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Europeans say they’re getting bogged down by everyday chores
By: Lisa Boch-Andersen, Senior Director for Communications Europe
04 February 2013

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Seventy-nine percent believe they could save at least 500 hours per year through smarter management of personal to-do lists. Less than half say they fully take advantage of technology to free up time.

A newly released Microsoft MSN poll reveals that six out of ten Europeans feel their personal to-do lists keep them from doing all the things they love doing. However, almost half (47 percent) admitted they could save at least one to two hours every day by taking a smarter approach to getting things done, with housework, running errands and managing social calendars at the top of the list. Europeans could get back 547.5 hours per year, or nearly 23 days of untapped free time – time that could be spent doing more of what people love to do, be it spending time with family, socializing with friends, catching a movie or keeping fit. Furthermore, one quarter (25 percent) indicated that they could get two to four hours per day back if they tackled their to-do lists more efficiently.

The findings were released in conjunction with the general availability launch of the new Office 365, designed to help busy people and their families get things done, whether they’re using a smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac.

The pace of modern living appears to be impacting people’s lives as they try to balance all of their personal and professional responsibilities. The MSN poll, which drew from more than 7000 respondents in 13 European countries, found that more than one in three (38 percent) people believe that getting more free time back to enjoy life would be “priceless.”

The main culprits that people said eat into their free time:

  • Housework and chores

  • Shopping and errands

  • Meals and cooking

  • Managing social calendar

  • Homework / helping kids with homework

Surprisingly, just 47 percent of European respondents said “Technology helps me get more organized and save time,” with a third saying they use technology to help with their personal to-dos but wishing that technology were easier to use. Almost one quarter (24 percent) admitted they don’t feel tech-savvy enough to use today’s technology to get things done quicker.

“It’s remarkable that in our day and age, with smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs, more than half of people aren’t fully taking advantage of technology to make their lives easier and more enjoyable – particularly as the vast majority of people believe they could get hundreds of hours back every year if they tackled their personal to-dos in a smarter way,” said Per-Olof Schroeder, who leads Microsoft Office Division in Western Europe. “Most people are familiar with Office, having used some of its apps for school or work, but with Office 365, we saw the opportunity to help people tackle the responsibilities of everyday life.

We’ve made Office 365 available on a subscription basis because it offers the flexibility, convenience and value today’s consumers need– letting them take advantage of Office on up to five devices including smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs, and letting them stay right in sync with friends and family.”

Tips for using Office 365 to get the most out of every day:

  • Never again leave the supermarket without getting everything you need – keep your shopping lists on OneNote and you, and your family, can access and update it anywhere, anytime.

  • Minimize back-and-forth email and texting by managing family calendars and organizing social events using Outlook and Office 365.

  • Cut down traveling, or driving your kids to study groups: students can share research with classmates and do virtual run-throughs of group presentations.

  • Help maintain a good work life balance: with the ability to send Office documents right from your smartphone, you can enjoy a more flexible lifestyle.

  • Manage your family budget easily and make smart choices using the Quick Analysis lens in Excel, which lets you analyse and format the data so you can spot spending trends.

To download a free trial of Office 365 and see how much you can save, go to

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