Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Time and How to Spend It: The 7 Rules for Richer, Happier Days” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Time and How to Spend ...
James Wallman
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Time and How to Spend It: The 7 Rules for Richer, Happier Days

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  475 ratings  ·  68 reviews
A Financial Times Book of the Year

'Genius ... I couldn't put it down, I read it from cover to cover'

If the most precious thing we have is time, the most highly prized expertise should be knowing how to spend it well. Yet, busier than ever, do we really understand which experiences bring us joy and success, and which don’t?

After all, we’ve learned how to spot the
Published April 4th 2019 by Virgin Digital
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Time and How to Spend It, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Time and How to Spend It

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  475 ratings  ·  68 reviews

Sort order
Start your review of Time and How to Spend It: The 7 Rules for Richer, Happier Days
Benjamin Azevedo
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Like this book, most non-fiction today follow the structure:

• One nice idea

• A “How To” or a “7 rules to” on the cover

• Begin each chapter with a well-known story (the Pavlov’s dogs, marshmallow test, check-list manifesto, Csikszentmihalyi’s flow or one of Kahneman’s chapter).

• Stir it, do not shake.
Bon Tom
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those groundbraking books, tailored for particular moment in time. Our moments in time are defined by ourselves, of course, the people. Mostly in the department of our (non)understanding of ourselves and what is happening to us.

This means the book is written because the author (correctly) came to conclusion humanity in its current, dispersed-attention, cortisol-overflow state needs direction. And in my opinion, it really does. Desperately. But it also means that mass of non-unders
Jap Hengky
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-books
1. Positive experiences lead to happiness, which in turn leads to success.
2. What kind of positive experiences? Choose experiences that add to your own heroic story. It is through these challenging experiences that we acquire the tools that allow us to reach our goals.
3. Transformation are key to finding fulfillment.
4. Being outside and offline has been shown to improve people's moods directly.
5. Engage in activities to avoid the potentially fatal effects of loneliness (relationship)
6. Activitie
Val Robson
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Time and How to Spend It is really about improving your happiness by using your time more wisely.

The author, James Wallman, uses the word STORIES as an acronym for the elements he thinks can transform our use of time: Story, Transformation, Outside and Offline, Relationships, Intensity, Extraordinary, Status and Significance. As with many uses of these acronyms in self-help guides some feel a little contrived and it’s hard to remember what each element signifies a few days after finishing the bo
May 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest, independent review.

James Wallman focuses on seven rules for a richer, happier life and, using STORIES as an acronym, he explains how we can transform our lifes to make better use of our time, with the following factors: story, transformation, outside & offline, relationships, intensity, extraordinary, status & significance.

Although the book is thoroughly researched with lots of studies to back up the author's points, it did make the
Julie Parks
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Very cool book.
I even gave it to my husband to read.
In the style of Malcolm Gladwell, James Wallman gives interesting information about time, at the same time providing powerful insight on how precious it is, and how each of us could improve our own ways of spending it. Or at least appreciate having it.


This book makes a fabulous gift for anyone populating this planet.

I received an arc in exchange for my honest review.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really interesting, well structured book that made me think about how I am living my life and how I might want to change it. I studied psychology and recognised a lot of the people James referenced but he explained things much better than university books did. I’m delighted that Csikszentmihalyi was often in the book as his work always seemed to resonate to me, and now makes more sense to me after reading this book. I will be reading The author’s other book after reading this one as I am very in ...more
Emma L
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the STORIES approach to how to better spend your time, since reading this book I have started to re-think how I spend my time. Very good approach and a useful book to refer to time and time again.

Thank you to NetGalley and publisher for the opportunity to review this book in exchange for a honest review.
Emma's Things to Read
Really engaging book on how to spend your time and get the most out of life. Good mixture of stories and research, lots of great ideas and questions to get you thinking about your own habits.
An enjoyable read that I will definitely come back to.
Bastard Travel
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I avoid the self-help genre most of the time. There's a sheen of sleaze on most of these books, and they tend to read either like a used car sales pitch, ensemble complete with plaid blazer and slimy combover, or like an academic paper that didn't have enough nuance or jargon to get published in a journal.

This is the latter, but that's okay. Unlike academic papers, this was designed to be read.

