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168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam

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This books makes me reaffirm my policy of not reading books by journalists. I was expecting a detailed time management study of different people, but in fact it was a very brief outline of their work life and very little on their organisation. ( )
  rlangston | Aug 12, 2014 |
Challenged me to truly examine how I spend my time and to stop insisting that I just "don't have time." I choose how I spend my own time. I have two small children, and I'm starting a small, online business. Tracking my 168 hours was monumentally informative, and I never would have done so without Vanderkam.
I also love that she's freelance writer with two kids, so her ideas on how to manage home and job were inspiring. I'm not at home with the kids so I can clean house. I should focus on time with the kids and not how spotless my floors are. ( )
  MorganGMac | Mar 7, 2013 |
Helpful: 168 hours should be enough time to achieve balance if you stop wasting time on the Internet, etc...The book caused me to look at my schedule and attempt to streamline.

However, the book's format read as a journal the author kept about how she manages to apply time management principles to a privileged, upper-income, urban lifestyle. Outsourcing laundry in New York City probably is a solid idea--and less expensive than one would expect to free up a large chunk of time. But, the book is generally not relatable for average Americans. ( )
  twryan72 | Jun 6, 2012 |
In the beginning I couldn't put this book down. It sounded all so true, so valuable and I believe a lot of the ideas are great, until the home section. Unfortunately, although the author makes a strong argument for why she believes outsourcing so much of the housework of our lives is worth it, I just don't believe it's an attainable goal for myself and many others. I had hoped, as a SAHM, I'd get more ideas on how to balance housework, my own life goals and spending time with my kids. I feel like because the author is a working mom, she doesn't really understand how the other half lives, and devalues it more than necessary. Although some tips and the overarching ideas are helpful, in my opinion, she could have used a co-author that would have helped make the other side of the book more useful. ( )
  bookstar | Mar 13, 2011 |
This book has some good general ideas (mostly in the early chapters), but the specifics are so bogged down in the lifestyles of the author and her associates that they wouldn't really apply to the general public.

Good: Look at the whole week of 168 hours and consider where you can find the 10 hours a week to do this or the 5 hours a week to do that. Prioritize activities by core competencies and reduce the things that don't truly give you satisfaction. Create a plan and stick to it.

Bad: Almost all of the author's examples relate to high-end business people, tenured professors, sales execs, or work-at-home people like herself. And her suggestions relating to family seem to consist entirely of finding play time for toddlers.

I'm not saying these examples are awful, they just seem to lack variety beyond urban professionals. It's probably best to pull what you can from the first few chapters, skip the rest, and make your own examples.

Find more of my reviews at Mostly NF.
  benjfrank | Feb 25, 2011 |
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Explains how to reorganize and prioritize a weekly schedule in order to meet the demands of today's high-pressure lifestyles while still making time for personal needs and interests.

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