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National Happiness Happens Day: Buying free time by outsourcing mundane chores promotes happiness, finds research

National Happiness Happens Day: Buying free time by outsourcing mundane chores promotes happiness, finds research

Outsourcing daily chores like cleaning the house, running errands or mowing the lawn are often looked down upon, as many people associate it with laziness. However, according to a recent research, spending money to buy free time by outsourcing tedious and pesky household work to others can tremendously enhance the level of happiness in people.

One of the biggest regrets of new age working professionals is a perpetual lack of quality time for activities they genuinely enjoy. Though people are hard-pressed for time, yet, they seldom hire someone to do their work at home that invariably consumes a lot of their precious time.

Researchers Ashley V. Whillans, a professor at the Harvard Business School and Elizabeth W. Dunn, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, conducted surveys and found that free time is directly proportional to increased happiness in people.

As part of the research paper “Buying Time Promotes Happiness,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences in June 2017, the researchers analyzed more than 6,000 people in North America and Europe. They found that the respondents who bought more time by sourcing out the cleaning, cooking, household work and other such tasks, reported higher satisfaction in life. Irrespective of whether they were poor or rich, people who hired people to do such work were happier than others who chose to work themselves.

They also conducted a direct experiment with 60 working adults in Vancouver, Canada, to know whether buying time resulted in greater happiness.

Weekend 1: During the first weekend, the researchers gave $40 to each adult to spend on time-saving purchases. Some spent the amount on cleaning services, some for grocery deliveries while others hired neighborhood boys to run errands on their behalf.

Weekend 2: During the next weekend, the respondents again received $40, this time for spending on a material good. The people spent on an array of things like clothes, board game cards and other stuff.

When assessed, the researchers unveiled that people tend to be happier when they spend on a number of time-saving purchases rather than material belongings.

The findings led the researchers to conclude that buying time definitely boosts happiness. It mitigates the effects of time stress, a feeling that piques people for not having enough time in a day. The paucity of time leaves people exasperated and is associated with lower life satisfaction, as was evident with the respondents in the survey. Surprisingly, time-stress levels are much less for people who buy time by outsourcing their chores to other people.

Wealth does not ensure happiness

The researchers surveyed even millionaires in Netherlands and found that most of them do not spend money to outsource their daily and boring tasks. Whereas, only 2 percent working adults in Canada admitted to spending the extra $40 on time-buying services. This shows that having wealth is not a guarantee for greater happiness.

In conclusion, freeing up a lot of time by outsourcing tiring chores to others by paying money can provide happiness and satisfaction. Happiness is priceless, something which eludes people, yet so easy to attain. This National Happiness Happens Day, observed every year on Aug. 8, let us pledge to bring more happiness into our lives by undertaking small activities like this one.

Mental health

When there is happiness, chances are that it will dispel mental stress and problems from our lives. However, certain mental conditions need medical intervention in rehabs.

Sovereign Health is a leading behavioral treatment center in the United States that offers comprehensive treatment and long-term recovery. Hence, if you are looking for depression rehab centers, be it an inpatient depression treatment center or outpatient facility, call our 24/7 helpline members or chat online for a quick assistance.

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