Our struggle with time pressure has troubling ethical implications. However, research shows that lacking free time or feeling consistent time pressure can significantly impact how we interact with other people — and how we perform at work. When we are too busy, we pay less attention to the world around us and are less likely to fully engage in our tasks at the office.
A classic study by John Darley and Daniel Batson in 1973 highlights the impact of time pressure on our willingness to help. Researchers invited participants at a theological college to deliver a three-to five minute impromptu talk to an audience. In preparation for the talk, participants received the Biblical parable of the Good Samaritan — which emphasizes helping those in need — to potentially include in their lecture. Some participants were told they had lots of time to get to the lecture hall while others were informed they were already five minutes late and should rush over immediately.