Millions of people across the UK are so time-poor that almost half would pay for more hours in the day, new research reveals. The figures, released by leading insurance provider, Direct Line, found that only one in five (19 per cent) of Brits feel they have their lives on track – and 63 per cent of us would pay to have an extra hour in the day, with the average spend per hour cited as £15.10.

The research, which was conducted on over 2,000 UK adults, highlights a growing trend of Brits feeling so overworked, they have little time to spend pursuing passions or spending time with friends and family.


The Nation’s Current State 

Frustratingly, it is evident that the vast majority of Brits (83 per cent) regret wasting the precious time they do have.

Life admin has been revealed as one of the biggest stress factors for Brits – with almost half (43 per cent) of us feeling like we consistently waste time in queues and traffic, while a quarter (25 per cent) have lost precious time having to organise bills and insurance. As if we weren’t already time poor enough, it is evident Brits really feel the strain when additional pressure is piled on from having to rely on other people. Almost a fifth (19 per cent) complain that waiting in for handymen and repairs is one of the biggest drains on their time.

This is clearly having a concerning impact on Brits’ wellbeing, with a staggering 46 per cent feeling “anxious” about their current life situation, followed by “drained” (35 per cent) and “stressed” (33 per cent). Over one in 10 (12 per cent) of us feel overworked, and over two fifths (41 per cent) of us feel like we have no time to achieve our goals.

Worryingly, the growing trend of being too time poor is causing over one third (34 per cent) of people to have no time to do the things they love.

Missing Out

But what exactly are we missing out on when wasting time on life admin and queues? Almost three quarters of Brits (74 per cent) have missed out on a significant life event, such as a birthday or wedding, due to lack of time.

Over a third (39 per cent) say they have missed out on spending time with friends and family. Relationships with partners are also suffering, with 27% saying they’re consistently missing out on quality time with their significant others.

Worryingly, this lack of time is also causing the UK to miss out on goals such as pursuing passions (28 per cent) and learning a new skill or hobby (25 per cent).


If We Had All The Time In The World

Reinforcing the way 63 per cent of Brits value time over money, Direct Line has revealed that the same number of us (63 per cent) would pay to have more time in the day.

While the assumption may be that we would use extra time to get ahead at work, 70 per cent rank spending time with family as the most important use of time. Over two fifths (43 per cent) say they would use extra time in the day with family and friends, while 34 per cent would dedicate it to living their best life.

What’s more, is that 54 per cent say they are living their best life when they’re with family. Despite this, lack of time is a major factor is stopping us from achieving this state with over half of us (52 per cent) defining living our best life as having time to do the things we love, and rank this above having a lot of money (24 per cent).

Wendy Moores, Head of Marketing at Direct Line, commented, “This research has highlighted just how time poor we are feeling as a nation. We’re working long hours and have no time to spend seeing friends, family and even partners, causing the vast majority of us to feel like we are too time poor to achieve our goals.

At Direct Line, we pride ourselves on fixing problems faster. We want people to live more of their best lives, which is why we’re launching a new podcast about just that. Hosted by Dancing on Ice star, Loose Woman panellist and all-round professional ‘doer’, Saira Khan, we will delve into the meaning behind this research and how we can live more fulfilling lives.

“The important thing is, we are clearly much more interested in treasuring our free time and spending it well; with the people we love, as over two thirds say time spent with family is of great importance to them,” said Stuart Holliday, expert life coach. “There’s clearly a deep-rooted commitment to making the most of our time with family and friends, which easily overtakes getting ahead at work and earning money as our main priority. However, we can’t ignore the concerning fact that many of us feel increasingly time poor and are evidently negatively impacted by this, which manifests in many of us feeling stressed and anxious about the future.”

To help combat the nation’s feeling of being too time poor to achieve goals, Direct Line is launching the Living Your Best Life with Saira Khan podcast, hosted by star of Dancing on Ice and Loose Women Saira Khan and Life Coach Stuart Holliday. The six-part podcast will feature celebrity guests and help tackle issues such as what stops us from achieving our goals, and what do we value most when it comes to keeping our lives on track. The podcast will be available from 14 March 2019 on iTunes, Soundcloud and Spotify.


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