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Overcoming "Time Poverty" & Valuing Leisure Time, According to Behavioral Scientist Ashley Whillans

Updated: May 29, 2022

Hear Ashley's take on the importance of taking time off, the impact of COVID-19 on professionals’ well-being, and the autonomy paradox.



Ashley Whillans



We were recently introduced to the impressive behavioral scientist, Ashley Whillans, who is obsessed with all things applied social psychology. Ashley spends a lot of her time thinking about the intersection of time, money, happiness, and public policy.


Ashley received her PhD in Social Psychology from the University of British Columbia in November 2017 and started working as an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Business School in July 2017. In 2015 and 2018, Ashley was named a Rising Star of Behavioral Science by the International Behavioral Exchange & 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 Agency. She is also part of the Global Happiness Thematic Council, and advises on the well-being strategy for various partners.


COVID-19 has definitely made an impact on her teaching and lab work. When we asked her about her go-to work from home lunch, she shared, “I’m a big fan of taking my own advice when it comes to spending money to save time. I order out a lot (especially at the beginning of the week) to save time and my favorite go-to lunch is a Kale salad with chicken from Sweet Green.”


Read on to hear her take on the importance of taking time off, the impact of COVID-19 on professionals’ well-being, and her definition of “time poverty”.


 

Ashley, how has COVID-19 affected your Autumn 2020 semester as an Assistant Professor at Harvard Business School?