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Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done
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Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done

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4.1  ·  Rating details ·  307 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
"I well recall a conversation with an executive I hoped to interview about her astonishing productivity. I began our call with an assurance that I would not take much of her time. She laughed. 'Oh, I have all the time in the world,' she said."

Most of us feel constantly behind, unsure how to escape feeling oppressed by busyness. Laura Vanderkam, unlike other time-management
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Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published May 29th 2018 by Portfolio
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L.A. Starks
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book--especially for anyone who read the novel "I Don't Know How She Does It" hoping for an answer: Vanderkam, with a career and four kids under the age of ten, provides more answers in this sequel to her first book, "I Know How She Does It." Readers who are 24/7 parents of young children or who have other family responsibilities at that level of full-time intensity will especially welcome these helpful, reassuring sets of suggestions about saving time and improving its qual ...more
Katherine Lewis
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
It's no exaggeration to say that Laura Vanderkam's writing has changed my life. Her earlier books forced me to confront my own part in procrastination, avoiding hard tasks and making excuses like "I don't have the time." This book - Off the Clock - crystalizes all her earlier writing into an easy-to-follow (though sometimes counterintuitive) set of principles for making the most of your time. The author is a busy journalist, speaker, wife and mother of four, so I suppose it makes sense that she' ...more
Janssen
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, non-fiction
I didn't feel like this was as readable as some of her books, but I LOVED it. So thoughtful and I was talking and thinking about it non-stop.
Kelly
While Vanderkam's discussions center around time and time management, the biggest takeaways in this book aren't about time management: they're about effective energy management. As someone who chooses energy management over time management -- this works for me.

We all have more time than we think, and being "busy" isn't a sign of importance. It's not an award to indicate a level of powerful work. If we looked at our days in thirty minute time chunks, we'd see the holes where "busy" doesn't exist,
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Sally Ewan
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I tried to read her book about 168 hours in a week, but got frustrated with the time tracking thing. (I'm already obsessive enough without filling in a grid of everything I do.)

But this book had some nice points to ponder, and so I will do that as I go about my life. Thinking about the people in my life and how to reach out to them....not in a networking kind of way, but in a caring way. I'm not looking to achieve success through relationships, but within them. I want to encourage others because
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Lori
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
So many of the ideas in this book are things we already know we should or could be doing, but I needed the extra encouragement to implement them.
One of the big "take aways" for me is to create memorable experiences, not necessarily momentous ones. So many of my evenings seem to be frittered away without a plan. Now I am trying to be more intentional about how I spend my after dinner time. I have loved the long walks I am taking with my husband. These evenings are much more memorable than scrolli
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Sarah
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: selfhelp_advice
Vanderkam on building in quality to the time you create by tracking your time. I'm an LVk fangirl and I liked it. It wasn't life-changing (like at least one of her other books has been for me) but it was good. It could probably have fit on an index card, but I get that she needed to make it a book. Because I read her blog, and get her newsletter, and listen to her podcast, and whatnot, there wasn't much new, but that's not her fault! I need to revisit it at a slightly less chaotic time (though p ...more
Cory Zorker
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book and I look forward to putting its advice to practice in my day-to-day life. I listened to the unabridged audio version.

Just like anything else, the more mindful we are in a particular area in our lives (diet, exercise, finance), the better our outcome.

That's what was so intriguing to me about this book. If I can get a better handle on my time, then I can accomplish more and improve other areas in my life. As the book states, time is the one resource that we all have the same
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Amanda
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
In any case, people with all the time in the world know that happiness is a worthy goal. Because how we live our hours is how we live our lives, being happy with our lives means being happy with our hours.


As I read this, I thought of how full my life is with my husband and son, family and friends, running a library, being on the board for the Junior League, PTO, and a professional organization, Wellspring, church, exercising, all my hobbies (travel, reading, and genealogy), and getting 8 hours
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Melanie
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I became hooked on Laura's books and her time-tracking recommendations ever since I heard her speak at the American Society of Journalist and Authors' annual meeting a couple of years ago. (Plus, I've spoken to her a few times, and she's a lovely person.) I pre-ordered this book and thought I'd gather a few more good tips related to time tracking. But this book is so much more than I thought it would be. It's not just a quick-read, "here are a few tips" productivity book. Laura really teaches us ...more
Benjamin Spall
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been following Laura’s work for a year or two now, so I was expecting to like this book. But I more than liked it. The wisdom found within these pages is so simple yet profound. As I’ve found myself becoming busier over the years I’ve struggled to manage my time, often to the extent that I feel like I’m not getting anything done while also feeling like I’m not spending enough time with my family.

