Ep. 56: Off the Clock with Laura Vanderkam

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In Episode 56, I’m chatting with Laura Vanderkam about her book Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done. Laura is the best-selling author of several time management and productivity books including 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time, and What the Most Successful People do Before Breakfast. Laura also co-hosts the Best of Both Worlds podcast with Sarah Hart-Unger. They discuss work/life balance, career development, parenting, time management, productivity, and making time for fun.Laura lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and four children, and blogs at LauraVanderkam.com.

When I read Off the Clock in August, I shared my thoughts about it here. I am thrilled that I also had the opportunity to interview Laura for my podcast and ask her questions including her advice for how to overcome the hurdles I faced trying to track my time.

Big Ideas

Time and how we perceive it

We all have the same amount of time but spend it differently.

How we think about time changes how we perceive it.

When we walk around saying “I’m so busy”, are we?

Which moments become your story?

Data study on time perception

900 people tracked their time and reported how they felt about it.

What things are a good use of time?

Evaluating your time

How to effectively track your time? Doesn’t have to be exact!

Getting a general sense of where time goes.

Data helps us see where our time goes.

Looking at time in weeks versus days.

Effortful versus effortless fun

Effortless fun is easy and ends up being the bulk of our leisure time.

Effortful fun is more memorable.

Putting in work to have fun.


” You find people who are doing amazing things professionally as well as personally but they all have the same amount of time we do”. -Audrey Monke

“Time is all about how we perceive it. We all have the same amount of time. It all moves at the same rate. But that’s not really the way we think about”.  -Laura Vanderkam

“When we walk around with the story “I’m so busy” we will constantly look for moments that show that”. – Laura Vanderkam

“You want more time doing stuff you enjoy. Nobody wants more time in a traffic jam or boring meeting”. – Laura Vanderkam

“Your fun can take some work but you will be so happy you did it” – Laura Vanderkam

Find Laura

Laura’s TED Talk, How to Gain Control of Your Free Time:

Laura Vanderkam’s Website

Best of Both World Podcast

Laura’s Other Books:







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