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“…the solution to happiness or satisfaction is not actually being time rich, it’s about making the time that you have rich.”
– Cassie Holmes, PhD
The biggest investment decisions you’re making aren’t about your 401(k) or IRA. They’re about your time. Cassie Holmes, PhD, shares her research on the intersection of time and happiness. Listen in for research-based exercises and practical tips that can help you wisely craft your time, increase your satisfaction and retire happy.
Cassie Holmes joins us from Los Angeles.
Cassie Mogilner Holmes is a Professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Cassie is an expert on time and happiness. Her research examines such questions as how focusing on time (rather than money) increases happiness, how the meaning of happiness changes over the course of one’s lifetime, and how much happiness people enjoy from extraordinary versus ordinary experiences. Across these inquiries, her findings highlight the joy that stems from interpersonal connection and paying attention to the present moment.
Cassie’s academic research on the role of time in cultivating well-being has been published in leading academic journals, including Psychological Science, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and the Journal of Consumer Research, and earned her the Early Career Award from both the Association of Consumer Research and the Society of Consumer Psychology. Cassie was identified by Poets & Quants as one of the best 40 business professors under 40, and popular accounts of her research have been featured on NPR and in such publications as The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and Scientific American.
Professor Cassie Holmes is the author of the book, Happier Hour: How to Beat Distraction, Expand Your Time, and Focus on What Matters Most, which is based on her wildly popular MBA course, “Applying the Science of Happiness to Life Design.”
Holmes is a faculty affiliate with The UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute, an interdisciplinary organization dedicated to the research, education, and practice of kindness.
Previously, Holmes was a tenured faculty member and award-winning teacher at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She has a Ph.D. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and a B.A. from Columbia.
For More on Cassie Holmes, PhD
Happier Hour: How to Beat Distraction, Expand Your Time, and Focus on What Matters Most
Time Crafting – Time Tracker Worksheet
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On What Influences Happiness
“So what we think about and what we intentionally do in our day-to-day has a significant influence on our happiness, more so than those circumstances that we think are the secrets to happiness. And so in my work, because I look at the role of time, I very much frame this as how do we think about and choose to invest the time that we have? How does that influence the joy that we experience in our days and the satisfaction we feel about our lives?”
On Time Tracking
“…really what I’m sharing is the research to help people to maximize the amount of time that they experience is worthwhile, minimize the time that is wasted or that people are moving through almost like letting it be wasted. And there’s two components of that. One is spending time, investing time on activities that are worthwhile. The other is when you’re spending that time being engaged in such a way that you make those times worthwhile. So when I just mentioned some of the strategies to offset hedonic adaptation, that is to allow it so that when you’re spending time on these worthwhile activities that you get the most out of them. Now time tracking allows you and helps you to identify what are those activities that are worth allocating time towards. Time tracking identifies what are those activities that are associated with the most positive emotion, most negative emotion, and sort of tracking over the course of people’s days, what activities are they dealing with, as well as how are they feeling, so you can pull out, on average, those activities that tend to produce the most positive emotion.”
On Time & Purpose
“But what was interesting was that there is such thing as having too much available discretionary time and digging into what drove that sort of downward slope with too much time. What it turns out is that we are driven to be productive, we’re averse to being idle. So when we spend all the hours of our sort of regular days with nothing to show for how we spend those hours, it undermines our sense of purpose and with that we feel less satisfied. Now, notably work like working for pay is not the only source of spending time in ways that allow folks to feel productive and worthwhile. It is important to recognize that having the available discretionary hours in your day, what one needs to do is invest those hours in ways that allow them to feel productive, to give a sense of purpose. So we actually found that folks who had a whole lot of discretionary time when they spent them in ways that for them felt worthwhile, it included things like engaging in an enriching hobby that allowed you to develop and grow, engaging in volunteer work that allowed you to feel like you were having an impact, also engaging in social connections, cultivating those important relationships. You actually didn’t see this dip in happiness with a lot of time. So what this is pointing to is that the solution to happiness or satisfaction is not actually being time rich, it’s about making the time that you have rich.”
About Your Podcast Host
Joe Casey is an executive coach who also helps people design their next life after their primary career. He created his own next chapter after a twenty-six-year career at Merrill Lynch, where he was Senior Vice President and Head of HR for Global Markets & Investment Banking.
Intro and Outro voiceovers by Ross Huguet.