The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) released a study on Monday indicating that people who buy themselves more free time are more satisfied with their lives.
The study was designed around the question: “Could allocating discretionary income to buy free time—such as by paying to delegate common household chores, like cleaning, shopping, and cooking— reduce the negative effects of the modern time famine, thereby promoting well-being?” After reviewing the study’s data and the publications findings, most of the nation’s top publications are unanimous in their agreement that purchasing additional free time through services is a proven path to more life satisfaction.
Here’s a round-up of some of the press coverage the article received:
“Across all surveys, life satisfaction was typically higher for people who regularly spend money to save time. This was true regardless of household income, hours worked per week, marital status and number of children living at home (though one limitation of the study was that very few people on the extreme low end of the income spectrum were surveyed).”
“The right way is paying someone else to do the time-consuming drudge work that you don’t like, said study lead author Ashley Whillans at the Harvard Business School. When people do that, they report feeling greater life satisfaction in general and happier that day. But when they buy material objects, it tends not to bring people the happiness they expect, she said.”
“Interestingly, despite the benefits of buying time, the researchers found it’s not as common a practice as they’d expect…a survey of 98 working adults found only 2 percent said they would use an extra $40 on something that would save them time. Dunn said the research should help people feel less guilty when it comes to spending money to save time.”
“To finalize their findings, researchers decided to witness directly the impact of buying time to increase happiness, giving 60 people in Vancouver $40 to spend on two consecutive weekends: the first weekend, buying a material purchase and the second, paying for an activity that would buy them time. After checking how they felt after each purchase, survey responses showed that spending money on time-saving activities led to increased positive feelings.”
Professional House Cleaning is the Top Way to Buy Yourself Additional Free Time
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