In this book Laura shows us that yes, while we do need to get our book done, we have a lot more
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Robin
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I am always interested in how people use their time and organize their lives, and in picking up ideas about how I might consider my own time usage. Vanderkam begins by tracking time (1/2 houor increments) but is ultimately focusing on more living and less busyness. Mindfulness and intentionality are part of her suggestions, along with reframing things, changing perceptions, and building new habits. Happiness and people definitely figure into her sense of good use of time. Not a lot new, but a ha ...more
Pamela
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have been a huge fan of Laura Vanderkam’s work
since her book 168 Hours. Her 100 Dreams List changes my life. Off The Clock is the perfect continuation of her philosophy on time. She breaks down the key steps to create moments that matter and how to take ownership of our lives so that they are accessible to anyone willing to do the work. If someone asks you on Monday morning what you did over the weekend and you can’t remember you MUST read this book.
Stacy A
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I absolutely love Laura Vanderkam’s prior books and podcast. But I just didn’t get into this one. So much felt repetitive from prior books and the podcast. At one point I didn’t think I’d even finish. I’m disappointed because I wanted to love this book, but it didn’t introduce any new things or even good tips.
Gina
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although the approach was much different, this book has much in common with The ONE Thing. Keller’s book explained the idea behind the ONE Thing and detailed how it might be implemented. Off the Clock used stories, examples, and research data to make suggestions about how and what to prioritize. Together, the books have provided a lot to think about and, hopefully, act upon.
Stephanie
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book gave me so much to think & talk about, and I even went back and re-listened to the chapter on relationships after I was done. Her stuff about the Anticipating/experiencing/memory self (and not letting the lazy or stressed “experiencing self” chest the other two) especially hit home for me.
Mary
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of course I would give our daughter a five star review! But in all honesty, I did enjoy reading her latest book. I have plenty of time in my retirement but it is still good to think about many of her suggestions--making time for friends, for fun, for memories, and for family! I like the idea of thinking about the anticipating and experiencing and remembering selves.

Right now we are in the middle of visiting all three children and seven grandchildren. We are experiencing good times and we will r
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Naomi
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
I read this at the right time. I feel like Laura Vanderkam's analysis of how much time we really have and the different ways we spend that time has really helped me see the time that I do have instead of what I don't have. My only complaint would be how the book is geared more towards people who have control of their schedules rather than someone like me whose work schedule is set with a lot of extra hours required. Off the Clock was still worth the time I spent reading it.
Caitlin
Excellent, quick read, chock full of great ideas for how to enhance the way you experience time and still be productive (more productive than before, even). There is a great balance of personal and realistic anecdotes from the author and stories from other people, as well as research to back up the theories. Highly recommended, especially for anyone who feels pressed for time at home or at work.
Elizabeth
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I always enjoy Laura Vanderkam's books. I think they offer practical advice and give the reader a sense of optimism about the ability to make changes to harness more time for doing the things one wants to do.
Julia
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book. It gave me a lot to think about and I hope I can implement some of the tips. The section on how not to be late is very apt for my own life and I really hope I can now start to be on time!
Carrie
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed reading Laura Vanderkam's new book - I always enjoy hearing her research about how people get more done. But I felt like this book was less about getting more done, and just feeling like you have more time. Still interesting but not what I was hoping for...
Beth
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Mostly a rehash of ideas she's written about previously, but not as interesting. Lots of content based on a not particularly well explained study with no analysis of uncertainties or whether the results she discussed were significant.
Abby
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I recommend listening to the audiobook to hear Laura’s voice. As a full-time working mother of 2 young children, I gained a lot of insights as how to make better use of my time. We reread again the future for a refresher.
Jeff Patnaude
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Help for a busy mom

I an a mother of 5 boys who works full time as a college professor. This book helped me to analyze my time and deliberately put in more enjoyable time! I love the idea of not letting your spoiled, present-self control your narrative!
Ashley
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was my favorite of Laura’s books so far. It had her usual in-depth analysis of numbers and data about time but with a human effect. The ideas of how to live better were really enjoyable and attainable and brought a human element to her ways more than I’ve read from her before.
Georgina
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really great ruminations on how to both plan your life super concretely and more philosophically, how to frame things so that you can think of them in the right way. I am a fan of Laura Vanderkam already because of her combination of no-nonsense attitude and her insistence you can make it happen.
Mike Peterson
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The thing I like about Laura Vanderkam's books is they are relatable (yes I realize I'm a guy). This one especially was a reminder to enjoy the time, and I did while reading the book. I also have a larger number of takeaways than from most books and have already started doing some of them.
Elizabeth
Quick read with interesting examples. There is a workbook at the end with practical tips, though I would have liked more. I like the idea of tracking your time over a week or two to see where it's really going.
Kelsey
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always, Laura Vanderkam filled her book with solid advice. I wasn't as mindblown as I remember being with "168 Hours," but it was still a really great read.
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Laura Vanderkam is the author of several time management and productivity books, including Off the Clock, I Know How She Does It, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, and 168 Hours.

Her 2016 TED talk, "How to Gain Control of Your Free Time," has been viewed more than 5 million times.

She regularly appears in publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast C
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“The discipline of joy requires holding in the mind simultaneously that this too shall pass and that this too is good. This alchemy of mind isn't easy, but the good life is not always the easy life. Happiness requires effort. It is not just bestowed; it is the earned interest on what you choose to pay in.” 0 likes
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