What is the quality time in your life

Quality time instead of time wasters

89 percent of all parents would like to spend more time with their children. 86 percent would like to sleep more. And 84 percent would like more time for intimacy as partners. On behalf of the German Ministry of Family Affairs, McKinsey asked parents of underage children about quality time and time wasters. Parents would also like to have more time for culture and entertainment, doing nothing, hobbies and personal education. Why is it all neglected? What are the time wasters in everyday life? What would parents like to spend less time with? Cleaning and tidying up, going to work and visiting the doctor are mentioned most frequently.

With that in mind, McKinsey looked at how digital technologies could help parents spend more time doing what matters to them. You have summarized three options:

1. Self-organization

Easier and better planning can save parents time and / or money. Examples of this are the shared digital shopping list, which every family member has access to, or the family calendar, which can be used to organize upcoming weekly appointments, including trips.

2. External contacts

If as many products and services as possible are bundled with one provider and online offers are increasingly used, time can also be created. One example is video streaming as a replacement for the stationary video store or online banking, which today even allows accounts to be opened without any physical contact.

3. Structural changes

Further possibilities arise when existing structures are changed and replaced by new ones. These include, for example, new living concepts and smart cities as well as new concepts for mobility (e.g. autonomous driving) and work (e.g. flexible working hours, home office).

In addition to what is already possible today (robots for vacuuming or mowing the lawn, tools for the home office, buying groceries online and having them delivered ...) the study provides an outlook for 2025: Life in the “smart home” enables one through networking and automation Time savings on typical household chores. The “Smart Assistant” organizes family, craftsman and doctor appointments. With “smart driving”, the self-driving car with route optimization enables shorter driving times. And “Smart Shopping” directs you to the right supermarket shelf, because the refrigerator has already reported what is needed.

I don't doubt that these developments will all come. Whether they mean that families have more time for the essentials, of course. In some areas there will certainly be relief, in others there will be new unpleasant tasks. Then not only does the laptop crash, but the refrigerator too. Any networking must also be secured - that requires a lot of know-how.

Digital tools are nothing more than that: tools. I have to deal with my time myself. And what surprises me: When it comes to time wasters, digital media are not mentioned at all. Often it is they who rob us of our time. How quickly does half an hour go by when I'm on Facebook? How often does a Whatsapp message interrupt what I'm doing? That's why I find it a bit alien to portray digital technologies as a panacea. The decisive factor for all aids is how people use them. And in my opinion that also and especially applies to the brave new digital world.

Bettina Wendland

Family editor

Keywords:digital technology, family, housework, time