We aren’t as busy as we think we are

We aren’t as busy as we think we are May 24, 2016

Chaucer describes a bustling lawyer (the Sergeant of Law) like this:

Nowhere so bisy a man he ther nas                                                                                                                       And yet he semed bisier than he was

It turns out, though we all complain about how busy we are, a study of how we actually use the 24 hours in our days suggests that we may not be as busy as we think.  Or so says Laura Vanderkam, working mother of four,  in the New York Times.

From Laura Vanderkam,  The Busy Person’s Lies – The New York Times:

HOW’S life? Oh, busy.

So goes the mindless modern conversation — a constant assertion of the scarcity of time. A December Gallup poll found that 61 percent of working Americans said they did not have enough time to do the things they wanted to do. Some of us feel this more acutely than others: A 2015 Pew Research Center survey found that 9 in 10 working mothers said they felt rushed all or some of the time.

In an attempt to understand this frenzy, I spent the past 12 months studying my own time during what might turn out to be the busiest year of my life.

I had another baby in January 2015, bringing my total to four under the age of 8. I published a book in June, and make a good deal of my living traveling to give talks. My husband also travels frequently for work. While we were doing pretty well with three kids and two jobs, adding a fourth, even with help from a nanny and from family, felt like courting chaos. I worried about my ability to be the ringmaster of this circus of deadlines, school projects and sippy cups. By getting some perspective on my life, I hoped I could figure out ways to make it better.

So I logged on a spreadsheet in half-hour blocks every one of the 8,784 hours that make up a leap year. I didn’t discover a way to add an extra hour to every day, but I did learn that the stories I told myself about where my time went weren’t always true. The hour-by-hour rhythm of my life was not quite as hectic as I’d thought.

[Keep reading. . .]

HT:  Mary Moerbe

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