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Cassie Holmes is a Professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Cassie is an expert on time and happiness. Cassie 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.”


  • What do the happiest people do?
    • They have strong, supportive relationships
    • They feel a sense of belonging
    • They feel safe and healthy
  • “We have control over what we do and how we spend our time.”
  • Turn routines into rituals – Cassie does this for her Thursday morning coffee dates with her daughter. I do the same going to the pool with my daughter.
  • Time poverty is prevalent for 50% of Americans.
  • How to handle back to back to back meetings?
    • It’s unsustainable. Your team needs you to be full. Over time, you will not perform at an optimal level if you don’t give yourself time to think, reflect, analyze the situation, and make a decision.
    • Do a time tracking exercise and analyze what is the best use of your time.
    • Block time on your calendar each day for yourself. And hold to it.
  • Learning from admired elders – Ask, ‘what is your greatest source of pride?’ ‘what is your greatest regret?’ – Invest the time to learn from someone who is older than you that you admire.
  • How to be happier? Unhappy activities can be made less painful by reframing them (bundling them with something fun or remembering its purpose–why you’re doing it)
  • Reflect back on your last two weeks. When did you feel the most joy? A weekly coffee date with your daughter? Swimming together? Whatever it is… How can you intentionally create more moments of joy for yourself?
  • If you have less than two hours of free time (leading to feelings of stress) or more than five hours of free time (undermining your sense of purpose), you’ll likely feel unsatisfied in your life. In between is the sweet spot— and most of us can achieve this with a few simple exercises provided in this podcast.
  •  Why we tend to put off current enjoyment for the sake of tasks we “should” do and why we should do this less. Dr. Holmes says we need to identify and commit to activities that make us happy so we don’t later feel regret from missing out on life’s good stuff.
  • Focusing on time increases happiness because it motivates you to spend your time more deliberately.
  • Recognizing that your remaining time is limited and thus precious helps you savor life’s everyday moments of joy.
  • Tracking Time Exercise: based on how you’re currently spending and actually experiencing your hours, identify which times are truly the most and least happy.
  • Connecting socially, spending time outside, and being mindful during the hours you spend have the greatest impact on the happiness experienced in your day.
  • The Five Whys Exercise: uncover your purpose.
  • Eulogy Exercise: learn what really matters to you by how you hope to be remembered.
  • Gallup Poll: Do you have a best friend at work?
  • Counting times left exercise: How many times have you done it in the past month? How many more do you have left? How many meals will you share with your parents? Realize that it’s probably not that many. That realization will help you cherish the time.

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