Americans’ War on Time


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What would you do, if you were given an extra day?online surveys

In 2008 a USA Today survey of more than 2,000 Americans asked about their work, personal life and the 24/7 war on time.

The results confirmed what most of us already know intuitively:

  • 70% complained they were very busy.
  • 50% said they were busier now than the previous year.
  • More than 60% said they were angry with slow services, traffic and people being late for appointments, meetings, deadlines.
  • More than 30% were consistently angered by slow PC start-up and slow downloads.

People consistently complained about the sacrifices they have to make in order to get work done.

  • 45% said they sacrifice time spent with friends.
  • 30% regularly sacrifice family time.
  • Overwhelming 57% sacrifice sleep (shocker!)
  • A confident 90% wished they had more time to spend with their family and friends.

Here comes the paradox! All participants were asked what they would do if they were given an extra day.

  • Only 9% said they’d spend the time with friends.
  • 31% said they’d spend the day with family.
  • 25% wanted to have fun.
  • Most (35%) wanted to get more work done.

So, most people wished they could have more time with family and friends, and yet, if given an extra day, they would use it to get some more work done?! Is it just me, or this really makes no sense?

The truth is that with the internet, globalization and being able to work remotely, there will never be enough hours in a day, or enough days in a year to get it all done. This really is the age of information. The competition has never been more fierce. Snooze for an hour and you lose. What you read in the news this morning, is already old news. It just seems we can never know it all and trying to keep up in the hamster wheel soon gets us real exhausted and desperate … Desperate to have more time, when what we really need is not more time. What we need is to set our priorities straight, so that if we want more family time, we make more family time. If we want more work done, we get more work done. Just make sure you are consistent with what you want to do with your time and what you actually do with your time.

So, what would you do if you had an extra day?

Image: Miguel77

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