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How do you spend your time?: Excel worksheet instructions

Name_____________________________ Date___________

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) American Time Use Survey (ATUS) measures the amount of time people spend doing different activities, such as working, sleeping, and socializing. People who answer the survey questions are asked about the activities they performed “yesterday.” You may use the worksheet to complete the activity.

  1. Think about what you did yesterday. Record the amount of time you spent on each of the activities in the “Hours and Minutes” column in the table. For example, if you spent three hours and 15 minutes relaxing, enter “3:15” into the “Socializing, Relaxing, Leisure” row of the “Hours and Minutes” column. You should include everything you did between the time you got out of bed yesterday until the time you got out of bed today. Remember to add together all the time you spent on those activities. In the “Eating and Drinking” category, remember to add together the amount of time you spent on breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Leave the “Other” row blank for now. If there was any time you spent doing two of these activities at the same time, split the time evenly between the two activities. For example, if you spent one hour watching TV while eating dinner, allocate half an hour to the “Socializing, Relaxing, Leisure” category and half an hour to the “Eating and Drinking” category.
  2. In the “Minutes” column, convert the amount of time spent on each activity from hours and minutes into minutes. Keep in mind there are 60 minutes in an hour.
    Example: if you spent 2 hours and 15 minutes on an activity, enter 135 into the “Minutes” column. 60 + 60 + 15 = 135
  3. Next, convert the number of minutes spent on each activity into a decimal. To do this, divide the number of minutes by 60. Enter this number into the “Decimal” column.
    Example: 135 minutes ÷ 60 minutes = 2.25 hours
  4. Add all of the values in the “Decimal” column and enter the total at the bottom of the column. The total should be close to 24 hours. If your number is less than 24, enter the remaining hours into the “Other” row. This might happen if you couldn’t fit any of your activities into the categories or if you forgot an activity or the amount of time you spent on it.
  5. Change the decimals into a percentage of the day. To do this, divide the number of hours spent on an activity by 24 and multiply by 100 to get a percent. Round to the nearest tenth of a percent and enter into the “Percent” column. In the “Total” row, add together all the values in the “Percent” column and you should get a number very close to 100.
    Example: 2.25 hours ÷ 24 hours per day = 0.0937 (rounded to 0.094)
                    0.094 x 100 = 9.4%
  6. You will be creating a pie chart. Pie charts are good to use when you are trying to show how individual categories (in this case: time spent on activities) contribute to a whole (an entire day). Angles of a circle are measured in degrees. There are 360 degrees in a full circle. To find out how many degrees each piece (or category) of the pie is, you will need to convert the percent of the circle (the whole circle represents one whole day) into degrees. To do this, multiply the percents by 3.6. Round to the nearest whole degree and put these numbers into the “Degrees” column. In the total row, add together the number of degrees and you should get a number very close to 360.
    Example: 9.4% x 3.6 &eequals; 33.84 which rounds to 34 degrees.

If you are using the spreadsheet linked at the beginning of this activity, a pie chart should be generated once you enter your values into the “Percent” and “Degrees” columns in the table.

However, if you wish to create your own pie chart, follow the steps below:

  1. Highlight the filled-in cells (including titles) from A3 through F13.
  2. In the Insert tab, choose one of the pie chart styles.
  3. Make sure that your chart has a title, labels, and a key.
  4. Print your pie chart and share it with your class.

Last Modified Date: January 10, 2019