The lack of time, Graaf claims, is resulting in painful realities in our lives:
- Convenience Foods: the foods that are fast to prepare and eat often are not nutritious and make us fat
- Long Commutes to Work: require us to have the expense of reliable transportation, gas and insurance
- Overscheduled Kids, Underconnected Familes
- Shrinking Vacations: Americans average 8.1 days of vacation after 1 year of work compared to our peers in Paris France (4 weeks vacation) and Sydney, Australia (5 weeks vacation)
- Environmental Waste: Disposable razors, frozen dinner packaging, and less time to recycle has turned us into a wasteful group
- No Time for Community: So many Americans want to help by volunteering for a cause they believe in, but who has time?
"For many of us, the problem is very simple but ironic: our desire to keep our health insurance benefits ties us to jobs that are bad for our health. “
There are very few people working 40 hour work weeks anymore, and most workers add at least an additional hour of commute time each day.
The data revealed a significant association between the number of hours that people work and their satisfaction with life: People who worked fewer hours reported being more satisfied than those who worked many hours. Challenge is that employers have managed to sell the citizens in this nation on a salary. Nevermind that it takes 1.5 people to do the job, isn't that what your weekends were made for anyway?
Ways to counteract this vicious cycle include a term called Voluntary Simplicity. There are many definitions of what this means, but some ideas for relief in this book include:
- Stocking up on kitchen essentials to eat healthier meals
- Negotiating for a more manageable work week and/or vacation instead of more money and a promotion
- Reducing your commute and your reliance on an expensive vehicle
- Moving into a more family town allowing children to walk and ride their bikes to school
- Changing legal policy requiring corporate America to have more reasonable expectations of their workers
This book has a plethora of resources and statistics to support the fact that you aren't losing your mind; you really are being robbed of your time.
"Many people are finding that by simplifying their lives they not only reduce their need to work so much, they also find the energy to help change the political and economic structures that keep us overworking. In changing their own lives, they begin to change society as well. "
Live simply, enjoy life more.
The author, Kimberly A. Griffiths, has been through the vicious cycle of debt herself, and provides a no-nonsense system to managing your money paycheck to paycheck. Visit the One Paycheck at a Time Web site for articles and tools to budget your household: http://www.OnePaycheckataTime.com