It's no secret that thinking about money all the time leads to anxiety, but research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggests that when you think about your hourly wage all the time, you start to consider your leisure time lost revenue. This makes it so you have trouble relaxing.
Photo by George Foster.
In a series of studies, participants were asked to complete several leisurely tasks, both after calculating their hourly wages and not. The participants who thought about their hourly wage were impatient and struggled to relax and enjoy the activities. The problem is that people tend to think of time as money and then attribute that idea to everything they do.
If you tend to work out your hourly wage throughout the day because you're freelancing, working part time, or you're just worried about money, this is a good reminder to stop and let your mind wander away from that. Instead of thinking about watching a movie as two hours of work lost, try to enjoy it or schedule time for your media to alleviate any feeling of "lost time".
Time, money, and happiness: How does putting a price on time affect our ability to smell the roses? [Journal of Experimental Social Psychology via BPS Research Digest]