Pressed for time?
From a blog by Behavioural Scientist
In my National Church and Social Action survey reports 2010, 2012 and 2014, one of the top hindrances to doing more was time availability of volunteers/time poverty, etc. So an article on time pressure in Behavioural Scientist was of interest and gave an interesting insight.
In a 2016 Pew Survey, 60 percent of working parents “always” felt rushed. In another survey, 80 percent of working adults—both with and without children—wished that they had more time to spend with their friends and family.
An obvious reason for rising feelings of time scarcity is that people simply have less free time than in earlier decades. But there is remarkably little evidence for this idea.
Instead, decreasing feelings of time affluence may come from a surprising culprit: rising wealth. As incomes have risen around the world, so too have feelings of time pressure. In countries from Germany to the United States, people with higher incomes are more likely to agree with statements like, “There have not been enough minutes in a day.”
Why does having more money make us feel more pressed for time? When any resource is perceived as scarce, it is also perceived as valuable (think of water in the desert). So, when our time starts to become more financially valuable, we also view our time as being increasingly scarce.
Although earning more money makes us feel more pressed for time, changing the way we spend that money may provide an escape from the time crunch. It is increasingly possible to use money to buy more free time, by paying for everything from housecleaning to grocery delivery. To find out whether people who use this strategy are better off, Behavioural Scientist surveyed more than 6,000 adults in Canada, Denmark, the U.S., and the Netherlands. People who spent money on time-saving purchases reported greater satisfaction with their lives.
As people climb the income ladder, it seems like they should have the freedom to prioritize time. Yet in a nationally representative sample of employed Americans, they found that wealthier people were no more likely to prioritize time over money. This may help to explain why wealth tends to exacerbate, rather than alleviate, time stress: Even people who can afford to buy themselves out of the time crunch often don’t.
This issue might also vary by gender. Women around the world face the obligation to work a “second shift,” completing the vast majority of unpaid work at home. Increasing the uptake of time-saving purchases might therefore also help to mitigate the negative impacts of this second shift.
Money is both a cause and a potential solution for the time famine of modern life. Although having more money is linked to feeling pressed for time, re-thinking our spending decisions—from the major to the mundane—may help transform wealth into well-being.
Read more here.
Re-thinking our spending decisions will also create employment - potentially helping those who are only able to work a few hours. It will also release time for volunteering, etc.
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