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168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think | [Laura Vanderkam]

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2010 Laura Vanderkam (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp

What the Critics Say

"We so often live our lives day by day. Laura wants us to think about doing it hour by hour. Living this mantra by example, she gets more done in a day than most of us do in a week." (Seth Godin, author of Linchpin)

"Laura Vanderkam shows us how to use our only real wealth-our 168 hours a week- to make our lives richer, not busier. That's a wonderful gift, because it's what genuine success is all about." (Geoff Colvin, author of Talent Is Overrated)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (95 )
5 star
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3.8 (62 )
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3.9 (62 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tamara Watertown, Virgin Islands (U.S.) 07-01-10
    Tamara Watertown, Virgin Islands (U.S.) 07-01-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "save your time and skip this book"

    I was soooo disappointed with this book. No new info here. The basic message is to stop watching TV so you can get other stuff done.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marc Seattle, WA, United States 08-04-10
    Marc Seattle, WA, United States 08-04-10 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ironically, this book takes too much time"

    There is actually some good stuff in here and useful tips. Yet despite the mantra of analyze where time is spent and pare down to essentials, it is about 3 times longer than it should be, with endless repetitive stories and way too much unecessary detail. I'd say still mostly worth the listen but be sure to clear your calendar first...

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tiffany WAconia, MN, United States 11-04-10
    Tiffany WAconia, MN, United States 11-04-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    "I really wanted to like this book"

    I agree with the premise of this book, and was anxious to find practical, applicable tips. I felt it was taking a while to get to what I was waiting for, but after a few hours of listening, I couldn't take it any more. Perhaps part of it was the tone of the narrator, but I felt I was being lectured and condescended to by a 30 year old who seems to have figured out how to manage every minute of her day, even with a child. I don't doubt she's figured it out, but I'm not sure she's the kind of person I'd be friends with. My life simply doesn't follow my best laid plans like hers apparently do, even if I were to hire out a lot of my responsibilities.
    I found Julie Morgenstern's "Organized from the inside out" and her "time mapping" tips MUCH more helpful, and not nearly as condescending or lecturing.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kia Cambridge, MA 06-27-10
    Kia Cambridge, MA 06-27-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "heard it all before"

    For me the value was in the initial premise - you're responsible for how you use your time. The rest of the "do what you love the money will follow" text did not add anything new.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Keats 04-09-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Little good content. Lots of hot air."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This book did not have much appeal to me. There was a god deal of fluff in the book that seemd to be unrelated specifically to the title / book description.


    Has 168 Hours turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not particularly, this book was just poor.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Elizabeth London’s performances?

    Never.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Hedgesville, WV, United States 11-22-13
    William Hedgesville, WV, United States 11-22-13 Member Since 2008

    hi

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Same thing again"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Really it's the same thing... stop watching TV and wasting time, you have enough time to do everything you want to... So I guess people that don't already know that...


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment...


    Any additional comments?

    I really should have read reviews before I bought this book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Herstory buff San Antonio, Texas 06-18-14
    Herstory buff San Antonio, Texas 06-18-14 Member Since 2013

    biography fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Read"
    If you could sum up 168 Hours in three words, what would they be?

    Would read again.


    What other book might you compare 168 Hours to and why?

    Her other books.


    Which character – as performed by Elizabeth London – was your favorite?

    Not applicable


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    How to keep a time sheet on what I do with daily hours and how much time there really is when something is a priority.


    Any additional comments?

