Jan 27, 2023
In today's conversation, I am
joined by Dr. Cassie Holmes. Her fantastic book
was named a "must-read" of 2022 by
Forbes AND by the Next Big Idea Club. The Washington Post also
profiled it as one of their best health books read and recommended
by experts in 2022.
Cassie is a Professor at UCLA’s
Anderson School of Management. Her research examines how focusing
on time (rather than money) increases happiness, how the meaning of
happiness changes over the course of life, 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
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
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 by NPR, The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and Scientific American.
is based on her wildly popular MBA
course, “Applying the Science of Happiness to Life Design.” It is
so good and I can't wait to have you hear about some of the
insights from her -- it will change your life for the better I'm
- [00:41] In today's
conversation, I am joined by Dr. Cassie Holmes, who you met a few
weeks ago when she was on the "panel" episode with Dr. Ayelet
Fishbach sharing how to have the best and happiest 2023
- [02:45] Her new and widely
acclaimed book, Happier
Hour: How to Beat Distraction, Expand Your Time, and Focus on What
Matters Most, is based
on her wildly popular MBA course, “Applying the Science of
Happiness to Life Design.”
- [04:18] Cassie shares about
herself, her background, and what she does. She studies happiness
and in particular the role of time.
- [05:22] When we feel happier,
it makes us better in the work environment.
- [08:02] She wrote
after the success of her course so
she could share her learnings with even more people. Readers can
apply the insights and experience the benefits just like her
- [10:10] You can have this huge
impact from changing a couple of little things if you put a little
focused effort forward.
- [12:21] Our time is so
important. Maximize the amount of time that feels worthwhile and
minimize the time that feels like a waste.
- [15:12] Cassie shares a day of
her life early in her career when she experienced time poverty. She
wanted more time so she could slow down and experience the time she
- [17:15] Time
poverty is that acute
feeling of having too much to do and not enough time to do
- [19:25] With too little
discretionary time people are less happy. When we have too much
discretionary spent in time that doesn’t feel worthwhile, that
undermines our sense of purpose and we feel less
- [21:45] It is not about how
much time you have available. It is really about how you invest the
time you have available.
- [24:20] Discretionary is what
you want to do as opposed to nondiscretionary is something you have
- [26:35] On average people are
most satisfied from social connection. The least happy activities
tend to be commuting, work hours, and housework.
- [28:25] After tracking your
time for a week you have a fantastic data set where you can find
which activities made you feel most satisfied.
- [31:05] If it is not something
you have to do and you are not enjoying it, that is an opportunity
to reallocate that time to things that are
- [33:49] Simply being outside
had its own significantly positive effect.
- [36:28] Experiencing awe can
increase one's sense of time affluence.
- [38:40] You don’t have to have
your discretionary time all in one block.
- [41:14] It is not the amount of
time you spend on a particular activity that determines happiness.
It is really the quality and your engagement in the activity that
- [42:27] Ordinary experiences
can bring us as much joy as extraordinary experiences if only we
are paying attention and savoring and cherishing
- [44:33] It is not just the
amount of time you spend that determines its impact, it is really
how you mentally engage in that time.
- [46:55] The most worthwhile
investment is in cultivating relationships. The single biggest
predictor of having a satisfied life was having strong supportive
relationships with family or friends that feel like family and that
- [49:01] She was living her
dream life and she found herself charging ahead because she was in
her head thinking about other things she had to do. It was pulling
her out of the moment.
- [51:24] The goal is to pause in
those moments and smell the (literal or metaphorical) roses. If we
are rushing because we are time poor through it all then we might
as well not spend the time in the first place.
- [53:13] Cassie explains why she
doesn’t make New Year’s resolutions.
- [55:41] Melina chooses a word
and theme to help her through the whole year.
- [58:10] Why change something
that is working. She wants everyday to be what she wants it to
- [60:12] Melina’s closing
- [61:29] The balance of a couple
hours a day is enough for real lasting happiness.
Thanks for listening. Don’t
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