Software for the finest computer – The Mind


Posted by Tim Bryce on October 26, 2012


– How it adds up.

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I was recently stopped at a traffic light on legendary US19 here in Palm Harbor during rush hour. For those of you unfamiliar with US19, it is the main artery running north-south in our county (Pinellas). There are three lanes on each side and traffic volume can be considerable. If you get caught in rush hour traffic, you can be hung-up for quite some time. It can also be quite dangerous; the bumper sticker, “Pray for Me, I drive on US19,” pretty much sums it up. There are traffic lights spread approximately three miles apart, which means there is a lot of stop-and-go traffic. So much so, I started to wonder how much time we waste waiting in traffic. To learn the answer, I checked various sources on the Internet and learned more than what I was originally looking for, for example:

WAITING – on the average, we spend 45 to 62 minutes daily. This includes waiting in traffic, in lines, or for service.

COMMUTING – According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the national average daily amount of time we spend commuting to work is 24.3 minutes. Actually, I thought this was surprisingly low.

EATING – According to the USDA, Americans spend 67 minutes eating and drinking during meal times, but we also spend an additional 23.5 minutes eating while doing something else, and an additional 63 minutes drinking beverages while doing something else, e.g., coffee/tea breaks. In total, 153.5 minutes.

BATHROOM – we average 57 minutes in the bathroom each day, either relieving or grooming ourselves. Women tend to spend more time than men in the powder room, but that is immaterial for the purposes of this article.

TELEVISION – a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicated Americans spend a staggering 2.7 hours watching TV each day.

LEISURE AND SOCIALIZATION – several reports indicate we spend 100 minutes on other recreational activities, excluding television.

SLEEPING – most reports still indicate we spend eight hours each day sleeping. Some reports have it a little higher, but I tend to believe it is less than this. Nonetheless, eight hours appears to be the average.

So, let’s add it up for the typical work day. I’ll round off the numbers to the nearest half hour:

2.5 – EATING

This leaves us with just seven hours to pursue our labors which doesn’t seem like much when you compare it to everything else. It also makes you wonder if we’re truly earning our keep which is a bit disheartening.

Then there is the matter of how much time we spend on these activities in a lifetime. If I were to use just 50 years as an average, we would find the following number of DAYS spent:

760.4 – WAITING (2 years)
380.2 – COMMUTING (1 year)
1901.0 – EATING (5.2 years)
760.4 – BATHROOM (2 years)
1901.0 – TELEVISION (5.2 years)
1140.6 – LEISURE AND SOCIALIZATION (3.1 years)
6083.3 – SLEEPING (16.6 years)

Please remember, these numbers are based on averages and doesn’t take into account such things as vacations, disabilities, unemployment, etc.

As amusing as these numbers are, they should make us cognizant of whether we are wasting our time or not.

See what happens when you leave me stuck at a red light on US19?

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE LANGUAGE OF SYSTEMS – And, No, it is not C++, Java, SQL, or any other programming language.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, (12:30-3:00pm).

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

7 Responses to “WHERE DOES YOUR TIME GO?”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A K.S. of Oklahoma wrote…

    “It would be nice to see how many hours/ years we spend reading. Ad now, how about on Facebook?”


  2. Tim Bryce said

    A J.N. of Tampa, Florida wrote…

    “Two Thumbs up Tim!”


  3. Jenn said

    Sounds about right!! I don’t watch very much television until I am not working–thank goodness for DVR’s. And I don’t commute as I work from home–but I spend my commute time doing laundry– I am sure!! HA HA! Great post Tim!


  4. Tim Bryce said

    An O.B. of Macon, Georgia wrote…

    ” I too have traveled on the legendary US-19, so I do have and idea of the traffic. Several year ago I decided that there is no such thing as “time” it is just a word that was created so we could put things in little boxes as you have just adequately done. I have learned to do a bit of multitasking. When in traffic, I play my harmonica, not that I am any good at it but I can recognize the songs I play and it seems to make the traffic more tolerable, I like old songs so it also servers to keep my memory alive. I guess the waiting is more of a chore for me. Although I never have to “stand” in line as my power wheelchair provides me a seat wherever I go.

    The bathroom has become both a reading and a thinking room. Since I am by myself. I find I have the most privacy there. Peace and quiet, (musical overtones accepted) I keep reading material there that I would not otherwise read. Monthly magazines and periodicals. I think it is fortunate that I do not have a laptop computer to take with me on trips to the necessary room.

    Commuting is a small town does not take a lot of time as things are close by. It take 3 minute to get from my house to the Haunted Barn where my shop is situated. 4 minutes to get to the drug store and about the same for the grocery. What does take the time (and it seems like eons) is loading and unloading my power wheelchair) Approx. 4 minutes each way. ( I am grateful that I do not have to go on crutches)

    On the subject of Television, I come out on top, I don’t watch it. not the news, nor anything else, except when I can cuddle up next to my lady and watch a good movie. For the most part the TV is worthless. Slanted news, senseless sitcoms and wasted time on game shows and “Opry” like programs that also tend to slant viewpoints.

    I to tend to spend a bit of time eating. Family suppers are mandatory at my house if I am home. My lady is and excellent cook and I do love her cooking. Apparently other folks do too, as during the month of October she cook for over 50 people each night the Haunted Barn is open (15 days this year) and I hear lots of folks complementing her on the food she cooks. I do have a bad habit of snacking on peanut butter and ritz crackers when I am working on the computer. (but that is multitasking right?)

    I do spend a lot of time socializing. My shop is a Mecca of sorts, folks come in and out all day, sometimes with things for me to fix, but mostly to chat or ask how to do or fix something. At my age, I enjoy that. I also wear another hat on Saturday’s at our Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins as a volunteer in the WWII hangar. I get to talk with the folks that come to visit the exhibits and talk to the kids about model aviation and encourage them to try it.

    Sleeping is necessary but I do it in shifts. I an sleep only for about 4 hours then my backache wakes me and I get up and do my writing and other task on the computers until it subsides, then go back to sleep for another two or three hours. Rarely do I achieve eight hours a day.ble

    One of the things you did not mention is teaching. Both for the lodge and the kids and folks that come to my shop to learn. I probably spend more time on that than I should but next to my lady, and my grandchildren, it is the love of my life. To be able to teach others that think enough of you to come learn at your knee is the ultimate reward.

    I do know where my time goes. For me it passed doing the things I want to or am impelled to do, either by nature or society.

    If only I had a bit more money to pay monthly bills and take my lady out to dinner, I would be a totally happy man.

    Remember time is a word invented by man. God did not have time in his vocabulary”


  5. Tim Bryce said

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    “When my children were young, I worked part time in the evenings at a walk in clinic. My commute to work was the only private, quiet time I had in which to think, pray, plan, etc., without interruption. I also had undisputed claim to the title of Music Captain, and was free to choose the radio station or CD. I guess waiting in traffic can be viewed as frustrating or as an opportunity.”


  6. Tim Bryce said

    A U.V. of Largo, Florida wrote…

    “Does this mean that I’m older than I thought? Oh, no!!!”


  7. Tim Bryce said

    A C.H. of Tampa, Florida wrote…

    “With all the driving I do; I feel as if my time waiting for lights and bumper-to-bumper traffic is more than twice the average noted.”


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