Saturday, May 21, 2011

Time and Money

What might be at the heart of our "crazybusy" time-crunched way of life in today's world? It may not just be more things to do according to research by organizational behavior professors Sanford DeVoe of the University of Toronto and Jeffrey Pfeffer of Stanford University.

Professors DeVoe and Pfeffer actually trace the roots of the "modern time bind" to rising income over the past several decades. Apparently, as people's pay rises, the stress they internalize to do more faster increases. When a person is paid less, they feel more permission to go at their own pace.

This includes when being assigned the very same tasks! A study of 67 college students to a fictitious corporate job illustrated this point. The students who were paid 10 times what their other colleagues were reported feeling more pressure to do the very same job.

When people were assigned to groups where they were made to feel either wealthy or poor, those who felt wealthy also felt more time pressure. With this increased sense of time pressure came less patience and a tendency to rush through tasks.

This research invites us to look at what really makes us feel time bound. Do we really have too much to do, or do we feel too much pressure to do what we feel responsible for? Good food for thought!

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