People who prioritise time over money are happier
People who prioritise time over money are happier
Zoe Kutchener

Zoe Kutchener

I cover people moves and career advice. My interests cover social media for personal and professional development, library advocacy, user engagement, and supporting new professionals.
Zoe Kutchener

Lots of has been said about how concentrating on materialistic goals, at the cost of social and family interactions, can leave us hopeless and unfulfilled.

In a brand new paper published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, psychologists at the University of British Columbia in Canada claim that there is another significant difference to be made – between how much we prioritise time versus money.

People who prefer to have more time than money tend to be more optimistic and fulfilled, perhaps because their priorities free them to enjoy gratifying and purposeful tasks.

The investigators led by Ashley Whillans first formulated a simple and quick way to quantify this difference in people. They asked over one hundred students to say whether they prioritised having more time or having more money, and also to help them value the distinction the investigators presented them with two people.

Tina values her time more than her money. She is satisfied with less money but wants to have more time to spend doing what she likes. For instance, Tina prefer to work fewer hours and make less money, than work more hours and make more cash.

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And the person who prioritises money:

Maggie values her money more than her time. She’s willing to give her time to have more money. For instance, Maggie prefer to work longer hours and get more income than work less hours and have more time.

The students answered this query twice, three months aside and their two answers were very consistent, which supports the idea that individuals prioritisation of time versus cash is a secure characteristic.

What is more, across the studies, people who said they prioritised time tended to report being happier.

This is true based on several ways of quantifying well-being and well-being, and the organization held even after keeping steady numerous other factors, like people’s wages, instruction, hrs of work and age and sex. As so frequently, it is worth remembering that this data was only recorded at one point in the life of the participants, so it isn’t yet been created that having more a time centric orientation versus cash centric really causes greater well-being.

The researchers said that this relationship between prioritising time and being happier was about half the impact on happiness of other factors, like being married and having more wealth. And perhaps most important, all the research data is freely accessible via the Open Science initiative.

“Although causality cannot be inferred,” the researchers concluded, “these data point to the possibility that valuing time over money is a stable preference that may provide one path to greater happiness.”

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