Time Smart | Ashley Whillans

Summary of: Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life
By: Ashley Whillans


Imagine a life where you finally master the art of balancing time with the pursuit of money, leading to a happier existence. This is precisely what you can expect from the book summary of ‘Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life’ by behavioral scientist and Harvard Business School assistant professor Ashley Whillans. This captivating read breaks down the concept of ‘time poverty’ that plagues people across all economic strata and offers concrete suggestions on how to prioritize time to focus on what matters most. You’ll dive into the damaging effects of hyperconnectivity on our ability to pay attention and enjoy each moment, and explore actionable tips for bringing balance back into our lives, both personally and professionally.

Wasted Time and Money

Citizen Kane’s cautionary tale about the corrupting influence of power serves as a backdrop to Ashley Whillans’s “Time Smart,” revealing how a conscious approach to valuing our time and setting our priorities can make happier and more fulfilled individuals. Distorted by money, time holds an inherent value that cannot be regained once spent. “Time Smart” offers actionable tips for achieving balance in our lives and reclaiming lost time, emphasizing the importance of intentional decisions in spending the most valuable resource we have: our time.

The Cost of Time

People have become “time poor” as they prioritize money and success over personal time. The belief that money and time are inversely related is a myth. The constant interruption of technology has made people hyperconnected, reducing their ability to enjoy their free time. In her book, Ashley Whillans explores the impact of time poverty on all economic strata. While the term may seem insensitive, it accurately reflects the importance of time in our lives.

The Illusion of Success

Chasing professional success at all costs is a cause of, and not a solution to, our feeling of having too much to do and not enough time to do it. Whillans convincingly demonstrates how chasing after wealth ultimately leads to decreased happiness and contributes to poor health outcomes. The negative effects of time poverty extend beyond the personal, and the author offers many suggestions that business professionals can act on to overcome the addiction to work and money, including remembering to evaluate how decisions will impact personal time and happiness. Whillans’s tips for small behavioral changes can help shift a broader mindset towards a healthier work-life balance that values personal life just as much as professional success.

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