Article | Psychological Science | October 2012

Giving Time Gives You Time

by Cassie Mogilner, Zoe Chance and Michael I. Norton

Abstract

Four experiments reveal a counterintuitive solution to the common problem of feeling that one does not have enough time: giving some of it away. Although people's objective amount of time cannot be increased (there are only 24 hours in a day), this research demonstrates that people's subjective sense of time affluence can be increased: compared with wasting time, spending time on oneself, and even gaining a windfall of "free" time, spending time on others increases feelings of time affluence. The impact of giving time on feelings of time affluence is driven by a boosted sense of self-efficacy – such that giving time makes people more willing to commit to future engagements despite their busy schedules.

Keywords: Time Management; Giving and Philanthropy; Research;

Citation:

Mogilner, Cassie, Zoe Chance, and Michael I. Norton. "Giving Time Gives You Time." Psychological Science 23, no. 10 (October 2012): 1233–1238.