Wallman builds his case with the eclecticism of a caffeinated toddler, tearing validations piecemeal f
Jacqui Huntley
Mar 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Every now and then I like to read some non-fiction and that time had come. Title and description sounded good. An interesting read with, clearly, a lot of research papers and books read and digested. The first quite large chunk of the book dealt with happiness and the human state from beginnings in Africa through a little bit of Christian religion to the more philosophical stuff of the last couple of centuries or so. I was beginning to wonder where the time came in, apart from the obvious thread ...more
Vanessa Princessa
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this book thanks to Blinkist.

The key message in these blinks:

The STORIES checklist helps people add more fulfillment, meaning and happiness to their lives by focusing their attention on the seven key elements that make up the best experiences: Story, Transformation, Outside & Offline, Relationships, Intensity, Extraordinary, and Status & Significance. These are all characteristics that guide you toward experiences that further your personal development and increase your happiness, while k
Simon Holmes
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very timely read, both for me personally and where I see society as a whole. I like the idea of a shift from consumerism to experientialism. In recent times I have found myself less envious of what people have, but more so about what they do, the experiences they have / had / are planning, and indeed the stories they can tell.

This book provides a great framework for this shift in thought, through the STORIES approach. In fact, within the framework there are seven more frameworks. The base of t
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We're the first generation in history to want less stuff

Time and how to spend it is a fascinating look at how to be happier in our modern world.

It breaks down a number of rules for a happier, more nourishing life, backed by scientific research and the authors own experiences and anecdotes.

How can you make a holiday memorable? Why are we the first generation in history that wants less stuff? These are the sort of questions answered.

A really interesting read. Well worth picking if you feel overwh
Tracy Wood
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
What an interesting book. This isn't just a self help book, it has all the prerequisite sections and promises but is also a kindly wake up call. It is also a British self help book so everything is relevant for a change.

I found myself realising how insidiously outside influences weren't just taking my time but that of those around me, which, of course, is its main remit. I also, however enjoyed it as a book which not only entertained but also linked things together. It is an explanation of how
John Thurlbeck
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book and found much of it useful, especially the seven tips. At times, his depth of examples became tedious, although I sense he felt he needed to completely evidence the points he was making. For those that would find them of value, like me, the self-reflection questions, though in a stilted format, were also helpful.
Time is a precious commodity for everyone, and I would recommend anyone who does not manage their time well to read this book! You will learn some useful stuff, but
Graham Chastney
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book, it met so many of the criteria for a good book for me:

I like books with practical advice that is communicated as principles rather than prescriptions.

I like books with stories, we are made to remember stories.

I like books based on evidence, particularly when the author acknowledges that the evidence is indicative rather than definitive.

I’ve spent much of my life with a couple of quotations about time ringing through my head:

“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”

Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For much of our lives we are taught/trained to follow certain strategies to be successful at work, to make the best use of time while working on projects, to organize our homes, and to spend as little time as possible completing our household chores. If we learn theses strategies, we will be happier and more successful. But, all work and no play makes us dull people. James Wallman, the author of Stuffocation, says we are missing a critical factor. No one has taught us how to effectively use our ...more
Michaella Biscomb
I really enjoyed what this book was about - how to spend your time well - not in terms of progressing your professional career and being “successful” which is so often focused on, but how to spend your free time in a way that contributes to happiness. I really liked each of the STORIES, especially the “fly and flop” analogies in the Transformation category and the Hero’s Journey in Story - we have been referring to these examples regularly in our day to day life and questioning what kind of expe ...more
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
James Wallman is a man determined to change the world and how we experience it. I like his approach although I accept it will not resonate with everyone. Like his previous book "Stuffocation", Mr Wallman emphasises that the people who get more out of life are the people who have experiences rather than the people who have things. This book is an extension of his thinking and a clear definition of his manifesto. It is a strong one:-

"As more of us do this, we'll improve our chances of solving our
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-books

I have learned absolutely nothing that couldn't be summarised and thrown in a Psychologies article. The author throws a couple of acronyms here and there to make the book sound more complex than it actually is; sprinkles a couple of fables and stories from big writers and philosophers and tech guys - how do they use their time? Hey maybe you should do that too!

Ultimately none of this is really meant to make you happier, as the title claims. It's meant to make you more productive, which will mak
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Self help books come in all degrees of usefulness, and this one is one of the best. Indeed, this is really a 4.5* book and that's only because I won't give 5* unless it is absolutely exceptional.

