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People like to appear busy because it makes them seem important: Maclean's

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – How do we measure status in society these days?

It used to be your neighbourhood, house, car, profession, or even your spouse. But a new category has popped up: how busy you are!

Maclean’s Magazine did a survey looking into whether people are as busy as they claim to be. Tamsin McMahon with Maclean’s says they are not, but they say they are for one reason:

“To say that you are busy says that you are important, that there are so many demands on your time. People — family [or] co-workers — they all really need you. They want you. You’re important. Therefore, you are just very busy. So, to say that you are not busy says that you do not really matter.”

McMahon says people with higher educations tend to exaggerate the hours they work, often to justify making a big salary and to keep up with co-workers on the corporate ladder.

She tells us lawyers are the biggest offenders; they tend to over-calculate their work week by seven hours. Police officers and elementary teachers also exaggerate their hours.

Those who under-reported their work weeks the most were waiters and maids.

McMahon says it is a myth that so many of us are swamped. “On the whole, people are working slightly less.”

“They have more free time [and] they are getting a little bit more sleep than they did in the past. I think a lot of us feel we never get enough sleep, but we are sleeping more than we did in the past. We spend way more time with our kids. We have more free time and we watch more TV,” she tells us.

She adds we are not working as many hours as our parents and grandparents did.