What is this term, time poverty, anyway? According to NatureofCollege.org, time poverty can be defined as follows: ‘Part of the price we pay for affluence, because we generally have to spend too much time working to make the money we spend.’ Basically what that is saying is that the harder you work for those riches using the traditional model, (more on that later in this article), the less time you will have to actually do the things you love. Before we discover if you are suffering from time poverty, consider this fact:
According to a LifeHacker.com article, it is estimated that an 80 minute roundtrip commute, multiplied over 10 years will cost the average worker at least $60,000 and 1.3 work years’ worth of time, (as cited from my friend Jonathan Roseland on his blog LimitlessMindset.com).
Why is this relevant? Well…
When we consider the issue of time poverty it is easy to see why this is relevant. If you are spending $60K over ten years and 1.3 years’ worth of time just to commute to work, is your investment really worth it? What if you could take that time and money and invest it into something else; like I don’t know, say a business endeavor that would easily generate that amount of money over ten years’ time?
Wouldn’t you agree that would be a much more valuable investment of your time and resources?
If you’re still not convinced, consider the following chart provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
According to this chart, it states that the average American worker spends 8.6 hours a day engaged in ‘work’ and ‘work related’ activities. I’m certain that after reading the report located here that this statistic is a mix of full and part time workers. This statistic clearly does not represent a majority of people who are employed in middle and upper management positions.
Many accounts read across the web state that many corporations are demanding at least 60-70 hours per week out of their middle and upper management members. This means an average of 12-14 hours spent per day working to make someone else rich. This kind of expectation is especially prevalent with salaried employees. While I was unable to find any hard numbers on what percentage of salaried employees inevitably work in excess of 40 hours per week, I was able to find the following information:
According to a recent survey by Expedia.com, 63 percent of Americans work more than 40 hours a week, with some 40 percent exceeding the 50-hour a week mark.
More than $21 billion dollars of annual vacation time goes unused and therefore gets retained by employers. On average, we spend between 2.5 more weeks to three months more time at work than do our Japanese and western European counterparts. The result? Many of us are sorely overworked and underpaid.
Why is this?
Steven Ashby, assistant professor in the Division of Labor Studies at IUB and an expert on workers’ rights, offered the following summary of the situation:
“Basically, there is a move by employers to have fewer workers do more work.” he said. “There is a big push in industry and hospitals to move to the 12-hour shift, with no over-time pay after eight hours,” said Ashby.
But it’s not just hospital workers and industry workers that endure longer hours. The last job I ever had was working in an office for a financial services firm. Here is what I witnessed:
It was not uncommon for the salaried employees to put in a minimum of 10 hours a day; often skipping lunch breaks in order to keep up with the workload, with middle and upper management working in excess of 70 hours per week. This is not including the commute to and from, which for many was at least a 2 hour roundtrip. Additionally, this type of job performance was expected and encouraged and often times the employees who actually took lunch breaks and such were chastised in private by their superiors; even though labor law clearly dictates scheduled breaks and lunches.
Needless to say, I didn’t last long there as I was spending a minimum of 12 hours per day (including my commute and my morning routine) working to make someone else rich. Alongside that, I was getting sick all the time because I wasn’t taking very good care of myself. I was unable to find the time to do anything but work and prepare for work. I hated it. I was definitely suffering from time poverty; all for a measly $50K per year in salary.
The tables have turned immensely since we started our business. Now we work to make ourselves rich. I put in an average of 20 hours a week and stand to make in excess of six figures over the next 10 years. Imagine what I do with all my ‘extra’ time now? And imagine what I’ll do with all that extra money?
Needless to say; I’ve been cured of my time poverty. Have you been?