7 time consuming things an average Joe spends on in a lifetime

This is part of a new blog series with practical tips on how to be more productive, cultivate creativity and growth within your company, and nurture a vibrant culture among your teams.

Have you ever wondered how much time you spend on certain activities in a lifetime? When our day-to-day activities are summed up into a lifetime, it can be frightening to see how much of our lives goes into these tasks. We’ve put together seven time consuming things an average Joe spends on in their lifetime.

1. Sleeping

A good night’s sleep is vital for every human being to survive. Given that an average a person sleeps for 8 hours in a day, that means that an average person will sleep for 229,961 hours in their lifetime or basically one third of their life. That’s precious time which could have been spent watching Die Hard 105,325 times.

2. Eating

Eating is a necessary part of life that we must do in order to survive. A study done in the US said that an average American spends 67 minutes per day eating and drinking beverages. Summed up together, the average Joe spends a staggering 32,098 hours eating and drinking beverages in their lifetime.


 3. Driving

Cruising down the street on a hot summer day with Radar love by the Golden Earrings playing in the car stereo can be a great joy, but driving can also be kind of a drag. According to a study done by the Harvard Health Watch, an average American spends 101 minutes per day driving. That means that in a lifetime, an average Joe spends a whopping 37,935 hours driving a car (assuming that s/he starts driving at 17 and drives until 78.7 years old). In that time, average Joe will drive around 798,000 miles (1,284,256 kilometers), which is approximately the distance it takes to drive to the moon more than three times!

4. Working

Work is a big part of our life and our biggest source of income, but how much time do we actually spend working? Let’s say that average Joe works 40 hours a week, from the age of 20-65 and gets two weeks of vacation every year. In that time, average Joe will have worked a total of 90,360 hours of his life working for the man.


5. Surfing the internet

In the past decade, the impact of the Internet has exploded, becoming an integral part of our everyday lives. We work, shop, socialize, play games, educate, read news, and do so many other things online. A study done in 2010 tells us that an average American spends 32 hours per month online. That totals 28,300 hours in a lifetime, and this number may increase in the future with smart devices becoming more commonly used and allowing easier access to the Internet.


6. Watching TV

Most of us love watching TV as a leisure activity. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the average American watched TV for 2.8 hours per day, accounting, on average, for around half of their leisure time. That means an average person will watch over 9 years’ worth of TV, or around 80,486 hours. To put that into perspective, you can watch all of the Friends episodes over 838 times.

7. Cleaning

Unless you’re Mary Poppins, you probably don’t like to clean very much; unfortunately, it’s something that most of us have to do. According to this article, women will spend 12,896 hours in their lifetime cleaning the home, which is almost one-and-a-half year of their lives. It may not be a huge surprise that men spend less time cleaning in their lifetime as compared to women. Men spend around half of that — or 6,448 hours in their lifetime cleaning — and therefore, it’s probably fairly safe to say that women are the more hygienic sex.

mary poppins

William Penn once said “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” We may not always be able to control how we spend our time, but we can try to make the most of it.

The best way to gain awareness — the first step towards change — is to find an objective system of measurement that cuts through the power of human rationalization. After all, perception and reality are often two different things. When you track your time, you get a healthy dose of the unfettered truth. Then you can start spending time on what’s most important.

Our Tempo Timesheets add-on for JIRA helps users to not only easily and objectively track their time and productivity, but to figure out how they might best change their behavior to meet their goals. For most of us, time tracking is more about making every hour count than it is about counting every hour. That is, time tracking is not just about awareness: it’s about change. Perhaps this is the crux of why time tracking means getting things done: hours don’t lie. When you realize how you spend your time, it makes clear where your priorities are — or ought to be — and it shows you how you might make your time better match your priorities.


Does not account for time spent multitasking

The calculation were based on the life expectancy that average joe will live to be 78.7 years old according to life expectancy at birth for the U.S. population in 2011

Year was calculated as 365,25 days or 52,2 weeks.  

