If you’re looking for a reason to go to war with your own laziness, we have another one for you.
Staying busy helps you keep your life in order. Whether we realize it or not, when we’re busier, our finances and health tend to be better, and research backs this up in more way than one.
A study by the Journal of Consumer Research put together a series of experiments that saw different people placed in situations of varying busyness. The results were fairly straightforward; those that had more to do showed greater self control, and ended up better off than their lazier peers. The primary findings were that those with more to do take better care of both their health and finances. They simply eat better, exercise more, are more likely to come up with savings plans, and save more money.
The reason for these findings aren’t certain, but the co-author of the study credits the improved life choices with increased self-confidence. People are different from each other in many ways, but it’s been understood for a long time that being lazy isn’t linked with high self esteem, and is in fact linked with low self-esteem. This increased self-esteem in people who are busier could perhaps explain what compels them to take better care of themselves. As the study’s co-author Amitava Chattopadhyay explains, “Every day, we make many decisions that involve choosing between our immediate and future well-being. For instance, do we go to the gym after work, or do we just go home to relax in front of the television? Do we save money for retirement, or do we splurge on a trip? Do we eat fruit or cake for dessert? When we perceive ourselves to be busy, it boosts our self-esteem, tipping the balance in favor of the more virtuous choice.”
This hasn’t even been the only study on the relationship between busyness and taking better care of your life. You may have heard a common stereotype that those who are busier tend to be sloppier in what they do. This is simply untrue, as an empty schedule can cause a significant dip in confidence, leading to less self-esteem and more sloppiness.