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Adults are no strangers to feeling like life has them burning the candles at both ends. This seems to be especially true as the demands of a serious career and family begin to pull you in increasingly opposite directions. It makes one more empathetic to the last dregs of peanut butter you are attempting to spread over two sandwiches.
As you flop down at the end of a days work, head reeling, feet aching, looking around at how much there is left to be done, you realize you have it all to do again once the alarm sounds tomorrow. Have you ever stopped to wonder how much time you really spend performing these daily tasks which seem to compose your life? Not that you have time to make the computations.
It turns out, somebody has the time not only to wonder but to quantify and qualify the average time Americans spend in the performance of menial, repetitive daily tasks you know, the stuff you call keeping up with life.
The graphic chart at the left is very illuminating. It turns out our time might not be as thinly stretched as we think it is. Perhaps a bit of reorganization could help fill in the gaps.
Time is the great leveler. The clock doesnt care if you are rich, poor, stupid, ugly, brilliant, or fantastically gorgeous. Everyone gets the same 24 hour day as the persons on their left or right. The choice you do have is how you 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 rings in at one fifth of an hour. Time spent in front of the boob-tube tallies up to a whopping 2.61 hours a day. Americans universally complain of a lack of time to exercise! Well, the numbers dont lie. Sorry, there goes your favorite excuse.
What about sleep? Are you certain that your bed is suffering from a lack of visitation? Well, if you are average, then you are getting your moneys worth from your bedroom furnishings. The average Joe America Sleeper gets over eight hours each night, and the weekends see an hour increase in sleep time.
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 the dull boy. Because, as it turns out, the writers of the Friends sitcom was right to show their characters sitting in that 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. Hmm, talk about a wake-up call to productivity managers!
Want to know who puts in the longest average work day? Those poor guys working in the production field, thats who. They log just over eight and a third hours of work per day and are trailed only slightly by installation and repair professionals. Maybe you 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 fixing your do or playing with the kids. But they are interesting nonetheless.