Good News for Hustlers: Being Busy Could Actually Be Good for You

A study found a link between a packed schedule and healthier choices, particularly when it comes to food.

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy
Good News for Hustlers: Being Busy Could Actually Be Good for You
Image credit: Westend61 | Getty Images
Entrepreneur Staff
Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.
2 min read

It turns there may be an unexpected upside to being busy.

According to a new study from INSEAD and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, if you perceive yourself to be a busy person, and have what the researchers call a “busy mindset,” that can lead to feeling more important, which in turn can inspire you to make healthier choices.

The researchers conducted a series of eight experiments and had the participants establish the ways that they were busy, by doing things such as asking them to write down the reasons why they had such a packed schedule, or telling the undergraduates involved in the study that data found they were busier than the students at neighboring schools.

The study looked at the ways that this feeling of busyness affected how the students made decisions about the foods they ate, whether they opted to exercise or relax and whether they chose to save money for retirement versus spending it. The researchers found that when people were influenced to see themselves as busy, it boosted their ability to have self-control.

Related: 5 Everyday Strategies to Make Your Brain Stronger (One of Them Involves Eating)

One study asked participants to ask to say how many people in their lives thought they were important person. The researchers found that when they had a “dampened sense of self-importance” the self-control dissipated as well. The students that felt like they were busy but not important were more likely to ask to receive a brownie for their involvement instead of an apple.

In a summary of the findings for Harvard Business Review, the researchers looked ahead to how the finding could be used by businesses looking to appeal to customers, citing examples including Anytime Fitness, which has used the tagline “the club for busy people,” or Dunkin Donuts, which has portrayed its products as “real food for busy lifestyles.”

“Much research has focused on what causes consumers to choose immediate gratification over long-term benefits, be it in the spheres of overeating or food waste,” the researchers wrote. “Lately, mindful eating as an intervention to enhance self-control has received a lot of attention; however, it requires training and continual practice. Our research suggests that activating a busy mindset may be an easier and more effective nudge to facilitate self-control.”

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Create your business plan in half the time with twice the impact using Entrepreneur's BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan. Try risk free for 60 days.

Latest on Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Privacy Policy.