Video Summary: How to gain control of your free time by Laura Vanderkam

In this video, time management expert Laura Vanderkam discusses the elasticity of time and how we can make it work in our favor. She emphasizes that by prioritizing our activities and treating them as urgent as a broken water heater, we can create the lives we want within the time we have.

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Overview of This Video

In the video titled “How to Gain Control of Your Free Time” by Laura Vanderkam, a renowned author and speaker on time management, you are taken on a journey to understand the concept of time in a new light. The main topics covered in this video revolve around the elasticity of time, the importance of prioritizing, and the power of choice in managing our schedules.

Vanderkam starts by debunking common assumptions about time management, emphasizing that we don’t build the lives we want by saving time, but rather, we build the lives we want, and then time saves itself. She shares insights from her time diary project, illustrating how time can stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it.

The video then delves into the idea of treating our priorities as urgent tasks, akin to a broken water heater that needs immediate attention. Vanderkam shares practical strategies to identify these priorities, such as writing a future performance review or a family holiday letter. She encourages viewers to break down these priorities into doable steps and schedule them into our lives.

From this video, you can learn how to take control of your time by focusing on what truly matters to you. Vanderkam’s approach will help you see that there is plenty of time in a week to do amazing things, provided you prioritize effectively. This video is not just about time management, but also about life management. It offers you a fresh perspective on how to live a fulfilling life within the time you have.

Key Takeaways

  1. Time is Elastic: Time will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it. We can’t make more time, but we can adjust our activities to fit within the time we have.
  2. Prioritize Urgently: Treat your priorities as urgent tasks that need immediate attention, similar to a broken water heater. This mindset helps in focusing on what’s important.
  3. Identify Your Priorities: Vanderkam suggests writing a future performance review or a family holiday letter to identify what matters most to you in your professional and personal life.
  4. Break Down Priorities into Doable Steps: Once you’ve identified your priorities, break them down into manageable steps. This makes it easier to incorporate them into your schedule.
  5. Schedule Your Priorities: Put your priorities into your schedule first. This ensures that you allocate time to what matters most to you.
  6. Use Bits of Time for Bits of Joy: Small moments can have great power. Use your bits of time for activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.
  7. Reframe “I Don’t Have Time” to “It’s Not a Priority”: This shift in language reminds us that time is a choice. If something is not happening, it’s likely because it’s not a priority, not because there isn’t enough time.
  8. There’s Plenty of Time in a Week: There are 168 hours in a week. Even with full-time work and adequate sleep, there’s still a significant amount of time left for other activities.
  9. Focus on What Matters: By focusing on what truly matters to you, you can build the life you want within the time you have.

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Video Review

Laura Vanderkam’s “How to Gain Control of Your Free Time” is a thought-provoking and insightful exploration of time management that challenges conventional wisdom. Vanderkam’s approach to time as an elastic entity is refreshing and offers a new perspective on how we view our schedules and priorities.

What stands out in this video is Vanderkam’s ability to simplify complex ideas and present them in a relatable manner. Her use of real-life examples, such as the broken water heater, makes her concepts easy to grasp and apply in our daily lives. Her strategies for identifying priorities and breaking them down into manageable steps are practical and actionable.

However, while Vanderkam’s approach is innovative, it may not resonate with everyone. Her assertion that “time is a choice” might seem unrealistic to those juggling multiple responsibilities, and her suggestion to treat all priorities as urgent could potentially lead to stress and burnout if not balanced with relaxation and downtime.

Despite these considerations, the video is a valuable resource for anyone looking to gain control over their time and build a fulfilling life. Vanderkam’s unique perspective encourages us to rethink our relationship with time, making this video a must-watch for those seeking to enhance their time management skills.

Additional Resources

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Video Summary: How to gain control of your free time by Laura Vanderkam
Video Summary: How to gain control of your free time by Laura Vanderkam