SheCAN! Busyness Report


National survey concludes ¾ Americans are “Burned Out” and crave a less busy life

With the demand to get everything done at an all-time high, Americans have no time to do what’s important to them

West Palm, FL  (February 22, 2023) – Critical to feeling happy is the ability to do the things that matter most to you. This encompasses things such as me-time, family time, performing daily needs such as eating, sleeping and, of course, having time to do the things you love. The demands of work and daily life, however, restrict many Americans from the ability to feel happy — leading to burnout and feeling unfulfilled.

A survey commissioned by Peggy Sullivan, transformational leader, founder of the non-profit SheCAN! and author of “Happiness Is Your Responsibility” found that 3 out of 4 Americans crave a life that’s less busy, and 74% actually feel burned out. The survey led by JRB Insights was conducted from November 16-28, 2022 with adults ages of 25 and 54 and reveals concerns regarding a decline in quality of life and happiness brought about by busyness.

Peggy Sullivan is a recovering “Busyness addict”, and she felt firsthand how busyness was detrimental to her personal and professional life, on many occasions. She’s done years of research to understand “ The busyness addiction” in order to develop solutions so people can focus on what’s truly important. 

A Concerning Decline in Self-Care in The Midst of Busyness

The rise in busyness has led Americans to a state that prevents them from performing tasks for their self-care or even doing basic necessities such as eating a good meal or getting adequate sleep. All of which can be directly attributed to feeling burned out.

  • 75% of the survey’s respondents specified that they were busy to some extent, with 44% stating a high level of busyness in their lives, with men appearing to be slightly busier than women. Though the figure rises for women whose household income is above $50,000.
  • Over 64% of respondents expressed that it’s a challenge to find time for self-care, with 51% finding it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

Unsurprisingly, the rise in busyness and lack of self-care negatively affected people’s levels of happiness, thus craving a sense of freedom from being too busy.

Where the Busyness and Happiness Lie

Based on the survey, there’s a clear negative relationship between being busy and happy. Work and family commitments often come up as the primary source of busyness, although family influences is often quoted as a major source of happiness. Work influences and social influences follow in terms of what makes individuals happy.

  • 71% and 70% of respondents indicated that work and family commitments, respectively, as primary sources of their business.
    • A higher percentage of women (79%) cited that their busyness can be attributed to family commitments, whereas more men (75%) indicated that work commitments constituted most of their busyness.
  • Women aged 25 to 44 were more likely, however, to mention that work commitments contributed most to their source of busyness.

Getting Things Done and Doing What Matters

Many people strive to complete the work that they do in order to have time for themselves. To do so, many individuals have resorted to multi-tasking to complete their to-do lists. Many still, however, find it difficult to achieve everything they need to do.

  • 62% indicated that they use multitasking as their primary strategy to get all things done at once. Respondents aged 45 to 54, however, didn’t use multitasking as a strategy to get things done.
  • More than half (52%) of respondents felt that it was challenging to get everything done at once.

Unfortunately, more than half of the respondents expressed that they didn’t have time to do the things that mattered to them, professing a lack of any “me time”. Which is unsurprising given that they have difficulty getting everything done. Our levels of busyness have even affected our ability to do the most basic things to stay alive, such as eating a meal, have time for self-care or get a good night’s sleep resulting in burnout and inhibiting happiness.

The Honest Reality

Peggy, through a tremendous amount of research about the art and science of busyness, was able to determine that:

  • 75% of the population is over the top busy and lacks time for important things.
  • Over half the population believes that it’s impossible to get work done.
  • 60% of respondents are unhappy with just doing ok, busyness doesn’t make us happy.

The bottom line is that being busy for most women is like being on a treadmill to nowhere since it keeps us from focusing on the things we value most.

Peggy Sullivan will be talking about these findings and data in-depth in her new book coming in 2023 to help women unearth the secrets to happiness and what they can do to uplift themselves and make time for the things that matter instead of being stuck in a perpetual marathon.

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Survey Methodology

Peggy Sullivan of SheCAN! commissioned JRB Insights to conduct an online survey that was distributed to over 400 (400 female and 100 male) respondents aged between 25 and 54. 45% of those surveyed had a household income below $50,000, while the remaining had a household income of over $50,000. The survey was conducted on November 16 to 28, 2022.

The 400-individual sample size had a margin of error that fell within +/- 5.0% with a confidence level of 95%.

The margin of error fell within +/- 3 percentage points with a confidence interval of 95 percent.

About Peggy Sullivan

Peggy Sullivan is a consultant, author, speaker, and founder of the nonprofit organization, SheCAN! She has authored several books, including “Happiness is Your Responsibility” and a forthcoming book, “Go from Busy to Badass.” She has won numerous awards and honors, including the 2021 Woman in Leadership Award and Marketing 2.0 distinguished marketer award and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, FOX, CBS, and NBC and presented and consulted worldwide for organizations such as Bank of America, Blue Cross BlueShield, Ingram Micro, Women, Merril Lynch,United Healthcare, and National Jewish Federation Conferences.

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About Me

Heather DeSantis is the CEO and Founder of Publicity For Good (PFG), Forbes 30 Under 30 nominee, PRNEWS Top Women in PR 2021 Entrepreneurs Award, Platinum PR Awards CEO Finalist 2021 and Ragan’s PR Daily Award – PR Leader of the Year for 2021 and has been working with CPG clients for nearly a decade.

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