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What We Really Do All Day Reviews

What We Really Do All Day by Jonathan Gershuny, Oriel Sullivan

What We Really Do All Day

Insights from the Centre for Time Use Research

Jonathan Gershuny, Oriel Sullivan

Score pending

2 reviews

Category: Non-fiction
Imprint: Pelican
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication date: 1 Jul 2017
ISBN: 9780241285565

How has the way we spend our time changed over the last fifty years? Are we really working more, sleeping less and addicted to our phones? What does this mean for our health, wealth and happiness? Everything we do happens in time and it feels like our lives are busier than ever before. Yet a detailed look at our daily activities reveals some surprising truths about the social and economic structure of the world we live in. This book delves into the unrivalled data collection and expertise of the Centre for Time Use Research to explore fifty-five years of change and what it means for us today.

3 stars out of 5
1 Aug 2019

"brilliant at busting myths about how we spend our time"

This book is academic in style and can be dry at times; there isn’t much in the way of a narrative to help the data slip down. It’s also focused mostly on time patterns in the UK, and the few international comparisons offered only take in other wealthy countries. But its insight into what we do is illuminating. It’s impossible not to see your life − and those of your parents and children − reflected in the data or to ponder how far your own days differ from the average. And that makes reading it an excellent use of time.


4 stars out of 5
Steven Poole
19 Jun 2019

"a fascinating analysis of data on how we spend our time"

It would be handy to have a reliable source of evidence about what people actually spend their time doing, and how they feel about it. That is precisely what the Centre for Time Use Research at University College London has supplied. In 2014-15, a randomly selected group of 8,000 people were asked to fill in time-use diaries, recording what they did as they went along at 10-minute intervals over a full day. Researchers collected 16,000 such “diary days”, and this book is a fascinating analysis of the results.