Average person spends 4 hours a day — and a decade of their life — on ‘autopilot’

YouTube video

LONDON — Does every day of your life feel exactly the same, with the years just flying by? You’re far from alone. It turns out the average adult spends more than 10 years of their life on “autopilot,”  following the same routines and rituals every day, according to a survey.

A quarter of the 2,000 British adults polled admit that they often drift through as much as five or more hours a day without any real thought about what they are doing. This equates to 1,396 hours each year, 27 hours a week or nearly four hours a day doing the same things.

Moreover, 64 percent of adults claim their daily routine hardly ever changes. Topping the list of routines that never change for the average person include getting dressed or showering at the same time of day, and eating the same breakfast.

But 79 percent of those who feel they are “stuck in a rut” of repetitive routines feel this holds them back from achieving their goals. The most common things respondents say they’d like to do, but haven’t had a chance to yet include learning a new skill or craft, traveling the world, and starting a new career.

Learning a new instrument, and starting to invest round out the top five things that life’s mundane routines are keeping people from achieving.

The study, commissioned by bank NatWest and conducted by OnePoll, also finds that 51 percent of adults admit they procrastinate instead of acting on tasks that need doing – including managing their finances, organizing dates with friends and food shopping. As a result, six in 10 have bought a self-help book – but half never finished it, with some not even completing the first chapter.

More than half of those polled (53%) think they should be more proactive about managing their personal finances.

Following the findings, NatWest launched a video series with entrepreneur Stephen Bartlett, with episodes looking at setting goals, starting a business and managing personal finances, to help motivate people to take action. “Everyone experiences different challenges and obstacles in life,” says NatWest CEO, Alison Rose. “But we hope that Stephen’s inspiring story and motivational personality can help people to set and strive for their own goals – whatever they may be.”

72Point writer Mustafa Mirreh contributed to this report