Ep. 81: Using Small Habits to Discover New Goals and Opportunities with Laura Vanderkam

Oct 28, 2019

Ep. 81: Using Small Habits to Discover New Goals and Opportunities with Laura Vanderkam

Productivity expert Laura Vanderkam is here to talk about productivity, habits, goals, routines, and time. Laura is the author of multiple books on productivity and time management. Some of her work includes Juliet’s School of Possibilities: A Little Story About the Power of Priorities, 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, and What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: And Two Other Short Guides to Achieving More at Work and at Home.

She is also the host of two podcasts. The Before Breakfast podcast with is a short daily productivity podcast and Best of Both Worlds which is about achieving balance. Laura has so much insight to share on productivity and time management. She not only talks about getting things done, but also getting the most important things done. Her no excuses approach is refreshing. She even has an answer for what to do if you don’t feel like you have any big goals. This is a question I get asked all the time, and I’m excited to share her answer with you.

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[04:42] Laura writes books about time management and productivity. She also runs The Before Breakfast and Best of Both Worlds podcasts.She also talks to audiences about feeling less busy while getting more done.
[05:17] Laura has always been interested in trying to do things better. She was drawn to people who did a lot in their lives, and she loved talking about their schedules.
[05:57] We all have the same amount of time. Maybe we can learn from those who get a lot done.
[07:44] How we spend our time is a choice. We have more autonomy than we think. This is an idea we can’t escape.
[08:41] Once we realize we are always making a choice on how to spend our time, we can empower ourselves to make better decisions.
[09:38] By responding to emails immediately, we are trading off the space to think about other things.
[10:57] Sometimes with time management, we need to disappoint people’s immediate expectations in order to meet larger ones.
[15:06] Your needs and desires are important, and you can carve out time for the things that are important to you.
[16:30] Think about what is important to you as the equivalent of an emergency like a broken water heater and everything else will fill in around that time spent taking care of the emergency or the thing that is most important to you.
[19:15] Time is precious and limited, but we have enough time to do what we really want to do.
[19:47] Find one hour spread throughout the day to focus on what matters most.
[20:13] Laura has people track time for a week to see where it really goes. She tracks her time and just records what she does.
[23:07] Celebrate what is working on your schedule. Find out you want to spend more time and less time doing.
[24:03] Time tracking is enlightening. It gives you clarity on what is actually happening.
[27:12] Mornings are a great time for getting stuff done. Your best off doing the important stuff first.
[28:51] We need to exercise for health and mood reasons.
[32:27] Getting stuff done early helps eliminate the stress of people’s expectations later on.
[33:51] There’s a lot to be said for small goals that keep us motivated.
[37:35] You can achieve interesting things based on habits. Good habits can lead to amazing opportunities.
[41:03] Break your goals down into doable steps. If you don’t know what those steps are talk to others who have done it. Put these steps in your weekly schedule.
[42:07] Laura plans her weeks on Friday afternoons. A backup slot is a time management master rule.
[46:28] Building a career as an author has a lot of twists and turns. Laura has written book that didn’t connect. She has become better about trying out her ideas.
[49:08] Laura is more of a rule follower.
[52:16] Laura is in the process of figuring out her next book idea. She loves being fired up. She loves her speaking career and does in person workshops.
[54:27] Laura tries to get enough sleep, she runs everyday, and knows that she is good with the people she really cares about.
[55:56] Her best advice is when people read, they say the words out loud in their heads. You should read your work out loud to make sure it doesn’t sound clunky.
[57:55] Writing is something Laura hasn’t been able to outsource.