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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to make the most of "the 168-hour mosaic of our lives"
There is no shortage of books on the subject of time management. In fact, the last time I checked, Amazon offers 11,229 of them but not one of them explains how to increase the number of hours within a seven-day period: it is 168, no more and no less. What sets this book apart from the dozens of other books on time management that I have read is the fact that Laura...
Published on 29 May 2010 by Robert Morris

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good advice but a lot of the book is based ...
Some good advice but a lot of the book is based on numbers that don't always add up.

For example, she rarely mentions the time spent commuting to work. Yet, for most people in large cities, it takes up at least 2 hours a day and this can hardly be thought of as "personal time" (yes, you can read a book but doing any kind of thinking is difficult + you...
Published 10 months ago by N. Masse


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to make the most of "the 168-hour mosaic of our lives", 29 May 2010
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
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There is no shortage of books on the subject of time management. In fact, the last time I checked, Amazon offers 11,229 of them but not one of them explains how to increase the number of hours within a seven-day period: it is 168, no more and no less. What sets this book apart from the dozens of other books on time management that I have read is the fact that Laura Vanderkam rigorously follows what Albert Einstein recommends: "Make everything as simple as possible...but no simpler." For example, in the first chapter, she suggests, "Picture a completely empty weekly calendar with its 168 hourly slots." She then helps her reader to document his or her (the reader's) current allocation of time. She achieves that objective as well as each of her other primary objectives such as disabusing her reader of major misconceptions about how much time (on average) people spend on sleep, work, and leisure time components. While doing so, she cites real-world examples (i.e. real people in real time) that both illustrate and confirm basic strategies that produce more and more enjoyable as well as better, and achieved sooner, in less time. She also identifies the core competencies that her reader must develop and then leverage to achieve that same objective. She is at her best when explaining how to determine what the "right job" is, what it requires, and how to obtain it.

[She cites Teresa Amabile's admonition, "You should do what you love, and you should love what you do." If that doesn't suggest what a "right job" is, I don't know what does.]

Vanderkam also explains how to control investment of time so that "there should be almost nothing during your work hours - whatever you choose those to be - that is not advancing you toward your goals for the career and life you want"; how to determine what the "next level" of personal and professional development looks like and how to "seize control" of the schedule while completing a transition to that level; and what a "breakthrough" is and how to achieve it to expedite the transition process. Vanderkam believes, and I fully agree, that our lives proceed through a series of levels above or below, better or worse than where we were previously; the journey to each should be one of personal discovery; and that it is important to know what we value most but we must realize that priorities change at various points in our lives as circumstances, relationships, obligations, and aspirations change. Each life is, quite literally, a "work in progress."

At the outset of this review, I noted that Amazon now offers almost 12,000 books on time management. Several of them are outstanding. In my opinion, 168 Hours is less about time management than it is about self-management (especially self-discipline) as well as decision-making (especially setting priorities). Laura Vanderkam provides about as much information and counsel as anyone needs to alleviate a real or perceived time crunch, leverage core competencies, define and then locate or create the "right jib," control rather than be controlled by a calendar, achieve breakthroughs to greater understanding higher-impact performance, and in all life domains (career, family, personal, community, and society) be happier and more productive.

I congratulate her on a brilliant achievement. Bravo!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good advice but a lot of the book is based ..., 26 July 2014
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N. Masse - See all my reviews
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Some good advice but a lot of the book is based on numbers that don't always add up.

For example, she rarely mentions the time spent commuting to work. Yet, for most people in large cities, it takes up at least 2 hours a day and this can hardly be thought of as "personal time" (yes, you can read a book but doing any kind of thinking is difficult + you won't be able to read 100% of the time, due to transfers, being packed like sardines on a train, unbearable heat on a train or platform, unbearable cold waiting for a bus outside etc).

In a similar manner, she rarely mentions the half hour or hour lunch break. In most companies, workers have few options and find themselves eating at their desk or queueing at a packed sandwich shop. Again, this isn't personal time.

Therefore, the reality for most people who work 8 hours a day in the office is that it takes up 11 hours of their time, leaving them with far less time for them to use freely than the author reckons someone working 40 hours a week has. She regularly dismisses those who claim we need more work/life balance and accuses them of misleading people, and while I completely agree that a lot of time spent at "work" is wasted and not really work, I feel that she misunderstands the situation for most office workers in large cities (the environment I know). Yes, they have free time, probably more than they think they have (her argument), but not quite as much time for them to shape that she says they have.