When calculating how much time is spent driving we assumed that an average Joe would drive from the age of 17 till his death.

When calculating time spent online we estimated that a person would start using the internet at the age of 5.












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Bjarki is the product marketing manager for Tempo Planner and Iceland's number one pineapple enthusiast. He loves playing soccer, training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and listening to old school 70's funk.

82 Responses

  1. Ed Spence says:

    Do you have statistics on how much time the average person spends reading? Have any properly-designed studies been done on the real value of speed reading systems?

    • Bjarki Bjarki says:

      Hi Ed,

      No i’m afraid we don’t have any statistics on the average time a person spends reading. There are probably some studies you can find online regarding the value of speed reading systems.

  2. […] are infecting others with their unhappiness. When you consider the average adult spends over 90,000 hours of his or her life at work, job dissatisfaction becomes a problem of epic […]

  3. Rosie says:

    Do you have any statistics on the following titles?

    -how long someone spends texting in a lifetime
    -how long someone spends shopping in a lifetime
    -how long someone spends exercises in a lifetime

    Thanks for your time.

  4. kamile.rats says:

    So wouldn’t it be better to spend your time in more appropriate way? For example you can change tv watching time to this type of leisure- renginiai , surfing the internet into http://lifehacker.com/the-complete-guide-to-making-money-in-your-spare-time-1291903155 and so on :) People, what you should do is- to think! :)

  5. […] obsoletos el concepto de coche privado que tenemos hoy en día, con el cual según estudios ¡¡un americano de media sólo conduce durante 101 minutos al día!!, tan sólo con ese dato nos podemos dar cuenta de lo ineficiente que es poseer un coche para uso […]

  6. […] It will be obsolete the concept of private car we have today, according to studies the average time of driving of an American is only 101 minutes per day !. Only with this information we can suspect how inefficient it is to own a car for personal use , […]

  7. […] The average American works 40 hours a week from ages 20-65.blog.tempoplugin.com […]

  8. […] It is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Right up there with sleep training an infant. But it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences you can have in your career. And shouldn’t you make your work life rewarding since you spend roughly 90,000+ hours of your life working? […]

  9. […] on one’s list is difficult enough, let alone finding enough time to start a business. Studies show that the number one drainer of personal time is commuting to and from work. Fortunately, the […]

  10. […] are infecting others with their unhappiness. When you consider the average adult spends over 90,000 hours of his or her life at work, job dissatisfaction becomes a problem of epic […]

  11. […] estimate, the client generates 100 data points per second. For a car being driven an average of 101 minutes per day, that’s 606,000 data points per […]

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  13. […] The average American works 40 hours a week from ages 20-65.blog.tempoplugin.com […]

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  16. […] The average American works 40 hours a week from ages 20-65.blog.tempoplugin.com […]

  17. […] The average American works 40 hours a week from ages 20-65.blog.tempoplugin.com […]

  18. […] The average American works 40 hours a week from ages 20-65.blog.tempoplugin.com […]

  19. […] them to get to work, visit friends and family and take our kids to football practice. According to an article on the Tempo blog, a study done by Harvard Health Watch found that, on average, a person spends […]

  20. JuliaT says:

    I wonder what that 80K for watching television will be in 5 years or even 15 years. Especially with so many devices connected online and streaming video on the Internet is taking so much of the share. Interesting no doubt.

  21. […] Getting a new car can be a lot of fun.  Even if you’re not a mechanic, or someone who really enjoys driving, a new car can add a surprising amount of fun and convenience to your life.  Most of us just think about our cars as tools to get from one place to another.  Cars today have become so much more than that!  Depending on how far you commute to work and what sort of leisure activities you enjoy you may be surprised how quickly all that time in the car adds up.  According to one study, the average person will spend more time in the car than they will spend eating during their lifetime!  This study says that the average American will spend over 37,000 hours in a vehicle in their lifetime.  For more statistics on how we use our time, check out that article about 7 things that consume our time. […]

  22. […] ha stilato una classifica delle 7 cose più “time-consuming” per l’americano […]

