There are 168 hours in a week. This book is about where the time really goes, and how we can all use it better.
It's an unquestioned truth of modern life: we are starved for time. With the rise of two-income families, extreme jobs, and 24/7 connectivity, life is so frenzied we can barely find time to breathe. We tell ourselves we'd like to read more, get to the gym regularly, try new hobbies, and accomplish all kinds of goals. But then we give up because there just aren't enough hours to do it all. Or else, if we don't make excuses, we make sacrifices. To get ahead at work we spend less time with our spouses. To carve out more family time, we put off getting in shape. To train for a marathon, we cut back on sleep. There has to be a better way-and Laura Vanderkam has found one.
After interviewing dozens of successful, happy people, she realized that they allocate their time differently than most of us. Instead of letting the daily grind crowd out the important stuff, they start by making sure there's time for the important stuff. They focus on what they do best and what only they can do. When plans go wrong and they run out of time, only their lesser priorities suffer.
It's not always easy, but the payoff is enormous. Vanderkam shows that it really is possible to sleep eight hours a night, exercise five days a week, take piano lessons, and write a novel without giving up quality time for work, family, and other things that really matter. The key is to start with a blank slate and to fill up your 168 hours only with things that deserve your time.
Of course, you probably won't read to your children at 2:00 am, or skip a Wednesday morning meeting to go hiking, but you can cut back on how much you watch TV, do laundry, or spend time on other less fulfilling activities. Vanderkam shares creative ways to rearrange your schedule to make room for the things that matter most.
168 Hours is a fun, inspiring, practical guide that will help men and women of any age, lifestyle, or career get the most out of their time and their lives.
Vanderkam (Grindhopping) offers a "new" system of time management: if readers want to "make" more time to spend with their children, get fit, or write that novel, they must slash nonessential time wasters and minimize tasks that are not "core competencies," a business term for what a company does best and must prioritize. She offers solid and even excellent career advice, about both how to make the most of time at a current job and how to manage time to get ahead. And there is something curiously fascinating about her bizarrely brutal approach to time management ("There's little point... in spending much time on activities in which you can't excel"). But given that the author seems to be targeting a very rarefied echelon of upper-middle-class working moms (like herself), the book might have very limited appeal. More alienating, though, is her insistence on pummeling the life out of life. Vanderkam's vision may yield plenty of time to pursue worthy activities, but it's a life leached of color or spontaneity.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Despite the 168 hours ad, it is a worthy book!
Despite the content of the book, the topic is already inspiring you that morning hours are most precious in daily life. Then I started reading the book at bed time. And I ridiculously set my alarm at 6:30, which I don't usually do. I woke up this morning at 6:30 (again this is amazing! i usually woke up at 9) and I read the book again. I feel my mind are so fresh as I have never had. This book has really inspired me a lot. And it is worthy to spend two bucks only by viewing what successful people do and imitate their habits.
The only con is the 168 hour ads in the book. I'm an ad hater but I guess every author will do ads. I'll move on N read 168 since this book is also a highly ranked one.
A lot of great ideas that I am anxious to try. I am a stay at home mom, and consider myself blessed to be home. In my life before children, I was a paramedic...there were no options for things such as adjusting work schedules to have more time with my children, so we felt this was the best decision for our family. I felt the authors attitude at times was that with a little schedule adjusting women can have a career and plenty of time with their children and I don't feel every career makes that possible. I would have liked to have seen some focus on stay at home moms instead of making them feel bad that we are taking a "sabbatical".
Author's brag book?
The author seemed to use much of this book to brag about her own ability to do it all. The overall tone was a bit preachy and had an "if I can do it, everyone can do it" attitude. What the author seems to forget is that we're not all self-employed upper-class urbanites with the ability to make our own schedules and hire babysitters and domestic help at will. There was some good advice on time management, but nothing I haven't heard before. If you are a self-employed upper-class urbanite, this book may be helpful. However, if you don't fit into this demographic, I would keep looking.