Laura Vanderkam (lauravanderkam.com) is the author of books on time management and productivity (eg Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done, 2018, and Juliet's School of Possibilities, 2019, both edited by Penguin Random. House) and unfolds her knowledge and study of the theme in different formats, from traditional press articles to podcasts and lectures, which has made her become a true expert and guru on these subjects. That's why Maxima interviewed her.
Why is time management a problem and especially for women?
Time goes on regardless of what we do. As a result, it is very easy to waste time unnoticed – for both men and women. The problem that women in particular face is that most cultural narrative often pits work and family against each other as if they are in competition for women's time. For men, they are more likely to believe that the work to pay the bills is how they contribute to their families, so there is less obvious time conflict.
Time management is a crosscutting problem for women in society. Do you think this is a more personal or cultural problem?
Most people would probably say they want more hours in the day. But as we will not have them, I think this wish does not help anything! Instead, I believe that by monitoring our time we can find ways to redistribute hours of things we don't want to know to things we want to know.
This problem is universal. What are the biggest mistakes people make when they try to have more time and what would be the solutions?
When people want more time, they tend to focus on spending less time on things they don't like to do. This is why so many time management articles have the solution of making small "cuts" that take chunks of time from everyday activities. But what do we get if we spend five minutes less getting dressed? What are we going to do with this time? It is efficient to focus on the activities in which we want to invest the most time. When we fill our lives with these activities, everything else takes less time, of course.
Share three insights you've learned from people you've interviewed or research you've done over the years?
Be aware of your time. Study your agenda and think how you would like to organize your time. Think about each week before you get in!
Think in terms of 168 hours, not 24 hours. We live our lives in weeks, not days, and by thinking of weeks we can see time more abundantly! Things don't have to happen at the same time every day to count in our lives.
Plan a broad agenda. This keeps us from being late when things go wrong and helps us be prepared to seize opportunities when they appear.
What feedback do people give you?
Many people are thrilled to find more time for the things they like. I think the key is to get rid of the narrative of always being "busy." We have time for what's important to us.
. (tagsToTranslate) Penguin Random House (t) Laura Vanderkam (t) Arts (t) Culture and Entertainment (t) Time (t) Family Management (t)