168 Hours Laura Vanderkam

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam – Productivity Book Group

On March 31, 2021, Productivity Book Group hosted our first book discussion of 2021, 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. Enjoy!

About Laura Vanderkam (Amazon)

Laura Vanderkam is the author of several time management and productivity books, including Off the ClockI Know How She Does ItWhat the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, and 168 Hours.

Her 2016 TED talk, “How to Gain Control of Your Free Time,” has been viewed more than 5 million times. She regularly appears in publications including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Fortune. She is the co-host, with Sarah Hart-Unger, of the podcast, Best of Both Worlds.

She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and four children, and blogs at LauraVanderkam.com.

About the Book (Amazon)

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.


Here is Laura’s famed TED talk she references in her bio above.

And, here’s a quick book summary provided by our friends over at Lifehack Bootcamp!

Show Notes:

(Please listen to understand the context of the resources provided. If we missed something, please comment on the episode and let us know!)

Toggl Track


The callers you hear in this episode are readers just like you, and you are more than welcome to join us on the live calls to discuss productivity books too! Please visit ProductivityBookGroup.org and find out the details and the schedule for upcoming book discussion calls. If you plan to read ahead or read a little more slowly, please visit ProductivityBookGroup.org and check out the schedule on the “Upcoming Books” page.

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Note: All registered service marks, trademarks and other copyrighted materials mentioned on the podcast are that of their respective owners. This group is not affiliated with or officially endorsed by those copyright owners.

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