Archive for June 2009

A mismatch between jobs and skills

Recessions are obviously tough in many ways. Losing a job is demoralizing, and not being able to pay the bills is one of the most stressful experiences a family can have. But there's also an insidious, long-lasting woe that crops up because of the labor market's stickiness -- a broad mismatch between jobs and skills. When economists refer to the labor market a… read more »

Do we take enough vacation days?

One of the major tenets of the time-crunch narrative is that Americans don't get enough vacation. We're slaving away longer than those Europeans who get a month off every summer, and working longer hours than in cultures that believe in good naps. It's hard to know, exactly, what is "enough," but I found an interesting statistic while poking around in survey… read more »

What Moms Can Learn From Dads

This is a version of a piece I wrote last June for USA Today; I've updated to take into account more issues raised in 168 Hours. What Moms Can Learn From Dads by Laura Vanderkam When Andrew McDade's first daughter, Ana, was born nine years ago, he and his wife, Eliza, made a very modern decision: He would stay home to raise their kids. The reasons were partly financ… read more »

The educational paper plate

While perusing Real Simple the other day, I came across an ad that perfectly sums up the differences between the modern philosophy of child and house care, and the more dominant one 40 years ago. The ad was for Solo paper products, noting that "L is for learning. T is for together." Under a photo of a mom and a preschool-aged kid, the text noted that "Numbers and le… read more »

How long will it take?

As I'm writing 168 Hours, I'm getting some fascinating tips. One is to figure out, exactly, how long the things you'd like to include in your life will take. That way, you can schedule in appropriate blocks of time. For instance, say you want to exercise. You decide to take up brisk walking as your activity of choice. How much do you want to walk? Four hours a week i… read more »