3 Ways to Buy Back Time and Live Happier
We've completely lost anything that resembles work-life-balance. Here's how to start buying back more time without waiting 40-years
Building a great life is about threading the needle between time and money.
The difficulty is that you’re forced to trade your time to make money. Then once you have enough money, you begin trading it back for more time. Life is a constant balance of trading these two precious resources back in forth.
In an ideal world, we would have balance, the feeling that we have enough money to spend our time in ways that make us happy.
We do not live in an ideal world; the scales have been heavily tipped toward money over time.
Most people are terrified of running out of money and will gladly trade in 8-10 hours a day for 40 years to ensure they don’t run out—and even then, only a minority of people feel confident they’ll have enough money once they stop working.
In this post, I’ll review research highlighting the benefits of valuing your time and talk about three ways to immediately begin buying more time—and happiness.
People who prioritize time over money are happy
In a 2016 paper, researchers conducted six studies with a combined total of 4,690 participants to test whether people who prioritize time over money are happier than those who prioritize money over time.
They defined people who prioritize time over money as people who tend to make decisions that save time even if they cost more money. They also found that these people reported greater happiness than those who prioritized money— These results held even when controlling for demographic variables like income and employment status.
People who prioritize time showed lower levels of materialism and material striving, which are both associated with lower well-being.
The obvious implication is that to live happier, we should find ways to start using money to buy back more of our time. The authors of this research paper did not provide much advice on how to do that—but luckily, this is a subject I have written about a lot