Do Yourself a Favour – By Helping Others Out

If you always feel there are not enough hours in the day, the answer could be to do a favour for someone else, say scientists.

Despite the fact that helpfulness involves giving up precious time, devoting a few hours or even just minutes to others can make us feel as if we actually have more free time to ourselves, a study claims.

Researchers form the University of Pennsylvania compared the effects of just relaxing, with giving time – for example writing a letter to a sick child.

The team found that those who did the latter felt they had more time on their hands, reports the journal Psychological Science.

Study leader Cassie Mogilner believes this is because giving away time boosts one’s sense of personal competence and efficiency, and this stretches out time in our minds.
She said: “Giving time makes people more willing to commit to future engagements, despite their busy schedules. When individuals feel time-constrained, they should become more generous with their time, despite their inclination to be less so.

Our results demonstrate the way that time is spent can also impact time perception and identifies a specific choice individuals can make to lessen their experience of time pressure – be effective by doing something for others.”

– Daily Mail, Wednesday July 18th

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