Blake Snow

writer-for-hire, content guy, bestselling author

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
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Tagged relax

Which countries work, relax, and volunteer most?

AM Charts

AM Charts

I did some light reading on time-use recently and came across some insightful observations from researcher John Robinson. He’s spent the last four decades reviewing thousands of “time journals” from people around the world.

Contrary to what you might think, Robinson argues we have more free time today than when he started keeping records in the ’60s, something The Atlantic corroborates. Only now we choose to fill that free time with overwork or busy-ness instead of proper leisure (e.g. relaxation, hobbies, or adventures) because that’s how many of us validate our existence.

A few highlights from Robinson’s research: People in Spain spend the most time walking (good for them!), Italians and Slovenians spend the most time relaxing (nice!), and Bulgarians (not Americans!) spend the most time watching TV (tsk, tsk). In the United States, people spend more time on computers than any other country, they volunteer more, and they spend the most time taking care of children and the elderly.

I suspect the increase in childcare is partially due to the rise of helicopter parenting. But those are mostly noble uses of American’s time, I believe. That is, of course, if we’re using computers to work smarter, work less, and facilitate really cool offline adventures.—Blake Snow

The story first published to in 2014

What do you do to relax?

My wife went out this evening so I had the little one all to myself. With Lindsey leaving at six, it was up to me to make dinner and entertain Sadie until her bedtime.

After dishing up Spaghettio’s to the youngling and downing a delicious quesadilla for myself, I decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood with Sadie in the stroller. I was just about to grab my Blackberry (as I normally do), but said, “forget about it.” I’m glad I did.

Sadie and I had a blast. The weather was beautiful, the sun was shining, and I didn’t have a care in the world. That’s rare for me. We stopped for a cherry Icee (more juicy than a Slurpee, mind you), and Sadie nearly drank the entire 32 ounces. We sauntered the neighborhood for a good hour as I kept thinking, “I haven’t had this much relaxation in a long time.” It felt so good.

So I ask you, Smooth Harolders; what do you do to relax? Do you have to remind yourself to do so?