I really don’t know why it took me so long to read this book. It would be ironic for me to say it’s hard to fit in reading, when I actually have way more time on my hands than I thought I did. The reality is, I have been finding it hard to prioritize reading. I might touch on that later on in this post, but right now I want to share my thoughts on 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkamp.
This was such a good pick for January … oh, January, it feels so far away, doesn’t it? I don’t know if it’s good timing or what, but I finished this during the COVID-19 social distancing time. Our area is not on lockdown at the time of publishing this post. There are certain entities that are shut down, such as schools and now hair/nail salons, but we are able to leave our homes right now to go to work and for the essentials.
As an introvert, I welcome any and all excuses and valid reasons for staying indoors. As long as I can go out in my yard, I’m good. I like to sit outside in our porch, but other than that I am completely content to be home. I don’t really have any extra time on my hands, as I still have to work. However, there are quite a few hours here and there that now feel very ‘free.’ I finished this book during that time, and I think it really has something to offer everyone.
I will say that I did not read this word-for-word. There were a couple sections that just didn’t apply to my life situations, and so I skipped them. My main take-away is this:
We all want to be happy and content with our life, but sometimes things get in the way of that.
The book is set up in four parts: Your 168 Hours, Work, Home, and 168 Hours, Day by Day. The first part explains some time myths and the general idea behind the book. The next two sections are self-explanatory, they talk about all nuances of work and home and how those affect your hours. The last chapter was pretty interesting. It had a few break downs of people’s actual schedules for a week, what they were unhappy with, and what Laura suggested they do to better utilize their time.
My main takeaway from this, which I mentioned above, is simply that distractions get in the way of what we want to do. Those distractions look different for everyone. For myself, social media is a distraction for me, along with tv. I use them both as a way to relax in the evening, but I’d honestly be more energized if I chose a more engaging activity in the evening. A few years back, when we were in the midst of moving and didn’t have cable, I slept so good. Actually, both my husband and I slept really well. We both attributed it to a lack of screen time, either from the tv or our phones.
My second takeaway from this book is that we have tiny chunks of time built into our days that add up to a lot. I could easily use the small chunks of time that I have to read more, or knit more, or to call a friend and connect more. There are just so many missed opportunities every day that I could easily take advantage of.
That being said, the only thing from the book that didn’t sit well with me was the general feeling that we should cram something into every single minute. I love having downtime, and I think it’s an important piece of our day. At the end of the book, there is a section called Making the Most of Downtime. Laura says that downtime is too precious to be lackadaisical about, and I completely get that. There are those little moments throughout the day where we can accomplish many things, but I think it’s important to leave some of those moments as what they are … downtime, or rest.
That was just a tiny section of the book, and the vast majority of it is incredibly useful. I also think it’s useful to mention that I don’t read non-fiction very often. Honestly, most of the non-fiction I read has been a little dry. There have been some hits here and there, but I mostly prefer fiction. The fact that I made it all the way through this is a testament to Laura’s writing style. It was engaging and felt almost conversational.
I hope you’ll read it and enjoy it! And I’d love to know what you think about it.