What do we do with our time?

A prediction made in 1930 by a prominent economist was that by 2030 we will be entering ‘the age of leisure’. The ordinary people will have so much time that it will be difficult for them to spend it. This prediction has not come true. We have become so ‘busy’ that we have no time to think. This raises a pertinent question – what do we do with our time? We call ourselves ‘busy’, are we really busy? How over the years the pattern of time have changed? These and many such questions are deliberated by Jonathan Gershuny and Oriel Sullivan in their book What We Really Do All Day: Insights from the Centre for Time Use Research. One of their observation is that the regular pattern of eating breakfast, lunch and dinner has almost vanished. People are developing irregular eating habits; they are eating and snacking throughout the day. Another of their observation is that the time we spend on leisure and sleep has changed relatively little. Moreover, we tend to overestimate the amount of time we spend on work. Yet another observation is that the amount of time women spend in paid work has gone up and the amount of time they spend doing domestic work (cooking, cleaning and laundry) has dropped substantially. On the other hand, men are spending more time doing domestic work, though far less than women. It is also a myth that people are much busier than in the past. Highly educated in higher status jobs are perhaps busier than before. Their voice carries weight, and therefore, creates a general impression that everyone is now busier. ‘I am busy’ enhances status and signals indispensability.