When time flies and you have the feeling that you actually need a few extra hours a day to get your tasks done… What can you do? The answer is: spend some of your time on others, for free. Although this might sound contradictory, it really is the outcome of a psychological study by Cassie Mogilner et al. which is about to be published. In four experiments, the researchers tested how people’s subjective sense of ‘having enough time’ could be influenced in a positive way.
It turned out that spending our free time on others works best, even when this is compared to spending time on ourselves or getting a windfall of unexpected extra time. The researchers aren’t sure yet what mechanisms form the basis for this result. It might be that by spending time on others, we get more satisfied about our own time managing competences. In some way, having the idea that you use your time efficiently enough, stretches your sense of the time you have.
So when you feel busy and out of time, start volunteering in your children’s school or visit your grandparents this week. Spending time on them gives you a break!