What the World’s Most Successful People Do Differently - Laura Vanderkam

My notes of the Peak Work Performance Summit session with Laura Vanderkam, author of the books What the most successful people do before breakfast, 168 hours, you have more time than you think and I know how she does it: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time:

How to use your time more strategically

Mornings are great for things that are in the Important but not Urgent category.

Use your mornings in ways that allows you to do your most important work first.

A week is 168 hours long (24 * 7). If you work 50 hours a week, sleep 8 hours a day (56 hours), that still leaves 62 hours to do other things. 62 hours is a lot, it's almost 9 hours a day. The idea that you can't have a fulfilling family or personal life seems a bit odd. You might have to shift things around, but you can make it work.

How to get more enjoyment out of your weekend

Using your weekends to come back recharged and refreshed: Being mindful of your time can go a long way. Don't schedule every minute, but there is a huge difference between planning nothing and planning every minute. Plan 3 to 5 anchor events, things you are looking forward to that will feel restorative. There is a lot of time in the weekend: there are 60 hours between 6PM on Friday and 6AM on Monday. Even if you sleep 8 hours a night and have 3 "two hour things" that still leaves more than 30 hours to completely chill and "do nothing". But having these 3 things planned will on Sunday night make you feel that you have actually done things. Anticipation accounts for a big part of human happiness. Plan it beforehand and you'll enjoy it more when it happens.

Socializing, Activity and Spiritual activities are usually rated high to generate happiness.

How to spend your money in ways that buys you happiness

Impact of money on mood: use money to buy yourself time (order to deliver instead of spending the time to go and buy them, living closer to work might be more expensive but the saved commute time adds up).

Women with demanding jobs have more balanced lives than we think they do (also probably correct for many men as well).

Closing tips on how to be happier

  • Ask yourself what you want to do with your time

    If you start from the point that you have more time than you think, you can better use that time.

  • Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

    We often think that because we don't have much time to do something, that then it doesn't count. But things add up.

  • Use the family breakfast to strategize the day

    Kids usually prefer pancakes than broccoli, so that can also help communicate better with smaller kids.

Review my other notes from the Peak Work Performance Summit.