Summary of Off the Clock

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Most professionals lead busy lives and never seem to have enough time. In a practical, optimistic, easy-to-read book, time-management guru Laura Vanderkam shows how you can become more productive yet still feel less harried. While time grants everyone the same 168 hours each week, you decide how to spend yours, so choose wisely. Start by tracking your hours to figure out where you spend your most precious resource.

About the Author

Time-management guru Laura Vanderkam is the author of All the Money in the World, 168 Hours and Grindhopping. She co-hosts the podcast Best of Both Worlds



Time is a paradox: It’s finite yet plentiful.

In a 2015 Gallup poll, 61% of employed respondents reported they don’t have enough time to do what they want compared to 32% of people who aren’t employed, such as retirees. Similarly, 61% of respondents with children living at home felt they lacked sufficient time in comparison with 42% of those without children at home. This poll hints that to have enough time in life, you ought to pack in your job and forgo having children – yet some 39% of those working and those with children manage to make time for the activities they love. 

In 2017, time-management guru Laura Vanderkam conducted her own poll. She recruited more than 900 people who worked more than 30 hours a week and who had children under the age of 18 living at home – the most time-deprived category of people, according to Gallup. She had them chronicle what they did each hour on March 27, 2017, as well as their feelings about the day and about time in general. Although respondents’ attitudes varied, most felt better about the day they were logging than about time in general. Those with busy lives who claimed to have ample...

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