Isn't there a study somewhere that shows we are x% more productive at work now than we were in the 70s - and even so, we are still putting in y% more hours! Yep, here is a series of charts (references at the bottom of the page).
The problem is (as I see it) - competition and capitalism. Automation of things means fewer manual labour jobs. So the increased productivity is not benefitting the worker. We have a larger population which means we have that many more people who want to "get ahead" ... and money doesn't grow on trees. We are competing in the global market, so some things/jobs are cheaper if they are made/done elsewhere.
You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng
On top of what Alagirl and Blugal have said, most of our allegedly time-saving, social status promoting, "mine is the brightest and shiniest" stuff is expensive, thereby adding to the drive to work more.
Commuting, working in a 24/7 business environment, and gaining a family are the things that have taken up a lot of my free time in the last few years.
Going from a 10 min drive to the office to a 60 minute drive really cut in to things like riding, reading, crocheting, etc. By the time I got home at night, I had to hurry to get dinner going in time to get kids fed before they needed to wrap it up for the night. (I don't do boxed, I cook from scratch and love it!)
Then, many late nights of issues at the office or weekends on call would take up hours as well.
When I was single and lived close to work, I had a lot more time for the barn, reading, crocheting, walking, etc. But my day was usually 8-6 at the office, then to barn, then eat dinner around 9, read/crochet/hang out for a few hours, in bed at midnight. If I had a work issue that I needed to go in for, I could get there, fix a problem and be done in an hour. Not when you have 45-60 min of driving each way first!
The last couple of years, it's also been hard to have downtime with everyone's crazy schedules--lessons, games, practices, etc and the fact that the day needs to be wrapped up in time to get kiddos off to bed by 8:30/9.
I'll tell you this though...even though I'm not working now, there are new things taking up a lot of time. Granted, I've been in unpacking mode. But just getting the dogs necessary exercise since we now do not have a yard is a few hours of my day. Getting to the barn? That's about a 3 hour round trip.
I'm not sure that it's the technology and time saving stuff that has made things crazier in my world. It's the driving. I think that hands down, the most time wasting moments in my world are spent in a car.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.