In week 6 of “The Science of Well-Being,” we learn about the importance of time affluence and the value of time versus the value of money.
Surveys indicate that North Americans are split equally in their priorities, with about half valuing time and half valuing money, but the people who prioritize time report higher happiness levels. Valuing time over money gives you the opportunity to connect with others, which we learned the importance of last week. Yes, you have to earn enough to meet your basic needs, but beyond that point, money won’t necessarily make you happier. This research also showed that people’s priorities tend to shift with age, with younger people valuing money and older people valuing time.
However, this may vary from generation to generation. I recently read an article from the Harvard Business Review about prioritizing work-life balance and creating healthy habits to avoid burnout, so I think the American culture is starting to shift more towards prioritizing time.
Questions about work-life balance to consider—you might make more money if you work in another town, but will you regret the commute because it leaves you less time to spend with your family or building relationships in your small town? Do communities suffer because people no longer have time to invest in making them great places to live?
Time affluence is an area where I’m currently struggling myself in both my work and personal life. My schedule is often overbooked, and I need to say no to some meetings so I have time to work on projects I truly care about.
Tip of the Week
Do something fun with your leisure time! Free time is needed to recharge and to boost creativity – but do something that helps you feel engaged instead of a mindless activity like binge-watching Netflix. Put together a puzzle with family members, challenge yourself with a difficult crossword puzzle, spend time cooking foods you love, learn a new knitting pattern, tune up your bicycle for spring, or any hobby you enjoy!