Getting to Yes, And

Cassie Holmes: Happier Hour


Cassie Holmes

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Kelly talks with UCLA professor Cassie Holmes about her new book, “Happier Hour: How to Beat Distraction, Expand Your Time, and Focus on What Matters Most.”

Can you give us an insight into how you study happiness?

“I'm talking about how we feel in the day to day, how much positive emotion and lack of negative emotion, as well evaluatively: like when thinking about your life overall, how satisfied, are you?  My career has been about figuring out what happiness is based off of data, not just people's opinions and you know what sometimes unfounded advice. Ultimately, how can we be spending our time to be happier?”

And this idea of the effects of being time poor has real consequences.

“So many of us are time poor and I have recent data that we've collected nationally, with a representative sample of Americans measuring time poverty so time poverty - being this acute feeling of having too much to do and not enough time to do it. We found that almost half of Americans reported being time poor. And this is bad because it has really negative ramifications. We showed that it makes us unhappy, we also show that it makes us less kind, less willing to take the time to spend on others, and it makes us less healthy.”

So many of these podcasts talk about the importance of paying attention as a counter to suffering.

“In the current moment there is this question of burnout. That we are all suffering from the pandemic, pulling us out of just being able to enjoy and be in the present moment. And there's work that shows the detrimental effects of being distracted. of having our minds wander. I love the improv philosophy, because it forces you to be attentive to the present moment and the people you're with and. Given that we don't have a lot of time or enough time to spend on the things that we want, when we are spending time on the things that we want to, you better get the most out of it. And the way you do that is to pay attention.”

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Photo credit: Diane Henderson


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