Recent research from Harvard Business School and the University of British Columbia is very revealing about how we value money and time. We all want to be happy and not stressed –which is what we try and achieve for our clients through our strategy and accounting work. But the research suggests that we can all take a little more control over this ourselves.
Money – we know that more money doesn’t always equate to more happiness, or at least that doubling your money won’t double your happiness. So the trade-off is one of reducing benefit to us. Research shows us that sending a little of the extra money, not on ourselves, but on anyone else, will lead to increased happiness – even small amounts that you actively spend other than on yourself.
Time – we all feel that we are time poor – “I don’t have enough time” is a common refrain. And this leads to stress, so we feel that we need to spend some time on ourselves to relax. But after an indulgent bit of time spent that way, we still feel as stressed as before when we contemplate our busy schedule with so many things to do. Giving some time to someone else – helping with homework, volunteering somewhere – anything not on you , changes our perception of time such that you feel more able to cope with the pressures of daily life.
Both these impacts work in the same way – because you are giving away something of value, it signals to you that you have a lot of this to be able to give some away. It makes you feel that there is more time in the day, or money available, than your brain and psyche was tricking you about before.
You can do both of these and feel happier and less stressed – give a little money away, and a little time. And let us know how you get on.