You may feel like the workweek is just a succession of monotonous days that pass in a blur, each one indistinguishable from the next. And according to the American Time Use Survey, you'd be right -- by and large, the only major difference between Monday and Friday is three letters.
But peel back the top-level data and you'll find some interesting daily rhythms at the margins of American time use. On Tuesdays we work the hardest, and have the hardest time falling asleep. We really don't like running errands on Wednesday. We devote our weekends to our friends and our pets. We watch a ton of TV every day, but especially on Sunday. The 10 charts below reveal these trends and more.
Americans are at their most productive on Tuesdays. We spend about four hours and 12 minutes working each Tuesday, compared to three hours and 52 minutes on Fridays. Keep in mind that these figures, and most of the ones noted in this piece, are averages across all Americans, age 15 and up. If those work hours seem low, it's because they factor in students, retirees and the unemployed.
But overall, the time we spend working, sleeping and playing varies by no more than 20 minutes from weekday to weekday. The big change comes on the weekend, when we work less, sleep more, and play more.