How people spend their time?

In this fast-paced world, do we take a pause and retrospect where our significant part of our time actually goes into, and who we spend the most of our times over the course of our lives? I think it’s important for us to ponder over these and consider taking some corrective actions depending on our life’s priorities.

I am sharing these interesting insights which I got from a couple of sources.

Our World in Data has published how people spend their average time per day by comparing the data across a few selected countries. The dimensions used to compare are Work, Sleep, Eat, Other leisure activities.

  • China puts in 2x more work hours compared to countries such as Italy, and it presents a high correlation between work & sleep in a way that the people in China dedicates more time for sleeping than any other countries listed above.
  • Countries like Italy, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Belgium indulge in more leisure activities than other countries
  • People in USA and India consider to be sleeping more than the average for 8 hours and 48 mins. It’s surprising for me to see India emerged as the top in this data point! South Korea sleep the least as per the list
  • France, Spain, Italy, Greece appear to be spending more time in eating & drinking whereas USA is the least

A general pattern found is that the people in rich countries afford to work less and spend quality time with leisure activities. There is a strong correlation with happiness index as well which signifies people spending quality, leisure time are happier than other countries who spend less time on leisure. For instance, Finland has been honored as the happiest country in the world and their people spend more time in leisure activities.

While these insights are the country-level, I want to refer to an another source which happens to be a Twitter thread of Sahil Bloom. He summarized some key insights on who we spend our time with over the course of our lives. The source data corresponds to American Time Use Survey published in Our World in Data

  • Time spent with Family

As we grow from toddler to adult, we move places for work, settle across different cities & countries. This graph shows clearly that we spend lesser number of time with our parents and siblings. I can’t disagree with what Sahil beatifically mentions, “Prioritize and cherish every moment”. If you get a chance to spend your whole life with your parents, consider yourself lucky as many people are not privileged for various reasons.

  • Time spent with friends

Getting true friends has become rare these days. Again, consider yourself lucky if you have got one and still keeping in touch. Friends do often change over the course of years and hence the graph shows it peaks during the teenage and then gradually declines. Stay in touch with true ones and especially who travel with you through the good & bad phase of your life.

  • Time spent with Partner

For the majority of people, spending time with partner will be more compared to them spending time with parents, siblings, friends. People tend to move places for better work and they move along with partners & kids far off from their respective parents thanks to globalization.

  • Time spent with children

It is always a joy to re-learn with your kids and view the world again from the lens of them. From the graph, it shows the maximum peak between the age group 30 to 40 and then declines thereafter

  • Time spent with coworkers

This is one of the significant time you’re going to spend the most time outside of your family members. Getting the right workplace, right mentor and peers are key for your success in your professional career.

  • Time spent alone

No matter how you view your entire timeline of your life, you might end-up spending more time alone during your commute/travel hours and whatnot. Having a conscious daily routine would be key to better yourself each day.

There’s a famous liner – If you get one percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done. Spend your lonely-time to see how you can improve in your personal and professional lives. Celebrate small wins, spend quality time with your closed ones. Live with content.