How to Find the 25th Hour in the Day

Last Updated Jun 1, 2010 8:28 AM EDT

Find more time in the dayYoung or old and across all industries, people complain that they don't have the time to do what they really want to do â€"- be it start a business, write a book, get fit or spend more time with their families. If only there were more hours in the day, we tell ourselves. Of course it's impossible to slow the sun and literally make daylight last longer, but there are things you can do to make it seem like you have more time, according to Laura Vanderkam, author of new book 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think.
Recently she spoke with career expert Lyndsey Pollak for a 15-minute podcast about her new book and how to fit more important activities into your day, offering these simple, sensible tips. (Forward four minutes in to the podcast if you're more interested in tips than Vanderkam's personal history.)
  • Track your time. Just like counting calories helps you lose weight, writing down the way you spend your time helps you identify "empty hours" when you're not doing things that fulfill you. You can download a free time-tracking sheet from Laura's website.
  • Focus on what you're good at. Many of us waste hours of our lives doing things we think we "should" do, rather than focusing on what we're skilled at or what we really enjoy. If you can eliminate an activity from your schedule, do it.
  • Create a "List of 100 (or 1,000!) Dreams." The point of using your hours wisely is not just to be more productive, but to have time to do the things you want to do in life. By creating this list, you'll see what activities, people and events really matter to you. And you'll start checking them off.

(Clock image by Aaron Geller, CC 2.0)
  • Jessica Stillman On Twitter»

    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.