Thursday, September 10, 2015


When I first saw the title of this book, 168 Hours, I wasn't sure what Laura Vanderkam was counting - wasted hours? Found hours? Turns out that's how many hours you and I have in one week. At first that didn't sound like much ... but she's quick to point out it's more than you realize.

I really enjoyed the book on a number of levels - though I found it hard to chart my hours as I'm (1) a mom, and (2) CONSTANTLY multi-tasking (for example, I'm switching loads of laundry while eating breakfast, while chatting with my kids, while emptying the dishwasher...or "watching" TV while I scan documents for a client and I'm working on a to do list).  The process of attempting to record my time has been telling, however.

The first area that struck a chord for me? CORE COMPETENCIES. And I think this is my biggest take-away from her book - core competencies are "things that a company does best and others cannot do nearly as well" (34). She constantly reminds the reader to focus on core competencies and to minimize, outsource or ignore everything else, as there is "little point in being too scattered to master something, or in spending much time on activities in which you can't excel" (35).


Remember my problem with tracking my time? Being too scattered would be another take-away. There are things I am definitely better at in life. If I claim that the priorities in my life are God, wife, mom and then everything else, my time should reflect this better.

I loved a few of her other suggestions and ideas in this chapter:
-in order to spend more time reading with my kids, choose quality books, such as the Caldecott Medal winners - brilliant! I Googled the list and I've since ordered 10 of the books from our library. I figured 10 was a good start.

-Caroline Ceniza-Levine's "List of 100 Dreams" - oh, the dreamer in my LOVED this activity. My list may include chocolate too.

-questions to ask myself:
What do I do best, that other people cannot do nearly as well? 
What things do I spend time on that others could do, or do better?

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