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We think we do six things at once. Soon we will have proof

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How many things do you do at any one time?

Cook dinner, sweep the gritty floor, deal with your boss, placate the kids, order groceries, write the project proposal someone else forgot to do before they went on leave, organise the canteen roster; and remember to do your volunteer shift for a kids’ helpline. Sometimes we have to do most of those at the same time.

How many things we do at once? That's the question which the ABS should be asking.Credit:Lisbeth Hjort

So that question of how many things we do at once? That’s the main question I hope the Australian Bureau of Statistics asks when it reinstates the Time Use Survey next year. The last time the ABS ran this world-leading study was in 2006 and the world of life and work, how the various parts of our lives just bleed in to one another, has changed dramatically.

The revival is amazing news and clear recognition that there is so much more to our lives than paid work. Knowing how we spend our time makes it possible for governments to write policies which actually fit our lives. Which would be a miraculous change.

But it didn’t return by some magic. Years and years of heroic campaigning made both the Coalition and Labor recognise time was up.........

© The Sydney Morning Herald