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Think time equals money? Then you won't enjoy it

Posting in Technology

It may be time to ditch thoughts of money. In three experiments, researchers showed that thinking about money lessens our enjoyment of leisure time.

We should banish the phrase, "Time is money."

It turns out that people who are primed to think that way are less able to enjoy any time not spent making money. Even just thinking about money before a leisure activity can lessen one's enjoyment of it.

“Treating time as money can actually undermine your well-being," lead author Sanford DeVoe of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management says.

He and Ph.D. student Julian House demonstrated this principle in three experiments.

For each experiment, one group of subjects was primed to think about their time in terms of money while a control group was not.

In subsequent leisure activities introduced during the experiments, the first group showed greater impatience and lower satisfaction. However, they experienced more enjoyment and less impatience when they were paid for one of the activities, listening to music.

So, if you think of time in terms of money, that "changes the way you actually experience time," says DeVoe. "Two people may experience the same thing, over the same amount of time, yet react to it very differently."

He cites the rise of jobs paid by the hour as more reason for people to consider this when it comes to their off time.

What do you think? Do you find that thinking about money affects your enjoyment of leisure activities?

via: University of Toronto

photo: Earls37a/Flickr

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Laura Shin

Features Editor

Laura Shin has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times, and is currently a contributor at Forbes. Previously, she worked at Newsweek, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and LearnVest. She holds degrees from Stanford University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure