Books Reviews

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

In this book, Laura Vanderkam says that to find enough time for everything that matters to you, it is best to make plans for a week—that is 168 hours—ahead. Planning your time or scheduling your activities is a great idea, which almost every other book on time management might have been telling you. The difference here is looking at a week in terms of hours and allocating those hours efficiently for activities most important to you.
Vanderkam shows you how to scrutinize your existing schedules and routines to find where you are losing valuable time. She also gives you ideas on how to prioritize and allocate time for every important activity of your life.
According to her, you should keep track of your time, identify your core competencies, and try to fill your time with activities related to these competencies. Any other activity should be ignored, minimized, or outsourced.
Besides that, she also advocates finding ‘bits of time with bits of joy’, by making lists of activities that can be done in half an hour or ten minutes. This will help you make the most of your downtime, such as waiting at a doctor’s office or commuting for work.
It might work if you try to adapt her methods to your circumstances. There is no use trying to mimic Vanderkam or anybody else’s life. For example, she says she spends the ten minutes she takes to microwave food to assume a plank position.
Now, I don’t own a microwave oven or spend much time in the kitchen. I certainly cannot assume a plank position. However, while I am waiting for something else, I can read or craft. Similarly, I cannot ignore or outsource activities unrelated to my core competencies. Instead, I can work on minimizing them.
It is evident from the detailed notes at the end of the book that Vanderkam has worked hard and researched well to put her theory across coherently. The notes delighted me, probably because it reminded me of the rough drafts of my work.
I agree with the book’s core idea. Although it took some time to read (due to various reasons), I liked it.

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