Time-use research is an interdisciplinary field of study dedicated to learning how people allocate their time during an average day. Work intensity is the umbrella topic that incorporates time use, specifically time poverty.
The comprehensive approach to time-use research addresses a wide array of political, economic, social, and cultural issues through the use of time-use surveys. Surveys provide geographic data and time diaries that volunteers record using GPS technology and time diaries. Time-use research investigates human activity inside and outside the paid economy. It also looks at how these activities change over time.
Time-use research is not to be confused with time management. Time-use research is a social science interested in human behavioural patterns and seeks to build a body of knowledge to benefit a wide array of disciplines interested in how people use their time. Time management is an approach to time allocation with a specific managerial purpose aimed at increasing the efficiency or effectiveness of a given process.
Questions relating to time-use research arise in most professional and academic disciplines, notably:
Time-use researcher Dagfinn Aas classifies time into four meaningful categories: contracted time; committed time; necessary time; and free time.
Contracted time refers to the time a person allocates toward an agreement to work or study. When a person is using contracted time to commute this person understands that this travel time is directly related to paid work or study and any break in this commute time
Committed time, like contracted time, takes priority over necessary and free time because it is viewed as productive work. It refers to the time allocated to maintain a home and family. When a person is commuting using committed time this person may feel that the commute is a duty to family such as walking children to school or driving a spouse to work. Contracted and committed time users may feel that their commute is more important than the commute of necessary or free time users because their commute is productive work. Therefore, they may be more inclined to choose a motorized mode of travel.
Necessary time refers to the time required to maintain one’s self as it applies to activities such as eating, sleeping, and cleansing and to a large extent exercising. People who commute using necessary time may feel that the commute is an important activity for personal well-being and may also take into account the well-being of the natural and social environment. The person commuting in necessary time may be more inclined to choose an active mode of transportation for personal reasons that include exercise on top of transportation.
Since sleeping is included in this category, necessary time usually constitutes the majority of people’s time.
Free time refers to the remains of the day after the three other types of time have been subtracted from the 24-hour day. This type of time is not necessarily discretionary time as the term “free” time may imply because people tend to plan activities in advance and creating committed free time in lieu of discretionary time. People who commute using free time are more apt to view the commute as a recreational activity. Commuting in free time provides the greatest gains for social capital because the person commuting in free time is more likely to slow down or stop the commute at his discretion to undertake another activity or engage in social interaction. He or she may also view the commute as part of his destination activity to which he has gladly committed his or her free time.
The distinction between primary and secondary time is a way to include activities when multitasking. Activities that take place at the same time are separated into primary and secondary categories based on priority assigned to each, with the activity with the highest priority considered to be the primary. This distinction plays an important role when evaluating time spent on activities that often considered secondary when multitasking, as overlooking secondary activities can lead to significant underestimations of the time committed to those activities.
According to research in Australia, approximately two thirds of time spent on childcare is considered secondary time.Research in the United States is more variable ranging from approximately one third to approximately three fourths of time spent on childcare being secondary time.
Primary time refers to time spent on a primary activity only. The primary activity is the activity that has the highest priority. For example, the primary task when drinking coffee while working would be working and the time therefore classified as contracted time. Assigning priority to each activity is left up to the person recording their time usage and similar combinations of activities may be treated differently under different circumstances. While eating in front of a television, both eating and watching T.V. could be considered the primary activity depending on the circumstances.
Secondary time is the time spent on secondary or side activities. When drinking coffee while working, drinking coffee would be the secondary activity and would be considered necessary time even though the primary activity, working, would be classified as contracted time. Unlike primary time, secondary time does not necessarily add up to 24 hours each day because there may not always be a secondary activity. It is also important to note that including secondary time may make it appear that a person spends more than 24 hours a day on activities due to the overlapping nature primary and secondary time.
In computing, multitasking is the concurrent execution of multiple tasks over a certain period of time. New tasks can interrupt already started ones before they finish, instead of waiting for them to end. As a result, a computer executes segments of multiple tasks in an interleaved manner, while the tasks share common processing resources such as central processing units (CPUs) and main memory. Multitasking automatically interrupts the running program, saving its state and loading the saved state of another program and transferring control to it. This "context switch" may be initiated at fixed time intervals, or the running program may be coded to signal to the supervisory software when it can be interrupted.
Transport economics is a branch of economics founded in 1959 by American economist John R. Meyer that deals with the allocation of resources within the transport sector. It has strong links to civil engineering. Transport economics differs from some other branches of economics in that the assumption of a spaceless, instantaneous economy does not hold. People and goods flow over networks at certain speeds. Demands peak. Advance ticket purchase is often induced by lower fares. The networks themselves may or may not be competitive. A single trip may require the bundling of services provided by several firms, agencies and modes.
Economic geography is the subfield of human geography which studies economic activity and factors affecting them. It can also be considered a subfield or method in economics. There are four branches of economic geography. There is, primary sector, Secondary sector, Tertiary sector, & Quaternary sector.
Feminist economics is the critical study of economics and economies, with a focus on gender-aware and inclusive economic inquiry and policy analysis. Feminist economic researchers include academics, activists, policy theorists, and practitioners. Much feminist economic research focuses on topics that have been neglected in the field, such as care work, intimate partner violence, or on economic theories which could be improved through better incorporation of gendered effects and interactions, such as between paid and unpaid sectors of economies. Other feminist scholars have engaged in new forms of data collection and measurement such as the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM), and more gender-aware theories such as the capabilities approach. Feminist economics is oriented towards the goal of "enhancing the well-being of children, women, and men in local, national, and transnational communities."
