168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think
May 14, 2013
What if you had enough time to be in the best shape of your life, get more than seven hours of sleep a night and still have time left over to volunteer more hours in a year than over 90% of the country? Or instead of just talking about it, you have time to become more spiritual, be more relaxed, or hit the spa or hiking trails more often? You can.
On a recent business trip, stranded at the airport, I fell victim to my book-buying addiction once again. This time, my eye caught the cover of 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, and it took me about two minutes to determine it was something right up my alley. When I noticed it was written by Laura Vanderkam, the decision was made.
I dove in full force and it took me only a handful of days to finish reading this book. Granted, I had time on my side, stranded at the airport. But I specifically want to recommend this to those of you who don't have time...because Laura Vanderkam will actually give you time back in your day if you do!
Though it initially started as a piece to teach parents how to better manage their time wisely, 168 Hours turned into something we could all use. Vanderkam smartly breaks our weeks up into 168 Hours (obviously) instead of looking at days in 24-hour increments. When you actually look at the time you're spending, you're really not getting the most of your day, Vanderkam suggests. If you logged the 168 Hours you spend every week, you'll find you're not using it working, spending time with family, studying, etc. like you say you are.
When she looked at specific examples, Vanderkam noticed interesting trends, which you'll find interesting too. Like the one that suggests the average stay-at-home Mom spends only 56 minutes out of 168 Hours reading to their children. Or the fact that on average, dual income couples spend only 1 hour and 24 minutes talking to each other.
Vanderkam teaches us, through interviews with real people who have found success in time management (you know, those people we all marvel at and say, "How do they find the time?") that it IS possible to get things done. Yes, you can have a seven-figure business and six kids. Yes, you can be a high-powered executive with time to train for an Ironman and a social life. It is possible, she says, you just have to see and measure your time differently.
Above all, reading this book will remind you that you have as much time in your week as everyone else. There are not 170 hours in a week, there's only 168. It's just your call on how you spend it.
Pick this book up if you'd like to find out how those people "do it." There's not one way to do it, rather, there are techniques you can hone that will help you make more efficient use of your time. And I promise, it's not going to take more effort...your life is not going to get busier, it's going to get more fulfilling. Best of all, you'll stop hearing yourself say, "Man, if I only had another 15 minutes!"