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How Do You Use Your 168 Hours Each Week?


The following is an excerpt from REBECCA GALE | June 11, 2018 | Slate.com |

Laura Vanderkam is a work-life-balance expert who believes we have time to do it all—at least, all that is important to us. For the past three years, she’s meticulously logged and analyzed how she spends her hours, and has also researched how other people spend the 168 hours we all have each week. Her conclusion: We have enough time to do most things—we just need to prioritize and be realistic about our expectations.

Off the Clock, Vanderkam’s seventh book, offers advice for releasing ourselves from the shackles of busyness. She works full time, is raising four young kids, and runs at least a mile each day (even during a bout of stomach flu). By her logic, if she has time, so do we. It starts by changing our mindset about just how busy we are. By viewing our weeks in terms of hours available, even a 15-minute increment can open up opportunities for relationships, hobbies, and workouts.

I spoke to Vanderkam about the new book and whether this method can really work for most people.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Rebecca Gale: You’re well known for your time-log technique, where people, including those in high-powered positions, can track their hours and discover that they have more time available for things they prioritize. But doesn’t this include some assumptions that people can control a number of aspects of their life? How does time logging speak to someone who has less control over their day-to-day time?

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