11. Being away from home more regularly
12. Having meetings in person once again
13. Having to visit extended members of my family like the in-laws
14. Taking the car for an MOT
15. Lots of meetings at work
16. Seeing kids less due to being at work
17. Doing the school run/ taking children to school
18. Having to go to the gym or exercise class now there’s no excuse not to
19. Driving kids to after-school classes
20. Recharging the electric car