Q&A with Laura Vanderkam

We’re loving our new kikki.K Limited Edition cover of Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours. This inspiring book will help you recognise how you’re really spending your time and how you can make more time for what’s important. Learn how to prioritise effectively, and positively impact all areas of your life.

To find out more about this wonderful book, we caught up with author Laura Vanderkam:

What inspired you to write 168 hours?

I am always fascinated by people who seem to do so much, and yet feel relaxed about their time! I wanted to share the stories of people who were succeeding professionally, while still having great personal lives.

How do you hope your book can help people to live their best lives?

I wanted to help people think more holistically about their time. We often think of our lives in days, but we live our lives in weeks. Looking at the whole week shows how much time we really have. If you work 40 hours a week (full time!) and sleep 8 hours a night (56 per week) that leaves 72 hours for other things. That’s a lot of time! Once we know that, time management becomes about figuring out how to best use the time we have, rather than telling ourselves we don’t have time. Probably it is there. We just have to be creative to make the most of it.

You talk in the book about the importance of getting enough sleep, can you please elaborate?

Contrary to popular belief, successful people often do get enough sleep! Maybe not every night, but certainly averaged over the long haul. Sleep is important because it helps us be our best selves when we’re awake. If you skimp on sleep for too many nights in a row, you will lose your ability to focus. Indeed, you’ll probably lose every single hour you “saved” by not sleeping. It’s not worth it.

I know in some stages of life it’s hard to get enough sleep (if you have a newborn for instance). But I do think it’s still important to prioritize it as best you can. The house can be messy. Some emails can go unread. Go to sleep and you’ll be able to deal with it all in the morning.

Can you tell us a little about your morning routine?

My current morning routine involves caring for my 2-year-old. He always gets up earlier (like 5:30 a.m.) than I want. I get him, we snuggle in bed for a while, then I let him watch videos while I slowly wake up with my coffee and read a book. At least I’m getting some reading time in. Six months ago he couldn’t pay attention to videos and the morning was more harried. When he grows out of waking up so early I hope to get up and run first thing, and then do focused work for an hour before my kids get up. I’ll get there eventually (currently, I tend to exercise during the day).

What stationery item can you not live without?

I love paper! I’m quite particular about my notebooks. I make my own planners out of notebooks with a durable cover. I also have some  note cards with my name on them that I use for correspondence. I’m quite particular about paper!

My desk chair has a giant hole on it and I purchased my pillows more than a decade ago but I will not compromise on my paper!

Feeling inspired to start making more out of your day? Discover 168 Hours here.