Time management: How to make better use of the hours


All of us wish we had more free time to enjoy and do things we like. But, when Selin Malkoc, a behavioural scientist and associate professor of marketing at the Ohio State University, began researching how people valued time, she found if people had more time, they would spend it doing more work. And if we use our free time for work, how will we truly unwind?

In this video, she talked about her learnings and shared techniques on how we can all enjoy our time.

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“We wish for more time so that we can do things that we always wanted to do. I thought this was universal, until a few years back when it dawned upon me, why don’t I have the time? Why am I not doing those things? Why are people doing this? There is this intuition that we will get done with the work and then get to the leisure. Only if I can finish my chores, then I can relax. Except that the chores and the errands and the work never ends and the leisure never comes,” she said.

“I want to make sure I get to see my friends or I will get to watch a movie, so I will go and schedule a priority. This is the way to make sure that I am going to get it done. That is what the time management groups tell us. But this got us into trouble when we went to Turkey where people usually don’t plan and show up at your place unannounced. Why is there this difference? Why are we scheduling and they are not? And do they know something better?” she explained.

“It turns out when we schedule things we enjoy and put them on our to-do list, it becomes like any other thing in the list. It doesn’t feel any different than a dentist appointment or a car wash,” she added.

What she found was that if you schedule, you truly enjoy less. You get less out of watching a movie just because it was scheduled versus unplanned. Now there’s good news here, because if you are roughly planning, you are as good as unplanned. So if you can make plans and leave the end a little bit more flexible, you are not losing anything, but gaining something.

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