Startling Statistics About How We Spend Our Time

Posted by Susan Cullen on December 18, 2019

How_We_Spend_Our_Time_BlogAre you strapped for time? Do you have a hard time finishing things you need to get done? It’s time to examine how you spend your time.

Everybody gets 24 hours every day. That’s how much time we own to do what we need to do. Are you making the most of it?

You might ask, “Don’t I need a balanced life? Shouldn’t I take time for family, friends, and  recreation?” Of course. But if it seems like you never have enough time, your daily routine needs a check-up.

To see how you compare with the average American, take a look at the latest stats in the American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Time We Spend Sleeping

The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) shows that we sleep an average of 8 hours and 33 minutes on weekdays. On weekends and Holidays, we average 9 hours 28 minutes. 

Time We Spend At Work

For most of us, work takes up the largest chunk of our waking hours. Most of us work a 40-hour week. Others work longer. Some of us work a lot of overtime, or have more than one job, leaving little time for other things.

The survey tells us that 89% of people with full-time jobs spend an average of 8 1/2 weekday hours at work each day.

31% work an average of 5 hours and 24 minutes on weekends.

Time We Spend Getting Smarter

Learning is the key to success. We averaged 28 minutes a day with educational activities.

Of course, teens spend a lot more time with education with boys studying 3 hours 37 minutes a day and girls averaging 2 hours, 29 minutes.

Time We Spend With Household Activities

The ATUS survey shows that Americans spend on average about 18 minutes a day on house cleaning. People spend about 11 minutes a day on average doing laundry. We average 34 minutes a day preparing meals and cleaning up after. 

We spend about 14 minutes a day doing indoor and outdoor home repairs, including lawn care, mowing, weeding, fertilizing. 

People in charge of household finances, paying the bills, doing taxes, etc., work their financial magic for 45 minutes a day.

Time We Spend On Leisure Activities

On average, we spent 5 hours, 16 minutes a day engaged in leisure activities. On a typical weekday, we spend 4 hours and 43 minutes. On weekends and holidays, 6 hours and 34 minutes.

  • Watching TV. The ATUS showed that we Americans spend most of our leisure time in front of the tube - an average of 2 hours, 48 minutes a day.
  • Socializing. We all need to socialize. It helps keep us healthy and happy. We spend an average of 38 minutes a day participating in social activities. On weekdays we average around 24 minutes at social events. On weekends and holidays, about 59 minutes.
  • Exercise and Sports. We know how important it is to keep the body in shape. Men spent 1 hour 42 minutes working out or playing sports. Women exercised or played sports for an hour and 18 minutes.
  • Eating and Drinking. We averaged about an hour and 11 minutes for meals and snacks.
  • Shopping. We average 46 minutes a day grocery shopping. Americans spend about 50 minutes a day shopping for other things.
  • Reading. Americans age 15-54 spend 10 minutes or less reading for personal interest. Senior citizens read more. People 75 or older read an average of 48 minutes a day.

Time We Spend Caring for Children

Parents with at least one child under the age of 6 spend an average of 2 hours, 9 minutes caring for and helping children. Men take care of children for about an hour and 18 minutes a day. Women spend about 2 hours and 49 minutes.

Parents of children between the ages of 6 and 12 spend about an hour caring for the kiddos - 41 minutes for men, an hour and 18 minutes for women.

Folks read to their kids an average of 28 minutes a day. Americans play with their youngsters for about an hour and 43 minutes a day. People spend just under an hour a day helping their kids with homework.

Parents with children between 6 and 17 years old average about 6 minutes a day going to school plays, baseball or soccer games, and other functions.

Time We Spend With Pets

We spend a little less than 45 minutes a day walking, exercising, and playing with our nonhuman companions.

Other Ways We Spend Time

  • 51 minutes a day grooming.
  • About 18 minutes a day volunteering and religious activities.
  • 9 minutes a day with telephone calls, mail, and email.

There’s a wide range of things to do on any given day. It’s up to you to make the most of it. It takes only a small amount of discipline to effectively manage your time. 

For more time management tips and ideas, check out the recording of Time and Priority Management from my guest spot on the “Let’s Talk Sales” radio show” or download our free whitepaper, “Startling Statistics About How We Use Our Time.”

Topics: Time Management

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