Time and How to Spend It Book Summary - Time and How to Spend It Book explained in key points
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Time and How to Spend It summary

James Wallman

The 7 Rules for Richer, Happier Days

4.3 (247 ratings)
24 mins

Brief summary

The book 'Time and How to Spend It' by James Wallman explores the concept of time affluence and how to prioritize meaningful experiences over mindless consumption, offering practical tips for living a more fulfilling life.

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    Time and How to Spend It
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Finding more happiness and success starts with choosing better experiences.

    It’s pretty common for concerns about free time to take a back seat to concerns about being more productive. Indeed, if you were raised in a capitalist society, you may think that time not spent earning money is time wasted. This might even be why we tend to idealize people who are always busy taking care of the next piece of business.

    Our desire to be efficient also explains why we tend to feel like we have less free time than we actually do.

    Studies have shown that the average American has five hours and fourteen minutes of free time per day, while the average Brit has five hours and forty-nine minutes.

    Yet other studies show that, despite these healthy sums, four out of five Americans feel they don’t have enough time to do what they’d like, while three out of four Brits feel they aren’t getting the most out of their time.

    But there are other reasons for feeling like we don’t have much free time.

    At the top of this list is the fact that people spend a daily average of three and a half hours interacting with their phones. This often comes from the fact that with so many emails, texts and social media updates arriving daily, there’s an anxiety-inducing fear of missing out on something – known as FOMO – which results in hours spent just keeping up with your digital life.

    But here’s the thing: even though we place a high value on work and productivity, they aren’t the only important things in life, especially when it comes to feeling happy and satisfied. According to multiple studies from institutions like Harvard Business School and Cornell University, what really brings happiness into people’s lives are experiences.

    While this is a pretty interesting idea on its own, research also shows that happiness is a strong precursor to success. Conventional wisdom usually tells us that happiness is a byproduct of success, and yet a lot of evidence suggests that it’s actually the other way around.

    What all of this adds up to is that positive experiences lead to happiness, which in turn leads to success. So to achieve success, we should try to have positive experiences. The question then becomes: What is a positive experience, and how can I introduce more of them into my life? This is precisely what we’ll find out in the blinks ahead.

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    What is Time and How to Spend It about?

    Time and How to Spend It (2019) draws on scientific research to help people make better decisions about how to use their free time. With so many choices vying for our attention these days, author James Wallman offers a straightforward checklist that can help people spend their time in more meaningful and rewarding ways.

    Time and How to Spend It Review

    Time and How to Spend It (2021) is a thought-provoking book that brings a fresh perspective on the way we live and use our time. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With rich insights and thoughtfully curated research, it offers practical strategies to help us make the most of our time and live a fulfilling life.
    • It challenges societal norms and encourages readers to reconsider their relationship with time, empowering them to prioritize what truly matters and let go of what doesn't.
    • Through fascinating stories and eye-opening examples, the book makes the exploration of time engaging and relatable, keeping readers captivated throughout.

    Best quote from Time and How to Spend It

    Theres a time and place for each [kind of vacation], of course. But go and become offers the greatest transformation.

    —James Wallman
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    Who should read Time and How to Spend It?

    • Anxious people feeling overwhelmed by life’s options
    • Productive people who think free time is wasted time
    • Anyone looking for more happiness

    About the Author

    James Wallman is an in-demand speaker and cultural commentator who has spoken at such places as London’s Royal Academy and Google headquarters. He heads a trend forecasting firm whose clients include Eventbrite and KFC, and his writing has appeared in publications including the New York Times and GQ. He is also the author of the international best-seller Stuffocation (2013).

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    Time and How to Spend It FAQs 

    What is the main message of Time and How to Spend It?

    The main message of Time and How to Spend It is to prioritize experiences over possessions, and to make the most of our limited time.

    How long does it take to read Time and How to Spend It?

    The reading time for Time and How to Spend It varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Time and How to Spend It a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Time and How to Spend It is a worthwhile read for anyone looking to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life by reevaluating their relationship with time.

    Who is the author of Time and How to Spend It?

    The author of Time and How to Spend It is James Wallman.

    What to read after Time and How to Spend It?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Time and How to Spend It, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky
    • Effortless by Greg McKeown
    • Finish by Jon Acuff
    • Stuffocation by James Wallman
    • Time Smart by Ashley Whillans
    • Saving Time by Jenny Odell
    • Don't Overthink It by Anne Bogel
    • Buy Back Your Time by Dan Martell
    • The Six Disciplines of Strategic Thinking by Michael D. Watkins
    • Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte