168 Hours

  • by Laura Vanderkam
  • Narrated by Elizabeth London
  • 7 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Tiffany

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...
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- Marc

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-16-2010
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC