Buying Time

Review: Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life

I think my father made decent money, although I don’t have any concrete numbers. But, if you have seven children to feed, clothe, and educate stretching every dollar is sound practice. My mother did this with sometimes frightening skill. She would drive out of her way to save a few pennies per gallon on gasoline or milk, both of which we consumed in prodigious quantities. Frugal was a badge of honor. Mom lived “time is money” more than any business school professor I ever met. It was a source of friction between us from time to time.

Ashley Whillans is a Harvard Business School professor whose research makes the case that we have that mantra inverted; “money is time.” But, unlike a mathematical inversion, the direction you adopt makes a difference. Whillans research investigates the trouble we get into by accepting the conventional wisdom. That leads to solid advice on how to shift your perspective to prioritizing time over money in spite of the pressures to do the opposite. Appropriately enough, Whillans manages to compress all of the argument and advice into a compact package respectful of and worth your time. 

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