AuthorConnect Chat: Laura Vanderkam Reveals Time Management Tips & Tricks

Laura Vanderkam AuthorConnect Chat

A business fable to help improve your time management

Nobody believes they have enough time. According to time management guru and bestselling author Laura Vanderkam, however busy you are, you can build the life you want with the time you have. All you have to do is change your perspective.

Laura has spent many years studying people and their time management. Through several large time diary studies covering thousands of days, she was able to track what good time managers did differently. After all, everyone has the same amount of hours in a day. Those who are doing amazing things with their time are simply allocating their hours in interesting ways that the rest of us can learn from. She decided to create a business fable to convey these time management findings. What resulted was the ever-relatable Juliet’s School of Possibilities: A Little Story about the Power of Priorities.


A look into the book

Juliet’s School of Possibilities follows an ambitious young consultant, Riley Jenkins, whose life is falling apart. All her life, she’s been able to succeed. When she’s put into a management position, she suddenly doesn’t know what to prioritize. With too many demands, she focuses on whatever seems most urgent. “My hope,” states Laura, “is that readers can see their own time management challenges reflected in her struggles.”

The last thing Riley wants is to attend a women’s leadership retreat with some of her colleagues. Things change when she meets Juliet, a successful business owner and mother who talks of having “all the time in the world”. Juliet shows Riley different possibilities for her future based on different choices and offers her sound advice: “Expectations are infinite. Time is finite. You are always choosing. Choose well.”


Quick tips:

For those struggling with a never-ending inbox: “Email is a tool to do our jobs. It is not the job itself.” The only way to spend less time on email is to choose to give it less time. Try not to do email first thing in the morning. Instead, start on tasks that require brainpower, while you have the energy.

For those over-booking meetings: This can happen easily, especially to managers. The simple answer: encourage your teams to not hold as many meetings. We get addicted to the idea of meetings as the solution to every situation. Sometimes, a quick phone call or an in-person visit will work just as well. If a meeting can’t be avoided, keep in mind two things: (1) establish a clear purpose for the meeting and (2) only invite those truly required for the task or project being discussed. This will keep the meeting from running over and attendees from wasting time.


For more time management tips and insights, watch the complete AuthorConnect chat below. And if you’d like to purchase copies of Juliet’s School of Possibilities for your organization, visit our website.

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This post was written by Megan Habel, the brand strategist at BookPal. She is currently reading Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler.

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