Another example of dubious maths is the example of Berkeley Tandem. The author says that the owner increased her working hours from 20 to 30 hours a week, meaning a 50% increase, and the business revenue jumped by 30%. This in the chapter about working up to the point of diminishing returns. Now, if the original revenue wasn't enough for the business owner to live on then it makes sense to work 50% more to boost it by 30%, but if it was a revenue she could live on, then it doesn't seem very efficient to me to work 50% more to earn only 30% more (seems like the point of diminishing returns has indeed been reached!).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helped me organise my time better, 18 Jan. 2013
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Darren Chaplin "art lover" (England) - See all my reviews
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I liked this book. It made a lot of sense to advise people to realise that they do have as much time as everyone else. I often look at my life and wish I had more time however Laura made me realise I do in fact have all the time I need and when I studied how I spend (or should I say squander) a lot of my time I was horrified. I have analized the way I spend my time now and have a better picture of how I spend it which has helped me waste less of it and fit more in to the time I have.
However the reason I didnt give the book 5 stars is that I think at times the analysis of time in the book was a bit lazy. For instance if I spend 40 hours at work a week and still have 128 hours left these hours are not spread evenly across each day as I only work 5 days per week so I have a lot of hours at the weekend and not so many in the week. If 40 hours are spent at work and 56 asleep per week that doesnt leave me with 10 hours per day so this could have been developed further about treating weekend and week days differently.
Other than that I liked Lauras style of writing and thought the book was well worth reading
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so much a 'How To' as a 'Why to', 11 Feb. 2012
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I suppose I must have quite a 'mechanistic' outlook - I was expecting a bit of simple Maths and tables i.e. spending time figuring out what I wanted to do and how it would fit in to the 'hard shell' of my life. This book is more about why we do what we do, how to decide what we should be doing, and also what to leave out.
There are several inspiring examples of persons from all walks of life who have managed to lead full and rewarding careers, whilst at the same time achieving that Holy Grail of a balanced personal life too, but don't expect lots of tasks - it is a prose-based book about ones motivation behind what one does, rather than a workshop on how to fit it all in. That said, I am enjoying the prose style, and finding inspiration from many of the ideas: worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Very Very good book, 20 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think (Paperback)
I have to say, I've recommended it to everyone I know.
I thought it made a lot of sense and was organised in a clear way.
All of her advice and examples are relatable and applicable in daily life.
I've downloaded "what successful people do before breakfast" and i'm looking forward to it
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good starter book., 29 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think (Paperback)
Time management has always been an issue for me and I am looking for something new to tweak a few areas. I am quite happy with my life but get too involved or so engrossed in what I am doing and can lose track of time, I also could work a little quicker and smarter. This book wasn't much help for me in this partcular quest and I turned off on some pages as I had read very similar before.
If you already have two or three self help - take a look at yourself and write down your goals style of books you will have most of this stuff already. It's a good book if this is your first book of this kind.
I agree with many aspects of this book but if you are already happy with your current job and lifestyle just:-
re-read your old motivation/improve your life books, don't buy coffee on the way to work - take a flask (time save), use the money to get a cleaner (time save) and employ your local laundry sevices (time save), don't read your e-mails first thing in the morning (not sure about this one as I could miss customers) and you're pretty much there.

It's not a bad book, it just wasn't for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this woman has changed my life, 5 Jun. 2014
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really like Vanderkam's style. I 've been following her groundhog weekend ideas for around 6 months and it has completely revolutionized my Saturday and Sunday.

Read it, it's great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 14 Aug. 2013
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Really liked this book. I have never thought about time management like this before. Interesting read.
Might start getting up earlier.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really Useful, 8 Jan. 2014
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As part of planning for the new year I thought I'd give this a try and it was worth every penny. It reminds you that everyone has 168 hours and prompts you to prioritize your time and use it doing things you love.

Written in a helpful and friendly style (not bossy) I will continue to come back to it when I think 'I don't have enough time' to remind myself of my priorities and that i really do have more time that I think...
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5.0 out of 5 stars So useful, 3 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think (Paperback)
This book has lots of encouragement and good ideas to help you get a grip on your life. I read a lot of books and i can see that this is going to be one which I keep and return to often. it is well written, not shallow, and not too American! Recommended.
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168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think
168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam (Paperback - 24 Nov. 2011)
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