Simple living refers to practices that promote simplicity in one's lifestyle. Common practices of simple living include reducing the number of possessions one owns, depending less on technology and services, and spending less money. Not only is simple living focused on external changes such as minimalism through fewer commitments or possessions but it also connects to the human's mindset and set of beliefs. These practices can be seen throughout history, religion, art, and economics.
Commuting is periodically recurring travel between one's place of residence and place of work or study, where the traveler, referred to as a commuter, leaves the boundary of their home community. By extension, it can sometimes be any regular or often repeated travel between locations, even when not work-related. The modes of travel, time taken and distance traveled in commuting varies widely across the globe. Most people in least-developed countries continue to walk to work. The cheapest method of commuting after walking is usually by bicycle, so this is common in low-income countries, but is also increasingly practised by people in wealthier countries for environmental and health reasons. In middle-income countries, motorcycle commuting is very common. The next technology adopted as countries develop is more dependent on location: in more populous, older cities, especially in Eurasia mass transit predominates, while in smaller, younger cities, and large parts of North America and Australasia, commuting by personal automobile is more common. A small number of very wealthy people, and those working in remote locations around the world, also commute by air travel, often for a week or more at a time rather than the more typical daily commute. Transportation links that enable commuting also impact the physical layout of cities and regions, allowing a distinction to arise between mostly-residential suburbs and the more economically focused urban core of a city, but the specifics of how that distinction is realized remain drastically different between societies, with Eurasian "suburbs" often being more densely populated than North American "urban cores".
Health care or healthcare is the improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, amelioration or cure of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in people. Health care is delivered by health professionals and allied health fields. Medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, midwifery, nursing, optometry, audiology, psychology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, athletic training, and other health professions all constitute health care. It includes work done in providing primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care, as well as in public health.
Travel behavior is the study of what people do over geography, and how people use transport.
Employment is a relationship between two parties regulating the provision of paid labour services. Usually based on a contract, one party, the employer, which might be a corporation, a not-for-profit organization, a co-operative, or any other entity, pays the other, the employee, in return for carrying out assigned work. Employees work in return for wages, which can be paid on the basis of an hourly rate, by piecework or an annual salary, depending on the type of work an employee does, the prevailing conditions of the sector and the bargaining power between the parties. Employees in some sectors may receive gratuities, bonus payments or stock options. In some types of employment, employees may receive benefits in addition to payment. Benefits may include health insurance, housing, disability insurance. Employment is typically governed by employment laws, organisation or legal contracts.
Carpooling is the sharing of car journeys so that more than one person travels in a car, and prevents the need for others to have to drive to a location themselves.
Sponsoring something is the act of supporting an event, activity, person, or organization financially or through the provision of products or services. The individual or group that provides the support, similar to a benefactor, is known as the sponsor.
Children's culture includes children's cultural artifacts, children's media and literature, and the myths and discourses spun around the notion of childhood. Children's culture has been studied within academia in cultural studies, media studies, and literature departments. The interdisciplinary focus of childhood studies could also be considered in the paradigm of social theory concerning the study of children's culture.
Attention management refers to models and tools for supporting the management of attention at the individual or at the collective level, and at the short-term or at a longer term.
Media multitasking is the concurrent use of multiple digital media streams. Media multitasking has been associated with depressive symptoms and social anxiety by a single study involving 318 participants. A 2018 review found that while the literature is sparse and inconclusive, people who do a heavy amount of media multitasking have poorer performance in several cognitive domains. One of the authors commented that while the data does not "unambiguously show that media multitasking causes a change in attention and memory," media multitasking is an inefficient practice that requires "task switching" costs.
A schedule or a timetable, as a basic time-management tool, consists of a list of times at which possible tasks, events, or actions are intended to take place, or of a sequence of events in the chronological order in which such things are intended to take place. The process of creating a schedule — deciding how to order these tasks and how to commit resources between the variety of possible tasks — is called scheduling, and a person responsible for making a particular schedule may be called a scheduler. Making and following schedules is an ancient human activity.
The Ethics of Liberty is a 1982 book by American philosopher and economist Murray N. Rothbard, in which the author expounds a libertarian political position.
Work intensity is defined as activity in relation to the capacity for that work. It is a topic that affects developed and developing countries in different ways. There are many aspects to work intensity including multitasking, time poverty, health implications, and policy considerations. Multitasking is the overlap of many activities, usually care and informal work, that negatively impacts the livelihood of people, especially women, in the developing world. Time poverty is defined as the lack of time for leisure and rest activities after time spent working. High work intensity coupled with multitasking and time poverty has a negative correlation with health outcomes. Work intensity is seldom considered when proposing new policy and legislation. As more women enter the workforce, work intensity and its implications are being brought to the forefront of policy, development, and empowerment debates.
Multi-communicating is the act of managing many conversations at one time. The term was coined by Reinsch, Turner, and Tinsley (2008), who proposed that simultaneous conversations can be conducted using an ever-increasing array of media, including face-to-face, phone, and email tools for communication. This practice allows individuals to utilize two or more technologies to interact with each other.
Transport divide refers to unequal access to transportation. It can result in the social exclusion of disadvantaged groups.
Work or labor is the intentional activity people perform to support the needs and wants of themselves, others, or a wider community. In the context of economics, work can be viewed as the human activity that contributes towards the goods and services within an economy.