Positive Psychology is not the same as Positive Thinking. Positive emotions are only one element of human flourishing.
Give more time to get more time? How is that possible? Last time you checked, there were still only 24 hours in a day.
It's counter-intuitive, but here's what I recently learned (and how nice that it's backed up by science)!
It' s not uncommon to feel as though there is never enough time. In addition to work or school, you may want to spend time with family and friends, workout at the gym, or pursue a hobby. How will you ever find time to catch up on the last three episodes of "This is Us?"
GIVING TIME GIVES YOU TIME
In 2012, Psychological Science published an article, Giving Time Gives You Time, that was written by researchers at Wharton, Yale, and Harvard (Cassie Mogilner, Zoe Chance, and Michael Norton, respectively). The results of their experiments were that although we all have the same 24 hours in a day, you can actually increase your subjective sense of how much time you have.
The researchers compared giving time to friends or strangers with wasting time, spending time on oneself, and even receiving "free" time. They found that giving time increases your perception of having time. The feeling of having more time (what they refer to as time affluence) is driven by an increased sense of self-efficacy. You can learn more about self-efficacy here.
PRESSED FOR TIME
Unfortunately, when you feel starved for time, you are more likely to devote any spare time to yourself. However, the research suggests that you might actually feel less time constrained and better able to complete your work and/or tasks, if you spend time with others.
While it is not defined, the researchers admit that there is likely to be an upper limit at which giving time may have negative consequences and impact your ability to get your own work done. Only you can determine where that tipping point is.
In 2018, perhaps you can seek out opportunities to give of your time, even when (or especially if) you feel like there isn't enough! The next time a friend really needs to discuss a pressing issue or a colleague desperately needs your help solving a problem, it may be best to find the time.
Remember, giving time, gives you time.
What is your experience with giving time?
Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!
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