Laura Vanderkam is a time management expert, but in this TED Talk, she doesn’t share more of the tips and tricks you may be accustomed to around how to “save” time. Her opening quote of, “we don’t build the lives we want by saving time, we build the lives we want, and the time saves itself” sums her approach up well.
We can’t make any more hours in a day or a week. Is locked in at 168 hours per week. But it is highly elastic. It will stretch into it what we prioritise to put into it.
Using an example of a burst hot water system that floods a house, Laura shares that we make time for priorities like these. It’s an emergency so things just have to happen. Therefore, we should treat other priorities in our life in a similar way.
As every minute we all spend is a choice, it can then be seen that:
“I don’t have time” = It’s not a priority
By changing the view, and language around this, we can take ownership and not blame time. Instead be the creators of time.
Laura shares 2 ways to put this in perspective and create actionable steps:
On a professional level:
Write next year’s performance review
Rather than focus on the current year in review, write out what your professional performance review would look like for the year ahead. What are the 3-5 things that would make it a success. What are the achievements?
Write the family holiday letter
Similarly, write out what you would like the end of year family letter to look like. You know the one. The one that gets sent out with the Christmas cards to update friends what’s happened over the year. Again, 3-5 points of what personally you’d like to do and achieve. The things that nourish you.
The key is then locking these into your calendar and schedule. This idea of prioritising. That way other activities need to fit in around them rather than the other way round.
So back to the 168 hours per week. Say around 110 hours is devoted to sleep and work. Then there’s 70 hours a week to devote to other things. That’s a lot!
To see the full 12-minute talk on time management from a fresh perspective, check out the TED Talk here:
Remember, we don’t need a huge amount of time to do amazing things. So how are you going to spend the time you have?
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