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Getting Shit Done Mental Health

Rethinking time to build happiness

Listened A New Way to Think About Your Time | Ashley Whillans by Ten Percent Happier from Ten Percent Happier

What if one of the keys to happiness is how intentional you are with your time?

Ashley Whillans is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Business School and author of the book Time Smart. Her groundbreaking research has led her to radically reevaluate how she spends her own time. Her goal is to help you move from time poverty to time affluence.

In this conversation, we talk about:

how to do a time audit

funding time, finding time, and reframing time

the surprising extent to which prioritizing time over money predicts happiness–and what to do if you usually do the opposite

how to handle time confetti

the value of canceling meetings

Decision conflict (?) when you feel like you should be doing something else

Time confetti — social media and tech notifications break up our time into little pieces instead of a longer chunk

Be careful not to let yourself fall into a rabbit hole of meaningless activities like cleaning out your inbox — set a time limit

Find or fund time (pay someone else to do activities that aren’t meaningful to you), or reframe activities to find meaning

Do a time audit to figure out what activities are sucking up your time

Time affluence — feeling in control of how you spend your time

Optimal target = using but not straining skills

Look for ways to give back to make your time feel more meaningful

Block time for meaningful activities, plus a quick planning session early in the week to figure out how you’re going to spend your time

Build breaks into your day to make up for the breaks that have disappeared in the world of virtual meetings where you switch context rapidly with no transition time

Set an intention of what you want to do that day in the morning

Place physical reminders of meaningful activities you could do / to act with intention in places around your house

People who value time over money tend to be happier

Pay attention to when your default activity is work

Also important to incorporate your values outside of work, even when it’s meaningful (like spending time with family and other leisure activities)

“Time Smart” by Ashley Whillans

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at tracy.durnell@gmail.com. She/her.

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