168 Hours on the Today Show, and the time management spreadsheet

Yesterday was a big day for 168 Hours. For starters, it’s fun to be mentioned in the same TV listings as Taylor Lautner. But also, I made my Today Show debut! I was interviewed by Natalie Morales during the 8:00 hour. Turns out this marathon-running mom of two little boys is a fan of the book, which she was gracious enough to mention on air.

You can read an excerpt and scroll down to watch the video here (at least for a few days). My main point is that thinking in weeks gives us a fuller picture of our time, and that we need to change our language from “I don’t have time” to “It’s not a priority,” which is a more accurate statement.

As I mentioned on air, keeping a time log helps us get a grip on our hours. If you are looking for the time management spreadsheet, you can click here or visit the button called “Manage Your Time” on the navigation bar.

There are instructions there for filling out your time log, but don’t worry, this isn’t rocket science! Think of it like a food journal. If you want to lose weight, you write down what you eat. If you want to use your time better, you write down how you spend it. Feel free to email me or post here if you have any questions. And thanks for visiting the website to learn more about the book!

8 thoughts on “168 Hours on the Today Show, and the time management spreadsheet

  1. You need to read the comments on the today show website. For most people your time management is unrealistic. It boils down to micromanaging. I won’t accept that I have to micro-manage my life. I want to relax sometimes. I get up at 5 in the morning, am at work by 7, leave between 3:30 and 4. I usually have to stop somewhere on the way home. Get dinner, bring a child somewhere and those last two items get switched regularly. eat dinner, go pick up the child, laundry, dishes, then hope to be in bed by 10 to fall asleep by 10:30. We have various projects, own a second home that needs regular maintenance and on and on.

    1. I don’t advocate micromanaging one’s life — far from it. We simply have to put in the things that matter most to us, and then let the rest of life (the chores, the email, TV, puttering, etc.) fill in around that. One of the things I talk about on this blog and elsewhere is planning to do only 3-5 things during any given workday, or during an entire weekend. That’s hardly micromanaging.

  2. I commented on the Today Show Web site, and I think the comments on there reflect the need for a book like this, particularly the veiled comments about Teresa D, who is the entrepreneur mentioned in Laura’s book.
    .. I think a lot of you are being harsh and negative. Laura is trying to help Americans and American women. The book is great! You can always let your lawn go another week or let the dishes sit, or get this, ladies, get your husband to grocery shop. We do have choices and we can prioritize. Also a lot of folks spend their money in different ways which highlights their different priorities. So is crying poor and helpless is that what we want for ourselves, for our daughters, for our sons who will be splitting the second shift with them?
    If you cut back to basic cable you can afford a cleaning lady. (And those of you who are anti-immigration– I’d take a hard look at this stance b/c women’s liberation is happening every day in the conversations with the understanding daycare worker and cleaning lady )) and these women are entrepreneurs also, and many of them are affordable to middle class women b/c they are working to bring their own families up in this world.. wherever in the world they may be,
    and people need to get over that and stop oppressing women.
    Also there are ways for middle class people to get help –neighbors and grandparents — and oh yes, the two-parent family — people this means 2 (working) parents. Working at working and working at parenting. We attack women owned business owners but we can’t even ask our husbands to take a shift? ! Come on!
    And if the complaint is that we as women don’t have enough money — we should be getting women to get to work at jobs that allow them to have that money to self-actualize themselves and their children, not telling them to cut back, and life is over now that you have kids. We all want the same things even Natalie Morales or whoever that was giving the interview to Laura on the Today Show. Working 19 hours a week hardly anyone ever changed the world and I think women make this mistake. I can spend 25 hours a weekend or 30 with my kid but that means I might not spend as many hours with her on a weekday or the reverse. It is not about each day but the overall picture of what you want to get done and what you want to be doing and doing it. My lawn should have been cut last week but I do not care nothing gets in t he way of my 8 or 9 hour workday and my time with my kids and if the neighbors don’t like my lawn who cares?

