Added: Ladena Leedy - Date: 25.02.2022 03:18 - Views: 44905 - Clicks: 5542
But is this intuition correct? A series of experiments finds that people assume that engaging in leisure before finishing work will ruin their enjoyment of the fun activity — but in reality, the order has no effect on their enjoyment of leisure. The findings suggest we may be over-worrying and over-working for future rewards that could be just as pleasurable in the present. This is a problem, because, among other benefits, leisure improves our work.
People often work better and are more satisfied with their jobs after returning from restful breaks. Enjoying work also helps people stick to longer-term goals. How often have you put off doing something fun, like taking a trip or treating yourself, because you felt that you had too much work to do, and you had to get it all done first? My laboratory has surveyed people from all walks of life about their preferences for ordering work and leisure. Work comes first, leisure comes second. This sounds intuitive.
Our findings were published in the journal Psychological Science. In our first experiment, we invited passersby at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago — working adults from diverse employment backgrounds — to complete two activities. One was called the Fixed Labor task, a strenuous battery of cognitive tests; the other was called the Magic Maker game, a fun iPad game involving creating and listening to music. We randomly ased some participants to play Magic Maker after they had successfully completed Fixed Labor; while others were stuck with the opposite order: they had to play the fun game before getting the harder task over with.
After playing, they rated how their experience actually was. The result? Actual enjoyment ratings were equally high in both conditions. We replicated these findings in a follow-up experiment. Students could choose to come during the weeks right after their stressful midterm exam period or during the weeks right before midterms began. We had essentially the same of students show up at both time periods, and they were of similar age, gender, etc.
They predicted their enjoyment before visiting and rated their experience afterward. We found that while the students who visited the spa before midterms predicted that the experience would be less enjoyable due to looming midterms exams, they actually enjoyed themselves just as much as those who visited the spa after midterms. The intuition was again mistaken. The answer has to do with our ideas about distraction. Then, after actually having the spa experience, they reported the actual percentage of time that they ended up being distracted. They mostly just enjoyed themselves.
In a final experiment, we tried to help people better appreciate the power of putting leisure first. We invited students to the laboratory to complete two studies: one was dubbed the Cognitive Marathon, a series of stressful performance tasks e. We told all participants that they had to complete the reward study first. They were led to believe that the Cognitive Marathon would be next, but we never actually had them suffer through it.
We randomly ased participants to one of three conditions. In one condition, participants completed the reward study and rated how enjoyable it was. Like in our other studies, these participants appeared unbothered by upcoming work and rated the reward as extremely enjoyable. This was our benchmark for the other two conditions, in which we asked the participants to guess the enjoyment ratings of people in the first condition.
One group simply made their guesses with no other information. By breaking down a leisure experience into moment-by-moment detail, they were better able to appreciate the feelings we associate with leisure: pleasure, excitement, stimulation, and relaxation.
Our findings suggest we may be over-worrying and over-working for future rewards that could be just as pleasurable in the present. American workers work longer hours and take fewer vacations than anyone in the industrialized world. Most of them are unhappy with work-life balance , leave paid vacation days on the table, and wish they took more time for fun.
But you can allocate your work and leisure to get better at enjoying yourself now. Here are three steps:. Some leisure can undermine our ability to work afterwards — nobody is recommending having celebratory beers just before you run your 5k. After all, even in our own studies leisure- after -work was just as great as people thought it would be. But the point here is that leisure- before -work may be just as rewarding.
Second: Spend a moment trying to visualize the fun experience in greater detail. Close your eyes and bring it to life moment-by-moment. Engaging in highly specific, concrete, and directed imagination is something good decision makers do often , but most of us do rarely. Go have some fun perhaps a quick trip to the spa with some work left undone.
Pay attention to where your attention is in the moment and how work feels once you return to it. The most effective strategy for shedding our biases is to go through an experience ourselves. Having fun may seem like hard work. You have 1 free article s left this month. You are reading your last free article for this month. Subscribe for unlimited access. Stress management. on Stress management or related topics Time management and Work-life balance. Partner Center.That was fun lets finish the job
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