Why we’ve got all the time in the world

Happy 2017,  everyone!

No matter in which stage of our lives we find ourselves in, may we be students, just got our first jobs, whether we are well accomplished at what we do, if we are young parents or pensioners – we never have enough time – or at least, that is how it seems to be. As today marks the beginning of the new year, this is the perfect time to think about your own time management abilities. Time to reflect and re-evaluate on what you spend the most hours of your days, days of your weeks or even weeks of your years on. Are you in?

More time, isn’t that what all of us want? To magically find a way to act quicker, work faster, or get through tedious tasks swifter, so we can move on to the things we actually like or even really love to do? If only we could save some time here and there and then add it up to do the good stuff. Sadly, I have to tell you, this is not the way it works.

In her talk “How to gain control of your free time“ at TEDWomen 2016 Laura Vanderkam debunks some myths about time-saving and reveals that it is all about one ability:  PRIORITIZING WHAT IS MOST DEAR TO US!

Time is a choice

Have you ever noticed, that if something urgent comes up completely out of the blue, it is somehow always possible to MAKE time, even when our schedules are completely crammed and we are definitely sure there is not a single hour to spare?  If we absolutely have to, we can always come up with some extra hours. So why not focus on what we really want to in the first place and simply SCHEDULE the time for it?

“We don´t build the life we want by saving time. We built the lives we want and then time saves itself!”

Priorites first because time’s elastic

Vanderkam claims time to be “highly elastic”, “because it will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it”. Since we “have the power to fill our lives with the things that deserve to be there” Vandercam advocates to simply:

1. Find out what you want by figuring out your goals!

She suggests doing so by conducting two easy exercises:

  • Write next years performance review (imagine the 3-5 things you did in 2017, that made it so amazing)
  • Write next years family holiday letter (considering what went perfect for all of your loved ones)

2. Schedule it!

Break down your goals into doable steps (e.g.: buy those running shoes or sign up for that language class you have wanted to take for such a long time) and then further break them down in three categories: career, relationships and self. Make sure you have at least one goal in every category and then schedule every task as a priority.

If we focus on what matters, we can built the lives we want in the time we have got.

Make the best of this wonderful year we have ahead of us and make doing what you love your real priority!

For some help with that, watch Laura Vanderkams talk:


Cover image by Pixabay



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About Elli Kling

Elli loves nothing more than travelling the world & getting to know other cultures. She likes reading, cooking and is obsessed with japanese green tea. She has a background in communications, enjoys writing and is also part of the TEDx Communications & PR Team.

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