    It is a shame that so many women say they can’t instead of trying the best they can to do better. Most of the reason women are poorer is because we don’t work 40 hours to 45 hours and men, well they do, and then some. And they still get credit for being “fathers”.
    Also Teresa D. is a business owner, and those of you who wrote that she isn’t and that she only handles the “financial aspect” of the business are really out there. What exactly is a business other than the financial aspect — sales and collections and management of employees. She is a great example and if she has someone else cut her lawn or paid for someone to deliver her groceries before she became wealthy, that makes her a risk taker and someone to be admired, not someone to be spit on or said about “it’s really her husband’s company” The truth is a lot of folks don’t want this to be true, b/c then we’d have to accept that women can be empowered. Also ladies and fellows instead of criticizing this woman Teresa, look at your own lives. How many men “let’ their wives cut back only to make them handle all the mundane household chores. American Women deserve to be pushed to make the best of their lives, and Natalie and Laura are trying to help.
    I have read this book, and Laura Vanderkam is not trying to put women down. She will read any of your time logs out there and honestly try to help you. She has two kids and she has run and she tries her best to work 35 to 40 hours a week and really get her career ahead and she wants others to have the same satisfaction. What is the harm in that?

  3. Laura,

    I am so glad you landed the Today Show gig! That afternoon I glanced through this site, then trekked to Barnes and Nobles after my shift to pick up my very own copy.

    Wish me luck as I read and learn and choose to make time for my priorities!

  4. I saw you on the Today Show and that is exactly why I stopped over here to your website. It really made me think about how I spend some of my time, and what I “think” some of my priorties are. You hit the nail on the head when you talked about maybe not spending so much time with the house work etc. My grandma has always told me that she wishes she would have not been so eager to get her dishes done and cleaned up, but rather have spent her TIME with all of us that were there with her. You gave me a renewed out look on my time management while I am here at home with the kids, and a new motivation with completeing some important goals that I have set for myself. It really is all about the time I have, and how I spend it…thank you.

    I too agree with the woman that said you are not trying to micromanage, but more help people/women, make the most out of their day and themselves.

  5. Laura, nice segment on the Today show. I have only begun to read your book but what I have read has really given me lots to think about. Your book is not at all about micro-managing…it’s simply a tool that people can use to maybe help make life less hectic and learn something about yourself. To those who say it is about micromanaging…take a chill pill people! What Laura is talking about is the power of choice that we all have. You make choices in other areas of life every day…spending money, what we eat, etc. Are those things micromanaging? For myself, I’m tired of being one of the “whiners” who says “Oh, I just don’t have time”. I’m learning to re-frame that to say “No, it’s not something I want to spend my time on…my choice, my priorities”. Thanks Laura for putting your “pen to paper” on this subject.

  6. I saw the Today segment. Congratulations. You might be happy to know that I carved out a few minutes to write this response and disagree with you. While I am writing this response at 5:39 am, I am in the gate area of an airport waiting on a flight. My load of laundry that I threw in the machine as I left the house is likely finished. The kids’ schedules are arranged. The car is scheduled for service and the bills are in the online queue waiting to be paid. Your assumption in the book that someone works only 40 hours a week is completely foreign to me and to anyone I know. Even with a busy career and family life, I have found many ways to save time, reduce duplication of effort, prioritize and plan, but honestly, if you have 62 free hours per week, you have more math to do. A significant chunk of that 62 hours is on the weekends. How many kids are there in the mix? Do you have any medical needs such as asthma or diabetes which eat up some of your time? Do you have a child with learning challenges for whom school work and homework are torturous? Do you have an aging parent with any accelerating organic processes? Are you a single working parent trying to keep the toilets clean, the refrigerator filled, the dog fed and the kids well-adjusted? Do you have sleep apnea that often robs you of feeling like each cell is fully oxygenated? Do you budget time to stand in line at the post office while the person in front of you spends 20 minutes deciding which picture he wants on his roll of stamps?

    Your plan may work given a very rigid and unforgiving schedule with unlimited resources and planning time; However, I think it is simplistic on a good day to think there is enough time in any given week to perform all tasks of today’s adult human.

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