Think You Have Work/Life Balance? Compare to Others to Find Out

Do you think you live a balanced life? Check out this snapshot of our daily lives to see where you fit in:

Snoozing fibs: It appears full-time working American women claim to sleep less than they actually do. When responding to a 2007 National Sleep Foundation poll, women said they clocked about six hours of sleep in an average weeknight. But that snooze time may actually be closer to eight hours on average when figuring in weekend sleep time, says an American Time Use Survey. In a Forbes story, Cali Williams Yost, owner of Work + Life Fit Inc., says the discrepancy can be chalked up to female competiveness. “Like taking all of your vacation, for some reason, wanting and getting sleep symbolizes a less than 100 percent commitment not only to your job but your family,” she says.

Rock on: In the last year, 36 percent of baby boomers have gone to a professional sporting event, while 22 percent have attended live theater, says a Scarborough study. Some 14 percent have visited an art museum while 12 percent have gone to a rock concert.

Their own worst enemies: Some 42 percent of women in a survey commissioned by Real Simple say they do not have enough free time, but admit much of their problem stems from their inability to relinquish control over children or chores to their partners.

Vacation days left on the table: Last year American workers earned 14 days of vacation time, but only took 12 of them, says an Expedia study. In 2010, they earned 15, but still only took 12 days off. Just to give a little perspective, French workers earn 30 vacation days and took every one of them last year.

Disconnection phobia: Only 25 percent of American workers say they check in regularly with work email or voicemail while on vacation, with 75 percent reporting they check in sometimes or never, says an Expedia study. Only one in seven Danish workers say they’ll check email or voicemail regularly while taking time off. The most connected while on vacation are the French, Japanese, Indian and Italian workers, with more than 50 percent reporting they talk regularly with their workplace.

Smartphone mania: In the U.S. and Finland, users check smartphone repeatedly throughout the day, usually for less than 30 seconds, says a study by Helsinki Institute for Information Technology and Intel Labs. People most often check the news online when they’re bored or look at email while commuting, the study found.














Anita Bruzzese

Anita Bruzzese is a syndicated columnist for Gannett/USA Today on workplace issues and the author of “45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy.” She has been on the Today show, and quoted in publications such as O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Self.com and BusinessWeek.com. Her website, 45things.com, is listed on the Forbes top 100 websites for women.

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