  23. […] high school, students spend about 31,320 hours in the classroom (roughly the same time spent eating in a lifetime). And just think: That number doesn’t include studying, doing homework, or taking […]

  24. […] The average person spends close (in hours per lifetime) 230,000 sleeping; 32,000 eating; 37,000 driving; 28,000 surfing internet; 80,000 watching tv; and cleaning varies nearly 13,000 for women, and close to 7,000 for men. According to this resource. […]

  25. […] are spent “at work” for example, in an average 40 hour work week for about 40 years is 90,360 hours… that’s a pretty ridiculous amount of time doing the same thing every day simply […]

  26. […] summary said that the average driver spends 500 to 1,000 hours on the road each year. Holy […]

  27. […] to a study done back in 2006, the average American now spends 67 minutes a day eating and drinking, literally. […]

  28. […] truly believe that above everything you should enjoy your job, considering we work more than 90,000 hours in our lifetime it’s important those hours are spent […]

  29. WilliamSado says:

    I loved your article post.Thanks Again. Want more.

  30. […] lines are blurred. The average American will spend approximately 90,000 hours at work over his or her lifetime (that’s more than 10 […]

  31. […] you’re going to work 90,360 hours in your lifetime, you better have […]

  32. […] to the Harvard Health Watch, the average American spends just over 100 minutes sitting in a car every single day. That means […]

  33. […] average person spends at least 90,000 hours working during the course of his or her life. Over a 45-year career, that’s 2000 hours per year. […]

  34. Noel Evans says:

    Oh man, I about flipped when I saw the TV watching stats. That’s MY guilty pleasure. All-in-all, this was a great article; well laid-out and very engaging. Give us more – Give us more!

  35. […] own individually.  The new shift is to utilize more fully the assets that we already own.   Americans spend an average of 1 hour, 41 minutes a day in their cars.  That’s 22 hours, 19 minutes a day when the car is simply unused, or roughly 93.7% of the […]

  36. […] Studies suggest that it’s natural that we seek strong, healthy relationships, so it would make sense that we apply this ‘Golden Rule’ in the workplace. Positive relationships with our colleagues can make us more productive, more committed, and can facilitate better teamwork. We humans are inherently social animals, and historically, relationships with others were partly conducive to our survival – but while they’re not as fundamentally essential today, we still rely on social relationships to keep us happy and healthy. This is equally as relevant in the workplace as we spend an average of 90,360 hours of our lives at work. […]

  37. […] time consuming things an average Joe spends on in a lifetime – the tempo Blog. Available at: http://blog.tempo.io/2013/7-time-consuming-things-an-average-joe-spends-in-a-lifetime/ (Accessed: 15 September […]

  38. […] lives. It is estimated that 80% of U.S. citizens are unhappy with their jobs, yet the average Joe works close to 100,000 hours during their lifetime. When you add this staggering amount of time spent working with the […]

  39. […] According to research from the Harvard Health Watch, the average adult in U.S. spends about 101 minutes a day driving. […]

  40. […] careers are such prominent parts in our lives. Americans will spend approximately 90,000+ hours working in their lifetime, which is absolutely insane when you think about it. Do you really want to spend 90,000+ hours […]

  41. […] 90, 360 hours. That’s the average amount of time you will spend at work in a lifetime; that’s more time than you spend eating, driving or even surfing the internet. And your time at work can have its ups and downs. If you embrace humor in your work environment, it can not only make those 90,360 hours a little more enjoyable, but it can make you more successful. […]

  42. […] is huge part of everyday life. An average American spends 101 minutes per day driving – that’s 37, 935 hours in a car in your […]

  43. […] 7 time consuming things an average Joe spends on in a lifetime […]

  44. […] short term goals in a way that blinds us to the big picture. The average American will spend nearly 100,000 hours at work over the course of their lifetime. For those who work beyond a nine to five schedule, it […]

