<p>Adults said they wasted time on social media </p>

Adults said they wasted time on social media

How do Britons waste time?

UK adults typically spend around 12 hours each week waiting around

Gemma Francis
Wednesday 12 January 2022 16:21

The average Briton loses the equivalent of 26 days a year to wasted time – with being on hold, scrolling TV channels and waiting for a cup of tea to brew among the worst culprits.

A study of 2,000 adults found they typically spend one hour and 43 minutes every day waiting around.

This amounts to 12 hours a week or more than 624 hours – nearly four whole weeks – a year.

More than half of those polled named being left on hold on phone calls as being the biggest drain on their time, while 45 per cent said waiting in a queue wasted precious minutes.

Others see their time disappear while sat in traffic, scrolling through social media, and waiting for the kettle to boil while making a cup of tea.

It also emerged 56 per cent admit they should be more productive with their time - but after work, dealing with kids and cooking, they are simply too tired.

However, 59 per cent have attempted to reduce the amount of time they spend being unproductive.

And 23 per cent of those polled by Duolingo have learned a new skill in an attempt to use their time more effectively.

Clare Evans, time management coach and author of ‘Time Management for Dummies’, said: “When you don’t plan and prioritise your time you’re more likely to waste it.

“We typically allow things to drain our time when we’re reacting to something that’s outside of our control, like waiting in a queue or for the kettle to boil.”

“Try to see waiting time as an opportunity to get on with a quick task on your list - check email, make a phone call or even use it to read a book or do a Duolingo lesson.”

The study also found the average adult finds themselves with nothing to do three times a day, with a lack of motivation the biggest reason for being unproductive for 47 per cent.

Others find it too easy to waste time on their phone or watching TV instead while 22 per cent don’t know how they want to better spend their time.

It also emerged that 70 per cent of those polled, via OnePoll, think it is important to learn new skills to keep life exciting.

And when it comes to goals for 2022, prioritising personal growth, bettering themselves and pursuing personal dreams and ambition came top for one in four.

This even ranked ahead of travelling and just behind eating better and spending more time with friends and family.

Colin Watkins, UK country manager for Duolingo, said: “People think you need to plan and schedule learning way in advance but in fact, just utilising a few minutes each day is enough.

“The little and often approach really works, it’s why Duolingo is designed the way it is.

“We know that dipping in for five to10 minutes a day is actually much more effective than a full hour, once a week.

“And those five to 10 minutes, that you wouldn’t really miss, add up.

“When you consider Brits are losing around 26 days a year - what are you waiting for?”


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