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How Busy are Americans?

Burning The Candle At Both Ends

Adults are no strangers to feeling like life has them burning the candles at both ends. This seems especially true as the demands of career and family pull you in increasingly opposite directions. For many, the end of the day means having a splitting headache, aching feet, and the realization that you need eight more hours in a day. With all this pressure, have you ever stopped and wondered how much time you really spend completing daily tasks?

This chart is very illuminating. As you will see, our time is not as stretched as we think.

Time is the great leveler. The clock doesn’t care about your income, looks or level of intelligence. Everyone has 24 hours in a day. The choice you do have is how you will spend your time. You can trade quality for quantity and improve your outlook dramatically. For example, the average time spent at the gym or engaging in personal exercise each day is only twenty minutes. Time spent in front of television tallies up to a whopping 2.61 hours a day. Americans universally complain of a lack of time to exercise! Yet there is enough time for TV. The excuse rings shallow.

time spent at home

Time Spent At Home

Are you getting enough sleep? Is your bed lonely because you never visit? According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average American is not satisfied with their sleep. Yet many people do sleep eight hours a night. Why all the complaining? The current theory is that the electronics surrounding the average person’s life keeps him or her from resting, not sleeping.

time spent at play

Time Spent Being Entertained

Are you worried that all work and no play is going to drive you nuts soon? Maybe all play and little work is what really makes people feel dull. As it turns out, the writers of Friends was right to show their characters sitting in a coffee house at all hours of the work week. Average office workers only spend 7 hours a day at work, with a total of actual work accruing for only four and a half hours of that time. Talk about a wake-up call to productivity managers.

Time at work

Time Spent At Work

Want to know who puts in the longest average work day? Those people working in the production field (factory workers, product assemblers, and similar trades). They log just over eight and a third hours of work per day, trailed slightly by installation and repair professionals. Maybe you should cut the cable guy some slack next time, knowing he works longer hours than just about anybody else!

Of course, these numbers are only the average and may not reflect the exact amount of time you spend working or playing with the kids. But they are interesting nonetheless.

busy all the time