Too busy to volunteer?

Who isn’t, BUT giving time might make you feel as though you have more time.

A new study found that those who spend time on others feel more flush with time than those who hoard all their hours for themselves. Giving time leads to a feeling of “time affluence.” The authors of the study (Giving Time Gives You Time) explain: “The impact of giving time on feelings of time affluence is driven by a boosted sense of self-efficacy. Giving time makes people more willing to commit to future engagements despite their busy schedules.”

What do you think?

How many hours do you spend sitting?

The average American spends about 8 hours sitting: working, reading, typing, computing, driving and etc. That’s a lot of time spent on the derriere and it’s not healthy. Even if you exercise everyday, hours of sitting can cut years off your life. A recent article published in BMJ Open reported that sitting for more than 3 hours a day can shave two years off your life. Watching TV for more than 2 hours a day (the typical American watches more than 3), can pare another 1.4 years.

It makes sense. We were not designed to be sedentary. So as you read these sentences, stand up. Next time the phone rings, pace while you talk. Consider a standing desk and arranging walking meetings. You’ll add time to your life and you’ll probably feel a lot peppier too.








Hate Meetings?

I do. (Unless they are promised to be no more than 30 minutes, or delicious snacks will be served.)

So does Dave Barry who wrote, “If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.’”

If you regularly schedule meetings, consider these efficiency strategies from Get More Done Time Study Consulting. (If you are a schedulee rather than a scheduler, share the Get More Done link with your boss.)

*Write an agenda and distribute it before the get together. The agenda should list the purpose of the meeting and the items to be discussed; the list of items should be specific and focused. Include a hard stop, too. End times can bring a needed sense of urgency to all involved.

*Start meetings on the half hour.  Research indicates that meetings are more likely to start on time when they are scheduled on the half hour, rather than on the hour.

*Schedule meetings in afternoon. Time studies show that meetings are shorter later in the day. As quitting time approaches, business tends to become more efficient.



Why are moms more irritable than dads?

Could be their extra hours of multitasking. A recent study, Revisiting the Gender Gap in Time-Use Patterns, found that  “mothers spend 10 more hours a week multitasking compared to fathers and that these additional hours are mainly related to time spent on housework and childcare.”

As a working mom, I relate. In the early evening I am typically helping with homework, preparing dinner, checking email and playing fetch with our high-maintenance dog.

The study’s authors note that for mothers, “multitasking activities at home and in public are associated with an increase in negative emotions, stress, psychological distress, and work-family conflict. By contrast, fathers’ multitasking at home involves less housework and childcare and is not a negative experience.”

Even though moms and dads are logging the same hours of paid and unpaid work each week, the quality of that time is much different than it used to be. (For more on the break down of work among couples, read Ruth Davis Konigsberg’s excellent story in Time, “Chore Wars.”)






Attention Issues?

Do you ever wonder if you might have ADHD? (I certainly have my moments.) Or do you suspect that someone you know might have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? About 5 percent of adults are believed to have this disorder, which is marked by impulsiveness, inattention, and poor self-regulation. Children with the condition tend to be hyperactive, but adults who have it often just seem distracted and disorganized. Only about 10 percent of adults with the disorder have been diagnosed.

If you’re curious about the disorder and how to get diagnosed, read my story Watching for Speed Bumps on the Way to an ADHD Diagnosis, in the New York Times.