I came across an fascinating list of stats provided by Dr. Donald E. Wetmore, the President of the Productivity Institute in Connecticut. Some pretty interesting stuff in here!
- There will be 2 million marriages in this country this year and 1 million divorces. 95% of divorces are caused by a “lack of communication”
- The average working person spends less than 2 minutes per day in meaningful communication with their spouse or “significant other”. The average working person spends less than 30 seconds a day in meaningful communication with their children.
- 80% of employees do not want to go to work on Monday morning. By Friday, the rate only drops to 60%.
- 31% of working Americans do not use all their vacation time that they have earned. On average, three out of twelve (one quarter!) of all vacation days go unused.
- The average person gets 1 interruption every 8 minutes, or approximately 7 an hour, or 50-60 per day. The average interruption takes 5 minutes, totaling about 4 hours or 50% of the average workday. 80% of those interruptions are typically rated as “little value” or “no value” creating approximately 3 hours of wasted time per day.
- On an average day, there are 17 million meetings in America.
- By taking 1 hour per day for independent study, 7 hours per week, 365 hours in a year, one can learn at the rate of a full-time student. In 3-5 years, the average person can become an expert in the topic of their choice, by spending only one hour per day.
- 95% of the books in this country are purchased by 5% of the population. 95% of self-improvement books, audio tapes, and video tapes purchased are not used.
- 97% of workers, if they became financially independent, would not continue with their current employer or in their current occupation.
- 20% of the average workday is spent on “crucial” and “important” things, while 80% of the average workday is spent on things that have “little value” or “no value”.
- In the last 20 years, working time has increased by 15% and leisure time has decreased by 33%.
- A person who works with a “messy” or cluttered desk spends, on average, 1 1/2 hours per day looking for things or being distracted by things or approximately 7 1/2 per workweek. “Out of sight; out of mind.” When it’s in sight, it’s in mind.
- The average reading speed is approximately 200 words per minute. The average working person reads 2 hours per day. A Speed Reading course that will improve the reading rate to 400 words per minute will save an hour per day.
- 90% of those who join health and fitness clubs will stop going within the first 90 days.
- 9 out of 10 people daydream in meetings.
- 60% of meeting attendees take notes to appear as if they are listening.
- 40% of working people skip breakfast. 39% skip lunch. Of those who take a lunch break, 50% allow only 15 minutes or less.
- The average American watches 28 hours of television per week.
- 78% of workers in America wish they had more time to “smell the roses”.
- 49% of workers in America complain that they are on a treadmill.
- Angry people are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack as a person in better control of their emotions.
- 75% of heart attacks occur between the hours of 5:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m., local time, and more heart attacks occur on Monday than on any other day of the week.
- 25% of sick days are taken for illness. 75% of sick days are taken for other reasons.
- 95% of the things we fear will occur, do not occur.
- Taking 5 minutes per day, 5 days per week to improve one’s job will create 1,200 little improvements to a job over a 5 year period.
- 1 out of 3 workers changes jobs every year.
- 1 out of 5 people moves every year.
- 70% of American workers desire to own their own business.
- 75% of American workers complain that they are tired.
- The average worker gets a 6 hours and 57 minutes of sleep per night.
- The average worker spends 35 minutes per day commuting.
- When someone is asking for our time for a meeting, 80% of the time, there is an alternate date and time that will be acceptable.
- Good time managers do not allocate their time to those who “demand” it, but rather, to those who “deserve” it.
- The most powerful word in our Time Management vocabulary is “no”.
- 1 hour of planning will save 10 hours of doing.
- Hiring a college student to do routine tasks (grocery shopping, yard work, household chores, etc.) will create as much as 20 hours per week for the average person to devote to more productive uses.
- The average person today (1999) receives more information on a daily basis than the average person received in a lifetime in 1900.
- We retain 10% of what we read. We retain 20% of what we hear. We retain 30% of what we see. We retain 50% of what we hear and see. We retain 70% of what we say. We retain 90% of what we do.
- Half of what is known today, we did not know 10 years ago. The amount of knowledge in the world has doubled in the last 10 years. And it is said to be doubling again every 18 months.
Now, I admit that I do not know where these stats came from (although Dr. Wetmore seems to be a very credible individual), but even if they’re just close, they’re pretty darn interesting, don’t you think?
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