    You will never be able to say again that you don't have time for something. You will learn that you are the prioritizer of your life, and it is not about what you wish to do, but what you like to actually spend your time doing that should be on your list to do. Talk about zeroing in on one's core competencies and getting on with your productivity. If you are a woman who needs to clear her plate of obstacles and distractions, read this book. Self empowering. A good look at yourself in the mirror. And somewhat revolutionary as in, doing your children's laundry is not an act of love. Wow. I rethought my whole schedule when it comes to house keeping. I wish I had done things different twenty years ago. I never "got it" until now how remarkably underpaid and under appreciated household management and cleaning and other similar distractions are to the female gender. This book may wake you up and you actually might earn more money when you rearrange your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Sisk San Francisco 05-27-14
    A. Sisk San Francisco 05-27-14 Member Since 2010
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    "This book is a great tool!"
    Where does 168 Hours rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    top 10. This book is so valuable I have it on audio and in book form, my husband and I both use it to keep our lives manageable while doing so many different things.


    What other book might you compare 168 Hours to and why?

    Brilliant Life maybe, though I feel like this book has more research attached to it.


    What does Elizabeth London bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Unobtrusive narration that allows you to listen to the book while doing other things?


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    certain tasks we perceive as taking alot longer than they actually do, and don't do your own laundry.


    Any additional comments?

    I found this book to really help sort out my goals post grad school, and the book was really helpful for my husband who is mid career.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MJ Fishers,In 12-24-12
    MJ Fishers,In 12-24-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Do not waste any of your168"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Working moms;feminist


    Would you ever listen to anything by Laura Vanderkam again?

    Maybe


    What didn’t you like about Elizabeth London’s performance?

    Came off snotty


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The premise is good but it is bias and unbalanced


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zachary United States 12-05-11
    Zachary United States 12-05-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Inspiring approach to time management"

    This book encouraged me to take a serious look at how I budget my time. By starting with 168 empty hours in each week and planning how best to use them, this book helped me use my time in ways that had more significance for me. Vanderkam uses examples of successful people to show how they use their time well and how they can make improvements to use it better. She covers work, leisure and family life - every aspect of how you spend your time. Innovative and easy to apply. Highly recommend!

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results
Sort by:
  • D. Davies
    England
    11/5/10
    Overall
    "Avoid"

    I thought that this would be a useful book, something to give me advice on how to manage what I perceive as my 'limited' time. However, like the other review (William), I soon began to get annoyed by my in-car passenger.

    The narrator's voice soon begins to grate on you. Add to this the content which (echoing 'William') appears to be a little unstructured at times and you'll soon be switching back to the radio.

    To be fair, some of the early content is useful and highlights that you're never really flat out working or playing and it suggest logging your days so you can gain a true view of your time usage.

    So, some good content. However, the majority of the time the narrator is just reading off a string of useless statistical data from 'The American Time Use Survey' - data which doesn't really help but simply blinds you with numbers.

    Most of the book's content falls into the category of in-depth reports of named individuals' lives, telling us how wonderful these people are, but providing very little in the way of useful advice to the listener.

    I like to listen to entire audiobooks, even if I'm struggling half way through. However, in Chapter 7 the narrator began telling me how I can save time by getting all my meals cooked for me by a 'personal chef' - this would save me X hours by removing the need for shopping for food, preparation time and cooking (!!!). Then, I gave up and stopped the audiobook for good (half way through Chapter 7) after she moved on to recipes for meals I could prepare in minutes - she read out the recipes for about 5 or 6 meals, listing the ingredients! At that point I stopped the book and vowed not to complete it and that I would delete it as soon as I got home. It's gone - deleted.

    Summary: some interesting advice in the early chapters but far too many useless statistics and lengthy/detailed stories about people the author has met.

    Avoid this book, save your time and money.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • William
    Axmiunster, Devon, United Kingdom
    8/19/10
    Overall
    "Full of tips but lacks structure."

    I was very excited about listening to this book, it seemed to present a completely new way of looking at the working week, it chunks of 168 hours. The author does present some good ways of plan your time however I felt it severely lacked structure and sounded a bit like someone in my passenger seat who wont stop talking (my wife sounds very similar!).

    In summary I personally will be more careful before buying random books which seem good on the front cover in future, this book is not everyones cup of tea but it could well be some peoples so have a good listen to the sample before purchasing!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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