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August 03, 2005

It's About Time

Hourglass_sm_1 Feeling overworked? Join the Take Back Your Time movement at the national conference in Seattle this week. The people at Take Back Your Time want to challenge the notion that success should be primarily measured in economic terms and bring work and life back into balance. (Good thing, because research in the growing field of happiness economics suggests that the link between money and happiness is weak.)

As it is, Americans are putting in about nine weeks more per year than our European counterparts, and more than the citizens of any other industrial country. With all the hours we put in working (and hours--or make that days--spent commuting to work), there isn’t much time for other pursuits such as connecting with friends, spending time with family, and just kicking back.

The conference examines ways to reclaim time, and supports policies such as guaranteed paid childbirth leave, three weeks vacation, and capping overtime.

Posted by Leigh Sims | Permalink


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I was just watching a show on TV the other day in which women from various countries talked about their quality of life. The one common theme among them all was that they got way more vacation than we Americans do and that they thought Americans worked too hard and didn't take enough time to enjoy life. I was thinking to myself, while watching it, "Isn't that the truth!"

Posted by: Kate | Aug 3, 2005 1:12:07 PM

I just heard of a study which says that its not happiness that's important, but fulfillment. In fact, too much happiness may make you less satisfied and shorten your life expectancy.

According to the source, people are happy when they have fun and don't have to work. They are unhappy if they have to work hard or get too busy taking care of their children.

But people feel fulfilled and satisfied if they believe that their lives had purpose. Many people who retire early eventually feel unsatisfied with their lives because they lose a sense of purpose in their lives. Finally, despite going through a lot of grief raising their children, most parents at the end of their lives are satisfied and glad that they had children.

In conclusion, how do we measure happiness? Is happiness experienced by having fun and time of from work true happiness?

Posted by: Ed Song | Oct 19, 2005 1:56:07 PM

Ed -- great point! If you find a reference to the study, could you send it our way?

Posted by: Clark Williams-Derry | Oct 20, 2005 10:19:23 AM