If you’ve been debating hiring a cleaning person, quit the deliberation and ring up your neighbors for a referral. A new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that spending money to buy yourself more time in the day may actually give you “greater overall life satisfaction.” Expenses that save us time, such as outsourcing disliked tasks, may reduce the stress we have about having limited time to accomplish what we need to do, improving our happiness.
The study surveyed nearly 4,500 people in North America and Europe, and those who spent money on things that saved them time—like ordering takeout, hailing a cab, hiring a cleaner, or booking a TaskRabbit for household chores—reported greater life satisfaction than those who did not. This was true for those in all spectrums of socioeconomic status, and spending money on material goods did not have the same effect.
Time to ask that kid in the neighborhood to mow your lawn, don’t you think?
What is your experience? Has outsourcing tasks relieved stress for you?