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To be sure, Americans are putting in longer hours these days. American men average a whopping 49 hours a week, while women aren't far behind clocking an average of 42 hours per week.

That may be sour news for our national quality of life, but not all the news is glum. Livelyhood scoured the heartland and found plenty of examples of innovative solutions that offer the promise of keeping us productive and sane.

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