  45. […] estimated by a study that was performed by Harvard Health Watch that we spend an average of 101 minutes driving every day. This hour and 41 minutes adds up over time, and it’s clear to see this will be […]

  46. […] spend a lot of time in life doing necessary things. You sleep over 200,000 hours. You eat 32,000 hours. You drive over 30,000 hours. And you clean over 10,000 […]

  47. […] personal shoppers take the huge and often time-consuming task of shopping off your hands, you’ll suddenly have more time on your hands to use however you […]

  48. […] are wise to energize yourself for 2017. The average worker spends almost 100,000 hours on the job in a lifetime. With approximately 30% of life spent working, creating a positive office […]

  49. […] for a minute here, let’s get mathematical. According to Bjarki (2013) [1], the average Joe works about 40 hours a week. Let’s say they got their first real job at 20 and […]

  50. […] for a minute here, let’s get mathematical. According to Bjarki (2013) [1], the average Joe works about 40 hours a week. Let’s say they got their first real job at 20 and […]

  51. […] only have one life to live, and, according to research performed by Harvard Health Watch, you’ll spend about 101 minutes of it every day in your car. It only makes sense that you’d […]

  52. […] average human spends around 229,961 hours of their lifetime sleeping. This is nearly one third of their whole life which means having the […]

  53. […] physical activity. When you add up the 8-10 hours a day we spend in our offices with the more than 1.5 hours a day we spend in our cars, plus all of our other responsibilities, finding time for exercise can become […]

  54. […] purchase approximately seven cars, and you’ll end up spending a lot of time in each. A new Harvard Health Watch study has revealed that we typically spend around 101 minutes per day in our vehicle. This adds up […]

  55. […] we spend 1/3 of our life in bed, having a good mattress to sleep on is a […]

  56. […] 7 time-consuming things an average Joe spends on in a lifetime […]

  57. […] be boring. Most of a day is made up of things that are just not that exciting. According to this article, the average person spends over 37,000 hours driving, over 90,000 hours working, and 6–12,000 […]

  58. […] the average person spending roughly a third of their lifetime asleep, the bedroom is no doubt one of the most frequently-used spaces within the home – making it […]

  59. Anthony says:


    This is a very eye opening post for me. Can’t believe we spend so much time sleeping in our lifetime. There’s so much to do, but still we sleep a large part of our lifeline. Astonishing facts. Thanks again for the article.


  60. […] Humans spend approximately one third of their lives asleep, so if you’re going to be spending that much of your life in bed, it should be comfortable. […]

  61. […] Source: blog.tempo.io/2013/7-time-consuming-things-an-average-joe-spends-in-a-lifetime/ […]

  62. […] to ensure that proper alignment is also maintained during sleeping hours. Since we spend around one third of our lives sleeping, it only makes sense that the right mattress can help reduce the progression of […]

  63. […] estimated that we, as humans, spend an average of 37,935 hours driving in our lifetime. That actually hurt to type. That’s 37,935 hours of giving in to road rage, […]

  64. […] you’re the average commuter, Harvard Health Watch tells us you spend just over 100 minutes sitting in a car every day. Add in time spent sitting […]

  65. […] study has shown that we spend some 38,000 hours of our lives in traffic. How much have you spent so […]

  66. […] to where you are today. A gift that keeps on giving is a high-quality mattress. We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, so you’re probably overdue for a new mattress. Invest in your health with a top-of-the-line […]

  67. […] another fun fact about time: the average human spends close to 230,000 hours of their life sleeping. While sleep is a vital function, I think most people would rather put those […]

  68. […] you had during your teenage years, your bed is the only piece of furniture you get to enjoy for six-and-a-half straight hours each and every […]

  69. Hey, It’s really informative & cool article. Thanks for sharing this information with all of us. Best wishes and regards to your future posts.

  70. […] For further reading: http://newsroom.aaa.com/2016/09/americans-spend-average-17600-minutes-driving-year/ http://blog.tempo.io/2013/7-time-consuming-things-an-average-joe-spends-in-a-lifetime/ […]

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