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Time is key to happiness, new study claims

Posted on Tuesday, 25 July, 2017 | Comment icon 17 comments

What makes you happier, time or money ? Image Credit: sxc.hu
According to researchers, stressing out over a lack of time is a leading cause of anxiety and depression.
As modern lifestyles and work schedules become increasingly hectic, more and more people are experiencing what is known as "time famine", the stressful feeling of having too much to do but not enough time to do it.

In a recent study, psychologists in the US, Canada and the Netherlands decided to investigate the link between happiness and the act of spending money in an effort to create more free time, such as by paying someone else to fetch groceries, mow the lawn or clean the house.

The results of the study, which involved 6,000 adult volunteers, suggested that spending money on obtaining more free time made people happier overall than spending money on material purchases.

"Money can in fact buy time. And it buys time pretty effectively," said Dr Elizabeth Dunn from the University of British Columbia. "And so my take home message is, 'think about it, is there something you hate doing that fills you with dread and could you pay somebody else to do that for you?'"

"If so, then science says that's a pretty good use of money."

Source: BBC News | Comments (17)

Tags: Happiness

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by Chaldon on 26 July, 2017, 11:55
Completely, absolutely, one-hundred-percent agree with the results of this research. With one exception - to get money you have to pay for it with your free time. Time is money, if, of course, you're not using some dirty tricks to get more money in less time at the expense of other people's work. That's why years ago I've thrown away my smartphone, dismounted the TV antenna, (almost completely) stopped reading political news on the Internet and finally moved to the country to be in a good small company of good people, like you people on the UM And let everything else happily go to ... where it... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by Ashyne on 26 July, 2017, 14:45
I don't understand how this works. We spend time to earn money, but then we spend the money we earned to buy back the time we lost earning that money? That seems counter-productive. I find myself happier spending on material goods than wasting my money to earn back time I lost trying to earn that money in the first place. If for example, I work for $10 an hour for 10 hours, making $100 a day, then spending that $100 to pay someone to clean my house for the day because I used thattime working my $10/hr job instead of cleaning my own house, then I would end up with both time and money lost, ach... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Chaldon on 26 July, 2017, 15:21
This should work, theoretically. But practically you keep yourself busy and anxious about how to get more money while someone's cleaning your house. In the other case, when you're not busy chasing after money, you wonderfully enough find the time to clean your own house and to lounge on the terrace, and although you're pretty poor it doesn't bother you much. All that aside, seriously, happiness is a metaphoric thing, and there's always a golden middle, one must become a master of oneself, not a slave of one's one business - that brings you happiness. But it's very hard to achieve in the world ... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by Render on 27 July, 2017, 10:52
Well that does it, I'm getting a house cleaner.
Comment icon #12 Posted by spartan max2 on 27 July, 2017, 11:05
I think people perceive lack of time diffrently though. Like I don't get stressed too easily but my freind does. When I was doing college full time and working a fair amount I was pretty busy but I still felt like I had time to do things I wanted. Not unlimited or a whole bunch of time but still time. My freind was lucky enough that her fsmily could pay for everything so she just had to do class and not work but yet she was always stressed out and obsess over any assignments making herself believe she had absolutely no time for herself. And then I have an other freind who is insane he does a c... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by Essan on 27 July, 2017, 13:16
If I were to pay someone to do household work, in order to give me more time, I would have to work more, and thereby have less time. Now, if, as in this study, someone gives me free money, that's maybe a different matter. But the real world doesn't work like that. So IMO the study is flawed. Besides, I think I would still much rather have a good book and a bottle of wine to enjoy after doing the housework than pay someone to do the work meaning I have twice as much free time and nothing to with it .....
Comment icon #14 Posted by WoIverine on 27 July, 2017, 15:37
More time to do what you want, instead of what everyone else wants you to do, that works for me.
Comment icon #15 Posted by paperdyer on 27 July, 2017, 16:42
If you like your job more than cleaning your house, you bought happiness with the time you didn't have to clean. You're just a poor, but happier about it!
Comment icon #16 Posted by RabidMongoose on 27 July, 2017, 17:28
An interesting take on mindfulness is that we seek to keep the things we enjoy going as long as possible while seeking to end as soon as possible those things we find uncomfortable, stressfulor annoying. It could be framed using time. Perhaps there are new approaches to mindfulness there about simply letting time do its thing.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Gingitsune on 27 July, 2017, 18:18
Usually, you'd hire someone who is either faster than you at doing the chores or someone who earn less than you. Let say you are a doctor or architect, you earn more money in an hour that it would cost you to have one hour of cleaning. If you earn the same money what you would pay, it's not so much a bargain anymore. Spending money on material goods is the same actually. I do some sewing for historical clothing and cosplay, butI don't bother with modern cloths, because thereare plenty of Chinese and Bangladeshi doing the same I would for a much lower hourlysalary. On the other hand,I buy s... [More]

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