They Say Time is Money, But for Australians it’s More…

November 14, 2010

A recent study has reconfirmed that Australian workers continue to work excess overtime.

In fact $2 billion of unpaid overtime are provided by our nation’s workforce and we are by far one of the hardest working countries in the world.

I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise if you have been working in organisation’s like I have.

Where 5pm will come and quickly go by with many employees continuing to work.  Don’t get me wrong, I definitely think that there are times that we need to work a bit more to get deadlines met etc.  But how often is too often?

Want to work less?

The study by The Australia Institute also highlights that more than half of Australian workers would prefer to work fewer hours.

It does get you thinking whether this is just to work the considered “normal” business hours (and stop the overtime) or whether this is actually less?

Over the years I have spoken with many individuals who would like to work less, even just a few hours so that they can pursue their own interests, run errands or spend more time with their family.

Furthermore to that last point, the study did also highlight that 60% of people say overtime prevents them from spending time with their families.

So where to from here?  As The Australia Institute has suggested, taking stock of where we are spending our time is a great place to start.  It is easy to continue in a routine without reassessing our time verses how it compares with our priorities.  Here are some questions to start you thinking and taking the steps you need to re-allocate your time.


Keep a journal for two weeks to describe your main activity every hour.

You may find various techniques to track your time, e.g. you may wish to put an alarm on your phone to trigger yourself to jot down what you’re doing at that moment.

At the end of the two weeks review your diary.


In reviewing your time diary, where were you satisfied with how you allocated your time?

Was there time that you allocated that you were unhappy with?


Once you determine opportunities for improvement, ask yourself, what can you start doing today that will help you to start creating a routine of positive time allocation?

They say that time is money, but I think we all know that it is far more than that.  Good luck!

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