The average human gets about 75 years of existence on earth.
That’s about 3,900 weeks. Or 27,000 days. Or 648,000 hours.
We spend about a third of that time sleeping, a number that hasn’t changed much across history.
What has changed is what we do with the remaining time.
As the following two charts show, over the past 150 years, thanks to our irrepressible inventiveness and ingenuity, we have engineered a profound shift in what we do with our waking hours.
56 of the 168 hours in each week go to sleeping, which leaves 112 for everything else.
150 years ago, we spent about 70 of those 112 waking hours working (63%).
Thanks to the remarkable productivity enhancements we have made over the past 150 years, however, we have reduced the average workweek in most countries by about 30 hours, to 40 hours (34% of waking hours):
This has freed up a lot of extra time.
So what do we do with all the extra hours our miraculous progress and productivity enhancements have allowed us to create for ourselves?
We spend them watching television.
According to recent figures, the average human spends about 4 hours a day, or 28 hours a week, watching television (25% of waking hours).
So if you want to summarize the net result of human progress over the past 150 years, you can think about it this way:
We figured out how to save ourselves ~30 hours of work per week, and we use them to watch TV.