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Stashed in: Time, Focus!, Decisions, Money!, Attention, Awesome, Multitasking, Poverty, Productivity, Poverty

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“There are three types of poverty,” he says. “There’s money poverty, there’s time poverty, and there’s bandwidth poverty.” The first is the type we typically associate with the word. The second occurs when the time debt of the sort I incurred starts to pile up.

And the third is the type of attention shortage that is fed by the other two: If I’m focused on the immediate deadline, I don’t have the cognitive resources to spend on mundane tasks or later deadlines. If I’m short on money, I can’t stop thinking about today’s expenses — never mind those in the future. In both cases, I end up making decisions that leave me worse off because I lack the ability to focus properly on anything other than what’s staring me in the face right now, at this exact moment.

“Under scarcity, you devote a lot of resources to the thing you’re lacking,” says Eldar Shafir, a psychologist at Princeton who has been studying poverty for over a decade and is Mr. Mullainathan’s co-author on “Scarcity.” “When people are juggling time, they are doing something very similar to when they’re juggling finances. It is all scarcity juggling. You borrow from tomorrow, and tomorrow you have less time than you have today, and tomorrow becomes more costly. It’s a very costly loan.”

So poverty of money, time, or attention leads to poor decisions. 

... there is also relationship poverty, and it affects all three

I'm not familiar with relationship poverty. Is that not knowing enough people?

One may know a lot of people yet not have a relationship with many, thus impoverished by that lack of genuine, enduring friendships

I see. Kare, you're right, that's an unfortunate poverty, too.

It seems like all of the poverties are connected.

However, it seems like even wealthy people can succumb to relationship poverty.

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