What’s money worth if you don’t have time to enjoy it?

by April Cummins

I see it a lot. Business owners constantly fight to get ahead, increase profits, and grow their brands. They’re so focused on their business goals that they rarely take time to enjoy themselves, or the money they’ve earned.

Is it worth it? After all, money doesn’t buy you happiness. With all the possibilities money can bring us, the sentiment is pretty similar. The research is in. We can conclusively tell you that all the money in the world doesn’t mean anything if you don’t take the time to enjoy it.

“Time poverty”

Harvard Business School professor Ashley Whillans conducted a study with nearly 100,000 working adults from all over the world to look into a phenomenon that’s called “time poverty.” It describes the feeling of not having enough time to focus on work along with other social activities.

According to the study, people who consciously decide to give up money in exchange for free time are happier in all aspects of life than those that don’t see the value of their time.

Professor Whillans goes on to say that the secret to a happy life means making decisions not based on money or how much you can gain, but around time. However, modern society seems to be giving a different message, and you may be a business owner that places money and its importance on a pedestal.

The result, at least according to a lot of research, is an overall unhappier, unfulfilled life. If you really think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Dedicating most of your time to your business’s needs lowers the amount of time you have to relax and enjoy life. When are you taking the opportunity to enjoy the money you’ve worked so hard to earn?

Why does this happen?

To make matters even more confusing, other research tends to show that the more income you have, the more pressed for time you feel. How does this make sense? Rich people, or people with a high income, can afford to “buy time”. For example, they can hire housekeepers to handle daily chores. Those are a few hours ‘bought’ in a day, so why do these individuals feel more pressed for time?

The Commodity Theory

According to the “commodity theory”, anything perceived as valuable is also perceived as scarce. If business owners or people with high income think of their time as valuable, they can also perceive it as if they never have enough of it.

What can you do?

It all comes down to prioritization. It’s not something a lot of us are comfortable doing. If we prioritize time over money, research shows we’d feel a lot happier. For that to ever happen, we need to make a conscious decision in this direction and start valuing our time more than our money.

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