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I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time Hardcover – June 9, 2015
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“As an entrepreneur and mother, I’m invested in honing time management strategies that enrich my life instead of taking any enjoyment or flexibility out of it—and Laura Vanderkam understands that. In her new book, she shares how busy people build full, productive careers and happy homes as well. You’ll find lot of tools that can help you make time for everything that’s important and cut out what’s not.”
— Angela Jia Kim, founder of Om Aroma & Co. and Savor
“I’m a longtime fan of Laura Vanderkam’s insightful work—her recommendations for getting the most out of every day are often counterintuitive but always realistic and manageable. In her new book, she reveals the time management strategies that highly successful mothers use to build lives that work. Thanks to her findings, I’ll never look at my weekly calendar the same way again.”
—GRETCHEN RUBIN, author of Better Than Before and The Happiness Project
“For many years I’ve wanted to see reflected in our collective conversation what I know to be true in women’s lives: that many of us are happily combining work and motherhood, and loving both. Laura Vanderkam has written the book that’s been sorely missing, and she does so with an impassioned, eloquent voice, important new research, and the warmth of a dear friend.”
—TARA MOHR, author of Playing Big
“An empowering guide for professionals who want to figure out how to become superstars in their fields while building satisfying lives.”
—DORIE CLARK, author of Reinventing You and Stand Out
“This book could have been titled How to Be a Superhero, because that’s how it makes you feel and act after reading it. Vanderkam’s curiosity for high performance and what makes it possible is infectious. Packed with research from real lives and tips for real change, this book is sure to help women around the world discover their own path to success.”
—JON ACUFF, author of Do Over
“In this engrossing and eternally helpful book, Laura Vanderkam shares valuable insights from women who have mastered their most vital resource: time. I Know How She Does It stands apart thanks to Vanderkam’s nuanced understanding of what it takes to become an efficient-yet-balanced individual.”
—TIM SANDERS, author of Love Is the Killer App
“As a busy CEO, I was inspired by the hundreds of people Vanderkam studied who found ample time for career, family, and self in the same 168 hours available to everyone, each week. If my entire team read this book, we would all benefit.”
—RICHARD SHERIDAN, CEO and chief storyteller, Menlo Innovations, and author of Joy, Inc.
About the Author
LAURA VANDERKAM is the bestselling author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, All the Money in the World, 168 Hours, and Grindhopping. She is a frequent contributor to Fast Company’s website and a member of USA Today’s board of contributors. Her work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, and other publications. She lives with her husband and their four children outside Philadelphia.
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Top Customer Reviews
There was a great balance between strategies to spend your time at work better to further your career as well as to make time for leisure and fun. It definitely made me think about the things we say/hear about being working parents and consider that they might not ACTUALLY be true with some careful stewardship of our time.
This book is definitely targeted towards an upper middle class audience with money to spend on outsourcing home/errand solutions and babysitting. The author definitely advocates trading money for more time in life to do fun things. She also addresses specific issues like getting enough sleep, finding time to exercise, and time for hobbies and leisure pursuits. Her solutions are "bigger" than just saving a few minutes here and there - they are more about getting you to think differently about your priorities and what you do with your large blocks of time.
Note: the images of the time logs nicely format into landscape view on my old Kindle DX, but the print is small so I'd rather view them online. I appreciate the links provided to see them directly. This may not be an issue with newer Kindles.
Even though the subject of this book is a study on working mothers' time use, I would say the advice is also relevant for working dads. She also interviewed and wrote about single parents extensively, and the tech industry, lawyers, and academia seem to be equally represented. This was a highly useful and enjoyable book.
This is not a book just for women. Sure, you have to choose your audience as an author, but everything in this book applies to men with kids too. They are juggling just as much as women are. While the book explains that there are some things that generally women and men approach differently, like our views on the urgency of household tasks, overall we all face the same issues: how to make time for thriving careers, quality family time, and meaningful personal moments on our own.
Granted, this book isn’t for everyone: it is definitely targeting highly educated women who have career aspirations and young kids, but there are nuggets of useful tips throughout the book. Here are just a few: outsource as much as you can, minimize meetings as much as possible, plan challenging tasks earlier in the day, do a late afternoon triage so you don’t get stuck working late, build some flexibility into your schedule, remember childcare is supposed to make your life easier and not harder, build leisure time into your schedule, be mindful with family time so you’re totally focused on your kids. While some of this may sound obvious, when you’re in the thick of everyday chaotic life, it isn’t always. Vanderkam shows that with careful examination and detail paid to each block of time in our weeks, we can find more time than we realize we have, and use that time to nurture whatever aspects of our lives are lacking at that time. Highly recommended!
Ms. Vanderkam herself is self-employed and works primarily from home with in-home childcare, so I imagine that some readers may bristle at some aspects of her time log analysis (for example, she does not count commuting time as work when analyzing time logs). Overall, though, I felt that her insights and the suggested strategies gleaned from analyzing successful moms' time logs were practical and valuable regardless of individual work and family circumstances. While many books on this topic seem to offer innumerable suggestions to "do it better and faster so you can fit more in," Vanderkam's approach is significantly more thoughtful. In a nutshell, I would say that she encourages women to analyze the way that they spend their time similarly to the way one might evaluate monetary spending, to decide whether time is being spent according to one's goals and values, and then to make adjustments accordingly. It is a refreshing mindshift message that is intended to inspire, not admonish, and one that most anyone can benefit from. I highly recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nothing new with this book. Same crap that has been said already.