Bauer Researcher Explores “Never-Enough-Hours-In-A-Day” Mindset

Published on August 13, 2018

Time Famine

Let us, just for a brief moment, interrupt the crush of moms and dads rushing kids to school, drivers trying to shave seconds off their commutes and everyone out there guilty of skipping lunch.

We’re all time-starved, or think we are.

Bauer College Assistant Professor of Marketing & Entrepreneurship Melanie Rudd is fascinated by the pervasive nature of the “never-enough hours-in-a-day” mindset and studies attitudes toward time. Her insights can help managers looking for ways to positively influence employee creativity and productivity, as well as marketers who want to better understand the factors that drive consumer behavior.

“People are often feeling really rushed, pressed for time,” Rudd said. “It’s almost like a time famine is sweeping the nation. And my research is about, is there a way to kind of curb that problem and get people a little bit more time in their life?”

Understanding the answers can help managers as they try to establish a good foundation for increasing employee happiness and productivity, which has been shown to have a number of negative workplace consequences, Rudd said.

Marketing professionals attempting to sell experiential products like spa treatments or a trip to the theatre may have more success if they can find a way to induce awe, according to Rudd’s research.

“If you experience a feeling of awe it makes you feel that time is plentiful. We looked at the downstream consequences of experiencing awe. We found that people are more willing to volunteer and prefer more experiential goods and services as opposed to material goods and services,” Rudd said.

For busy offices where awe-inducing experiences are in short supply, there is another option for expanding the perception of time: slow, controlled breathing exercises. Taking time to do so in the midst of an overwhelming day has an added benefit of helping to jumpstart inventiveness.

“When you feel you have more time available, your creativity seems to benefit as well,” Rudd said.

By Julie Bonnin