168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam: Summary and Notes

How to get the most out of your life, 168 hours at a time

Dan Silvestre
Mar 4 · 6 min read

168 Hours: Short Summary

Want to maximize your availability every week? In 168 Hours, Laura Vanderkam shares strategies on how to get the most out of your week. Some of the tips she offers include recognizing your key competencies, finding a job you love, logging your hours, and outsourcing some tasks. A book full of stories about relatable people who have managed to make the most of their time.

The Myth of The Time Crunch

Work rarely consumes 100% of anyone’s time. Even the people who say that they work 80 hour weeks rarely work that hard. There is always room for improvement.

Creating the Right Job

Build your career as if you are responsible for creating your own job.

  1. Does my job give me a reasonable amount of autonomy?
  2. Do my work environment, organization, and co-workers encourage my best work?

Controlling Your Calendar

There are 4-steps to controlling your calendar:

  1. Do not mistake things that look like work for actual work. Work is an activity that advances your career and the life that you want. Minimize activities in your “work-life” that don’t count as real work an example is constantly checking emails
  2. Get rid of non-core-competency tasks by ignoring, minimizing, or outsourcing them. Always seek work that improves your core competencies, and minimize the rest.
  3. Be more efficient in your tasks. Reduce your work by cutting out time spent on each task.

Know What the Next Level Looks Like

The New Home Economics

New home economics has changed how we juggle time among children, work, and housework. The change began when women started getting into the workforce and their time became billable.

A Full Life

Rules for leveraging your leisure time to create a full life.

  • Create blocks of time for these activities. Don’t leave your leisure activities to chance. Find times that you can block out for your activities
  • Commit enough time, energy, and resources to make them meaningful. When you commit to something, you get used to the rewards and it will become apart of your life
  • Use the principle of alignment to build in more time with family and friends. Commit to activities that utilize different parts of your brain, particularly the ones that don’t require active mental engagement
  • Use bits of time for bits of joy. Plan on how to use your time when you are idle or when the unexpected happens.

The Hard Work of Having it All

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Dan Silvestre

Written by

Get my full guide on how to Work Smarter and get back control of your time (it’s free) -> https://newsletter.dansilvestre.com/work-smarter

Curious

Curious

A community of people who are curious to find out what others have already figured out // Curious is a new personal growth publication by The Startup (https://medium.com/swlh).

Dan Silvestre

Written by

Get my full guide on how to Work Smarter and get back control of your time (it’s free) -> https://newsletter.dansilvestre.com/work-smarter

Curious

Curious

A community of people who are curious to find out what others have already figured out // Curious is a new personal growth publication by The Startup (https://medium.com/swlh).

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