Want to be happier? Make more free time

Health

Want to be happier? Make more free time

by Dina Gerdeman

Enjoying life requires time, but too often we willingly give it away in pursuit of money and career. Ashley Whillans shows how to restore the proper balance.

After earning a doctorate, Ashley Whillans received two tempting job offers: one in her hometown, where she could remain close to family and friends and work reasonable hours for the local government, and another that required a cross-country move and promised more money and prestige. 

Without much hesitation, she opted for the higher-paying position in a new city, figuring it would be an adventure with her partner of eight years and lead to more exciting work opportunities down the road. 

It’s a choice many people face at key times in their life. What should we pursue more: money and career, or free time and family? 

Soon after settling into her dream job, Whillans worked and traveled constantly, but her partner was miserable, with no job or friends nearby. During one work trip, the couple was fighting long distance, and Whillans barely made it to Cornell University in time to give a talk about her research. The topic of her presentation: the mistake we often make in chasing a higher paycheck at the expense of quality time with loved ones.

Click here to read the rest of the article at the Harvard Business School Working Knowledge website

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