Referencing many studies and relevant anecdotes, the author's key premise is that in order to make the most of our time, we need to replace objects with experiences. Wallman argues however that the value of the experiences themselves is highly variable. The process of thinking and planning the experience
Anna Hui
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blinkist
A good reminder that we’re all heroes of our stories and what we should do to make the story exciting and fulfilling?

Embrace ‘change’ is the major takeaway since without it, we’ll likely ‘repeat what we do for 75 years and call it a life’. Change brings in chance to reflect on our lives that becomes an opportunity to improvement.

The 7 rules:

STORIES checklist helps people add more fulfillment, meaning and happiness to their lives by focusing their attention on the seven key elements that make u
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Firstly, thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Random House UK for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I love my non-fiction books, especially anything to do with self-development though I had mixed feelings about this book. It didn't really have anything new in it that I hadn't read before and perhaps the irony of it meant that I would have spent my time reading something else. However, I do love reading and was curious to see what the author had to say so I did manage to f
Colin Marks
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
James Wallman's Time and How to Spend It is a mixed bag. I found the first half a struggle - trying to overlay a book structure onto your holiday arrangements seems great in theory, but in reality no-one does, or would do, that. Plus, the anecdotes seem shoe-horned into places where they didn't belong, with a few even seemingly unrelated to the point being make. The writing was wordy and too chummy for describing intelligent lifestyle improvements where a succinct idea economically stated would ...more
Francis Djabri
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
I couldn’t finish this, it really started to grate on me. It seemed like a promising book, having received good reviews from some other authors that I’ve admired, and given the current time it seemed like an opportune moment to read it. It even starts off quite promisingly, laying out the problem of how a combination of choice anxiety, Internet addiction and a failure to know how to attend to our own experience creates so much emptiness. But the rest of it feels oversimplified, misguided, irrita ...more
Jul 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I like subject and the range of ideas, theories and studies he references. I think the checklist he’s created is good and I’ll probably use it when I remember. I think it all totally makes sense that we can plan experiences to make them more memorable and enjoyable. It has made me rethink some things and challenge myself take harder choices.

I think the chapter summaries are useful some of the questions didn’t really work for me but that’s also linked to the was I read it (like a novel rather th
Chris Holmes
Mar 15, 2020 rated it liked it
If one has the time.... there's a lot to be got out of this book. I liked the exercises / opportunities to reflect at the end of each chapter and the book started really strongly. Chapters on Story, Transformation and Outside / Offline all resonated, and whilst I would venture that there was little there that surprised, I thought the ideas were interestingly conveyed and convincing. I am not sure whether the second half of the book was genuinely less persuasive or it was just that I was becoming ...more
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Time and How to Spend It by James Wallman is a book which manages to hold a mirror up to all of those distractions we indulge in, which we all know can be a waste of time.

Split into 7 distinctive areas, the book confirms that life is about gaining experiences and in his own word, being able to tell our stories. I do not think there is a single passage in the book where you do not recognise yourself. Being someone who is not on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter I still found so much to take from J
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Miracle Equation: The Two Decisions That Move Your Biggest Goals from Possible, to Probable, to Inevitable
  • Where Will Man Take Us?: The bold story of the man technology is creating
  • The Source: Open Your Mind, Change Your Life
  • The Art of Noticing: 131 Ways to Spark Creativity, Find Inspiration, and Discover Joy in the Everyday
  • Pig Wrestling: Clean Your Thinking to Create the Change you Need
  • Eat Yourself Healthy: An easy-to-digest guide to health and happiness from the inside out
  • The Coffee Bean: A Simple Lesson to Create Positive Change
  • Best Self: Be You, Only Better
  • The Latte Factor: Why You Don't Have to Be Rich to Live Rich
  • Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity
  • The Longevity Paradox: How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age
  • Money: A User’s Guide
  • Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America
  • We Are The Nerds: The Birth and Tumultuous Life of Reddit, the Internet's Culture Laboratory
  • A Beginner's Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death
  • The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did)
  • Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up
  • Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time
See similar books…
James Wallman is a journalist and trend forecaster. He has forecast the future and written for clients and publications such as Absolut, BMW, Nike, the Guardian, The New York Times, Esquire and GQ. In the line of duty, he has interviewed terrorists, the victims of serious crime, Noam Chomsky, and a woman who wanted to marry her alarm clock.

Related Articles

If you haven't heard of record-smashing singer and songwriter Mariah Carey, is there any hope for you? Who else has sold more than 200 million...
48 likes · 20 comments