The context is comparing air travel vs overnight train travel.

In this case, air travel takes 1 hour, plus time required to travel from city to airport, arrive early for check-in & security, then travel from destination airport to city, altogether I probably lose around 4-5 hours of [the word I'm looking for].

Train travel between the same cities is much slower, but there is an overnight schedule, which leaves at 21.00 and arrives 6.00. So I don't have to lose any [the word I'm looking for].

What is a suitable word(s) to fill the bracketed part? Daytime may be close, but it's not very accurate because I also don't like losing non-daytime like 18.00-21.00.


6 Answers 6


I would say that waking hours, or rather my waking hours is perhaps the most appropriate. This indicates the time spent awake.

If you instead wish to stress that you are not losing time which could be spent working, as opposed to, say, time in the evening, when you would not normally be constructive, I would suggest productive time.

Office or business hours can be used to denote the time of day when working is usually done during the working day.


In the 1972 movie, "The Cowboys," Wil Andersen (played by John Wayne) says to the young cowboys,

We're burnin' daylight!

(Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068421/quotes .)

That it is dark when he wakes the young men is not lost on the audience.

So one suggestion (even though the sun may not be up) would be

So I don't have to lose any daylight.

If this is a marketing brochure, you might try

So I don't have to lose any of my busy day.

If you would are searching for something of a higher register, the second definition of diurnal is "Occurring or active during the daytime rather than at night." A parallel (although admittedly more obscure) word is cathemeral, which is described as follows.

A cathemeral organism is one that has sporadic and random intervals of activity during the day or night in which food is acquired, socializing with other organisms occurs, and any other activities necessary for livelihood are performed.

However, it may sound stilted to say that "train travel would lose less of my diurnal period" or "air travel suits my cathemeral nature just fine."

  • +1 for the John Wayne quote - the rest of your examples are interesting but obscure - which is OK on this site! lol! Sep 10, 2013 at 18:00

Daylight hours?

Work day?

Quality time?

Personal prime time?


Workday (in its “That part of a day in which work is done” sense) may serve. Eg,

Altogether I probably lose four to five hours of the workday when flying. Traveling by overnight train, I don't lose any of the workday itself.

  • 1
    I've never heard workday used in Wiktionary's second sense. So far as I'm concerned, to the extent that it's used at all, it invariably means a day when people normally work - as opposed to a restday, weekend, holiday etc. I'd only expect working day in your quoted example. Sep 10, 2013 at 16:22

Useful time is maybe a slightly different take on the concept, but may get across what you're aiming for.

A simple my time might suffice.


For a work setting I would describe it as having more productivity hours (or productive hours).

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