This is what happens when you treat your 168 hours as a blank slate. This is what happens when you fill them up only with things that deserve to be there. You build a life where you really can have it all.
I am obsessed with Vanderkam’s What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, so I was thrilled to find this audiobook at my library and it did not disappoint. In this edition of time management advice, Vanderkam stresses the importance of efficiency and prioritization so you can make time for *everything* that matters to you during your 168-hour week. I found that after following her prescribed steps and objectively assessing my data, I had a shocking amount of cumulative time available from which I could squeeze more productivity. The basic principles of 168 Hours are applicable to anyone who wants to feel more in control and achieve all their life goals, big and small.
Vanderkam proposes the concept that you have 168 hours available to you in a week; if it were a blank slate, how would you fill it? After a thorough assessment of current time usage, Vanderkam provides advice on how to both design and implement your “ideal” 168-hour plan. Even 10- to 30-min pieces of time can be utilized as micro-steps towards achieving larger life goals if you are prepared and managing your time accordingly. With this approach, she insists you can accomplish everything you’ve ever wanted to do.
“There is time for anything that matters.”
I found her discussion of outsourcing household tasks (and the associated stigmatism) fascinating, particularly the opportunity costs of hiring someone and the concept of specialization (disguised as “core competencies”) in the assignment of household tasks or in choosing to support local task-specific businesses. While certainly hiring someone to do those loathed cleaning chores may be financially challenging, she offers a few ideas when considering your budget. From her outlook, prioritization is key, and her theme that “you can make what you want most work” rings strong throughout the book (and she certainly admits “no one said having it all would be easy”).
Her insistence that everyone has enough time to do anything they want if they manage their time better may grate some people wrong, and her emphatic crusade against time spent watching television became a bit lecture-y at times. However, I respond well to blunt facts and her point that “everything you choose to do is a choice” forced me to consider how exactly I’m using each of the minutes in my 168 hours.
It sounds a bit cliché to say I feel like I could accomplish anything after reading this book, but her arguments and methodology struck a chord for me and I was all for her positive insistence on the need to “plan for what will happen after your breakthrough success”. If anything, this book forced me to realize how much time I really have and how inefficiently I use my hours. If you’ve ever needed a kick in the butt or want to figure out how people seem to get so much done in a day, 168 Hours is a great book to reassess your time usage and build a plan to better utilize and prioritize your time.