Think Of Laura, Part 2: A Positive Look At Personal Time & Energy Management

Laura V 4Last week I discussed the dynamics of time and energy management through the lens of career, exploring the topics of prioritizing, making the best of appointment cancellations, and how to schedule your week to yield a surplus of free time. My tips and suggestions in that article owe their wisdom to author Laura Vanderkam, who appeared as our special guest at an exclusive dinner and interview in June.

Laura’s book I Know How She Does It looks at the habits of successful, 6-figure women and translates their approach into a career and lifestyle platform for the rest of us. If you haven’t scored you own copy yet, find it HERE. But first, read on as I reveal my takeaways from Laura’s book and interview relating to time and energy management at home and in your social life. I promise you’ll be impressed with how such simple tweaks can have positive, radical results.

The Housework Predicament

Consider acquiring a proactive attitude towards Laura V’s adage that “Email expands to the time allotted” by applying this notion to housework. So many pesky tasks around the home just never seem to get caught up on, but it doesn’t mean you should spend precious time to finally tackle them. To some household tasks, you may have to just agree to surrender. Use the example of my dear friend Mia Ponzi, who told a story at a Cocoon Talk about her childhood years playing with her brother in the basement. The detail that stuck out referred to a “sacred corner” that their parents agreed they never had to clean up. How brilliant….permission to be messy! I’m sure there’s a way we can all apply this approach.

Maximize Downtime

Happiness is creating a personal life that is as compelling as your career. Interested? During your weekend, instead of doing absolutely nothing (i.e.: Binge watching a couple of seasons of some hyped-up TV series), plan a few satisfying activities capable of leaving you with sense of satisfaction. Good energy is partly the result of great memories, the very best of which are made during your down time. Make sure your weekends include dinner out, starting a new book, or taking a hike with the family. Such down time activities prevent time from slipping away.

Giddy With Anticipation

My father doesn’t like surprises. This is not because he’s shy or nosy. He simply prefers knowing what’s in store so he can look forward to the event and ramp up his excitement. Anticipation can maximize pleasure for all of us, in almost any aspect of life. Why not get creative with this concept and plan something far in advance, like a weekend activity that’s juicier than usual. The good energy of anticipation will spill backward in time from the event to the present moment. It’s called having something fun to look forward to, and it’s what life’s all about. Who can argue with that?

Gotta Take This

It’s the height of ignorance to think the world will stop if we don’t answer every single cell phone call. I laughed when Laura V discussed this, as my mind flashed to my days working in restaurants. People would squander their night out with friends by constantly speaking on the phone. It couldn’t be that there were that many heart surgeons on call. Clearly these folks were mismanaging their time by not being fully focused on the present and the presence of others. If you think you’re one of them, consider the consequences. It’s precious time you may never make up. That phone call just isn’t as important as experiencing life fully, so shut ‘er down and engage!