How to gain control of your free time | Laura Vanderkam

Reading Time:  1 Minute

There are 168 hours in each week. How do we find time for what matters most? expert Laura Vanderkam studies how busy people spend their lives, and she’s discovered that many of us drastically overestimate our commitments each week, while underestimating the time we have to ourselves. She offers a few practical strategies to help find more time for what matters to us, so we can “build the lives we want in the time we’ve got.”

Talks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on , and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.
Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at

Follow news on :
Like on :

Subscribe to our channel:


38 Replies to “How to gain control of your free time | Laura Vanderkam”

  1. Her calculations are not applicable on my side….
    Working: 50h per 5 days (as Fulltime) adding traffic of more than 1h per day (no public transport available in my country have to drive)50+5 adding late days at work more than 10h per day 55+3 = 58 let's say 60hours so according to her i have 52 hour per week:

    32 out of those 52 are weekends that leaves 20h midweek /5 = 4h per day
    considering i need to wake up at least 30mn before work and have dinner and shower and that another 1.5h per day optimistically leaving 2.5h per day –> Conclusion is I am a ROBOT and don't get tired I will be able to study Quantum Mechanics during these 2.5h per day but sadly these will be low energy hours hence mostly nothing productive will come out of them.

    as for the 32weekend hours we have 16 on saturday which can be used for anything will mostly be spent on official chores like bank official papers car cleaning and repairs house chores and repairs… and 16 on sunday which can be used for personal not official stuff (which in my case are mostly spend seeing family members and friends)

    Adding a girlfriend to the mix and needing to see her (almost daily) with transportation and … there goes the midweek free time.

    So I can't see where i can plug free time.

    Noting that I did like the I don't have time means It is not my priority which is totally true… might benefit from this idea

  2. Well, there is not so much value in this video but I really join her when she says that we don't build the life we want by saving time but we build the life we want and then time saves itself. We should all start by what really matters and stop chasing consequences instead of causes!

  3. She's forgetting that the more hours you work the more sleep you need and the more tired you are in general. And if you don't have a team behind you to pick up the slack when you fall behind, the more things can pile up.

  4. It depends how big the single chunks of free time you have are. Between sleep, mandatory tasks like washing, preparing to go to work and actually working, my free time has been fragmented into practically useless time. Not long enough to do what I want.
    I REALLY look forward to the weekend. I bet my boss wants me to do 5 or 6 hours overtime on Saturday.

  5. Really brilliant, probably the best Ted talk I've watched yet. Very thought provoking. I'm going to do my category lists today (Friday evening) get my priorities in order and use time to fit in everything I want in my life. Rather than letting works priorities rule my life. Thank you!!