Does Money or Time Make You Happy? A Stanford Study Tackles This Question

happiness quote

As a work at home mom, you are always on the go. In addition to earning money for your family, you have to tend to each and every need of your children.

While there is nothing wrong with striving to earn as much as possible, you don’t want to overlook the fact that time is a precious resource.

The science of happiness is in full force these days and there are many people studying what really brings us happiness and how to live happier lives. A recent study by professors at Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania brings new light to this discussion.

In their paper – “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Consider Time” – an in-depth review takes place based around the concept of spending your time wisely. By doing so, these professors argue that a happier life is the end result.

Easy enough, right?

No matter if you work at home or in an office setting, it is safe to say that you are going to focus on career success. For this reason, it is essential for people to better understand how to spend their work hours in an effective and efficient manner.

Cassie Mogilner, a contributor to the aforementioned report, had this to say:

“The more time that individuals spend with their partners, best friends, and close friends, the happier they are. When they spend time with people who they dislike or when they spend time alone, their happiness levels drop. Loneliness is a relatively good predictor of unhappiness.”

This is why people who work from home – moms included – are often times happier. The same holds true for employees who are given the option of a flexible work schedule, such as telecommuting on a part-time basis.

How can I get started?

You may be interested in learning more about how you can spend your time wisely. The authors of this report have cut out all the fluff, suggesting that people focus on five key principles:

  • Spend time with people that make you happy. As a work at home mom, this is easy enough. After all, you are with your family all day. Who better to put a smile on your face?
  • Focus your time on the right activities. Just because you work at home does not mean that you are spending your time wisely. Make sure you focus on projects that you enjoy and clients that you get along with. Yes, bills have to be paid but you have some level of control, right?
  • Make more time. This is impossible, isn’t it? Not exactly. Although your day is limited to 24 hours, just like everybody else, you can give the perception of having more time by focusing on the present. Don’t look ahead to the end of the day. Don’t look ahead to next week. Enjoy what you are doing now.
  • Enjoy the future right now. For example, the research involved with an exciting new project can actually be more exciting than the project itself. The same holds true with leisure activities, such as vacationing.
  • Your idea of happiness can and will change over time. As you get older, you will experience different levels of happiness. Don’t hold yourself back. Go with the flow and do whatever it takes to enjoy your day.

Rather than sum up this article on my own, I am going to borrow a quote from the Stanford Graduate School of Business:

Forget Suze Orman. Time, Not Money, Is Your Most Precious Resource. Spend It Wisely.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Stein owns, is a college business professor and a mom to Gabriela and Elle. Lisa is dedicated to playing a part in helping women and moms run a business they love, help support themselves and their family and create a flexible lifestyle. You can find her online on Facebook and Twitter or at home burning something in the kitchen.