Abolish The Week

People who aren’t slaves to the 9-5 world (or worse the 8-8 crowd) may not understand the tyranny of the week. Those poor folks who are forced by their managers and bosses to slave away at set hours and times. Sometimes the best time to do something may not be during the working window.

There are many benefits to having varying work schedules. For one, rush hour wouldn’t be so bad for those suffering from commuterism. There are plenty of other reasons too, which are addressed in a recent article from Slate:

But there’s nothing inevitable about the ceaseless repetition of six days of work, one day of rest. As labor has become both more productive and more organized, the week has evolved. The writer Witold Rybczynski traces the emergence of the weekend to 19th century England, when the British agricultural revolution made land and labor more productive. At first, Rybczynski relates, this allowed workers extra leisure, which they enjoyed spontaneously—not according to any ironclad schedule. As the Industrial Revolution became a driving force in trans-Atlantic civilization, the push for greater efficiency demanded standardization of this extra leisure. In 1926, Henry Ford began shutting his factories on Saturdays in a bid to crystallize an American convention of a two-day weekend full of recreation (that he hoped would involve driving). It worked.

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Time + Money ≠ Happiness

Trying to make a decision about your life and how to spend the time you have? Well don’t thinking about spending time, in fact don’t let the idea of money- as-time factor into your decision at all.

Professor DeVoe and PhD student Julian House based their conclusions on three experiments. In each, a sub-group of participants was primed, through survey questions, to think about their time in terms of money. This group subsequently showed greater impatience and lower satisfaction during leisure activities introduced during the experiments. However, they also reported more enjoyment and less impatience when they were paid during one of those activities, which was listening to music.

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Time in Nature Makes People More Caring

This is good news for nature lovers and another reason to go outside and enjoy the world: the more time you spend experiencing nature makes you more caring.

Recent research suggests that spending time in nature actually makes people “more caring.” The studies, by University of Rochester psychologists Netta Weinstein, Andrew Przybylski, and Richard Ryan, showed that people exposed to nature (well, mostly slideshows of nature) put a higher value on intrinsic aspirations, such as doing good in the world or having meaningful relationships, and lower value on extrinsic aspirations, like making a lot of cash or admired by many people. Now as I mentioned, the participants didn’t actually live outdoors for a while or anything as part of the study. Rather, in three of the studies, they looked at images of either the built environment or landscapes and such. And in the fourth, some participants were assigned to work in a laboratory either with or without plants around them. Then they answered a series of questions or were given tests of generosity. “The result? People who were in contact with nature were more willing to open their wallets and share. As with aspirations, the higher the immersion in nature, the more likely subjects were to be generous with their winnings.”

Read more and get more links at Boing Boing.

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