Simple Strategies for Happier Time: The role of people, workplaces, and policy in promoting time affluence

Date & Time

Wednesday, 15 May 2019
10:00 to 12:00


Life Sciences Centre, UBC Vancouver, Point Grey Campus

Offered by

Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Registration Closed / Past Event


Around the world, and across the income spectrum, people feel increasingly pressed for time--that is they feel like they have too many things to do and not enough time in the day to do them. These rising rates of time pressure can have crushing effects for health, happiness, and social relationships. In this talk, I will outline empirically-based strategies that individuals, organizations, and policy makers can employ to combat rising feelings of time stress among diverse populations. These strategies target both daily and more major life decisions--from changing our commutes to changing our jobs to simply spending small windfalls of free time more deliberately each and every day. It is my hope that participants will leave this talk feeling empowered to make small changes in their daily lives that enable them to have more and happier time. Overall, it is my goal that participants will leave with new knowledge that can help each individual combat their own feelings of time stress, in turn promoting positive social relationships, physical health, and happiness.

Vivien M. Srivastava Lecture

This event is supported by the Vivien M Srivastava Memorial endowment - Dr. Vivien M. Srivastava was the first woman to receive a PhD in Zoology at UBC: . We thank them for their generous support of this event.

Funding and support for this session are also provided by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the Wellness Centre.


Ashley Whillans is an assistant professor, Harvard Business School. The basis of Professor Whillans’ research is the idea that time and money are two of our most valuable resources, and she poses the question, “With both of these resources being limited, how should we spend our time and money to maximize happiness?” To answer this question, and to understand the psychological barriers that may prevent people from spending their free time and discretionary income in ways that promote well-being, she starts in the lab, then takes her ideas to the real world, to examine the applicability and replicability of her research.

In both 2015 and 2018, she was named a Rising Star of Behavioral Science by the International Behavioral Exchange and the Behavioral Science and Policy Association. In 2016, she co-founded the Department of Behavioral Science in the Policy, Innovation, and Engagement Division of the British Columbia Public Service. In 2017, her PhD won the CAGS Distinguished Dissertation Award. Her research has been published in numerous academic journals and popular media outlets including The New York Times, The Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

Registration Information

General registration for UBC Faculty, Staff, Postdoctoral Fellows, and Graduate Students opens on Monday, April 8 at 9:00am.

After registering, you will receive confirmation and additional event details within 2 business days at the e-mail you provided. If you experience any difficulty using the online registration tool, please e-mail us at


If you have a disability or medical condition that may affect your full participation in the event, please email, 604-827-4578, well in advance of the event.