Long summer days are a natural time for Americans to re-focus their time to do more of what they enjoy, but it can still be challenging to make any extra time. In fact, according to a new survey by Safeco Insurance, more than four in five respondents agree they need an extra hour in the day with 70 percent admitting they would use that extra time to do something for themselves.
The survey results showed that people are working longer hours, but 45 percent are realizing less happiness in their extended workdays. Nearly half say that finding just sixty minutes more in their day to do something they enjoy would make them happy and relaxed. Topping the list of activities for a “do more hour” were personal hobbies (40%), having alone or personal time (29%) and trying something new (22%).
With over half of respondents admitting to feeling more inspired to find free time during summer, Safeco is launching the #MY60 campaign to encourage people to take back 60 minutes of their day over a 60-day period. Safeco is inviting consumers to visit www.safeco.com/MY60 to find tips and checklists on how to create and maximize a “do more hour” for themselves. The site will also feature expert advice from Jonathan Alpert, a Manhattan-based psychotherapist and author of the book “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.”
“Part of Safeco’s mission is to help both our customers and independent agents get more out of life from getting more involved in their communities to tackling a new challenge,” said Matthew Nickerson, President, Safeco Insurance. “We hope Safeco’s #MY60 campaign will empower people with the tools to help them find an hour or any extra time in their day to do what makes them happiest.”
The survey also demonstrated the tug-pull feeling Americans have on how much time they spend on things they have-to-do versus things they want-to-do, with respondents aspiring to a near 50/50 split. However, the study shows a different story as respondents report actually spending two-thirds of their time on have-to-do activities as opposed to only 33 percent focusing on want-to-do activities.
When it comes to managing time, 66 percent of those surveyed believe they are only somewhat successful or not successful at all with their time management. In fact, only one-third of respondents feel that they successfully manage their time and complete daily to-do lists.
There are also negative consequences to not having enough hours in the day to get through everything. Over half of respondents admitted to using a negative behavior such as overeating to cope with not accomplishing everything they need to do. These behaviors are likely having a negative impact on relationships. One-quarter say they withdraw from other people and 24 percent become angry with others to cope.
“The best way to avoid negative behaviors stemming from not having enough time to do it all is to change your thinking about what needs to be done,” notes Alpert. “Carving out an hour in the day of ‘me’ time is essential to personal happiness.”
Alpert offers several tips to help find an hour a day to do more including:
Change your thinking. “I’m so busy” and “I don’t have time for anything” are negative comments that are sure to keep you feeling overwhelmed. Think more along the lines of making good use of the time that you do have or having perspective that you can only do so much in one day and to accomplish what’s reasonable for that given day. Empower yourself to think “can” and “will” instead of “can’t” and “have to.”
Track how you spend your time. Do this for one week. Many people are entirely unaware of what they do hour to hour and where the day goes. The simple exercise of noting what you’re doing each hour can have a huge impact. Track your time and know where you’re spending it.
Determine which tasks and activities are vital and which are optional. Structure other tasks around those that are vital. Schedule your day by doing the important tasks first, using the first 15 minutes of your morning to organize your work area. This is when you are freshest and energetic. So often the less important tasks get in the way of other things that need to be done which can be distracting. It’s often easier to do the things that aren’t as important, but fear can lead to procrastination and ends up keeping us stagnant.
For additional tips and more information on the #MY60 Challenge, visit www.safeco.com/MY60.
About the Study
Safeco Insurance commissioned ORC International to conduct a quantitative methodology to measure attitudes towards time management and balancing leisure time with work and essential tasks. During April/May 2015, a 10-minute online survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of approximately 2,000 adults aged 21 to 75 within ten major media markets (approximately 200 for each: Boston, NYC, Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, Charlotte, San Francisco, Columbus, Philadelphia, Phoenix).*”Total” reported is an unweighted average of these ten markets.
About Safeco Insurance
In business since 1923 and based in Boston, Mass., Safeco Insurance sells personal automobile, homeowners and specialty products through a network of more than 10,000 independent insurance agencies throughout the United States. Safeco is a Liberty Mutual Insurance company.
Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance is a diversified insurer and the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2013 direct premiums written as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Liberty Mutual Insurance also ranks 78th on the Fortune 100 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2014 revenue. For more information about Safeco Insurance, go to safeco.com.