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Off the Clock
Cover of Off the Clock
Off the Clock
Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done
Learn to savor life's best moments—no matter how busy you are—through mindset shifts that alter your perception of time.
Laura Vanderkam, the acclaimed author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, isn't like other time-management gurus. She's not trying to shave off 30 seconds here or there; she's interested in the emotional and psychological side of the 168 hours everyone has each week. Her core message is that you have more time than you think you do, and you can feel less stressed while getting more done.
With the right habits, you can live efficiently and effectively, and yet still see time as abundant. For instance, Vanderkam teaches:
* How to clear your calendar of activities that are boring, stressful — or just not the best use of your time.
* Why tackling your top priorities during the hours when you have the most energy will change your perception of what it means to be productive.
* How to linger in great experiences while they're happening, and why good memories seem to make time expand.
Vanderkam has packed this book with insights from busy yet relaxed professionals, including "time makeovers" of people who are learning how to use these tools. Off the Clock can inspire the rest of us to create lives that are not only productive, but enjoyable in the moment.
Learn to savor life's best moments—no matter how busy you are—through mindset shifts that alter your perception of time.
Laura Vanderkam, the acclaimed author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, isn't like other time-management gurus. She's not trying to shave off 30 seconds here or there; she's interested in the emotional and psychological side of the 168 hours everyone has each week. Her core message is that you have more time than you think you do, and you can feel less stressed while getting more done.
With the right habits, you can live efficiently and effectively, and yet still see time as abundant. For instance, Vanderkam teaches:
* How to clear your calendar of activities that are boring, stressful — or just not the best use of your time.
* Why tackling your top priorities during the hours when you have the most energy will change your perception of what it means to be productive.
* How to linger in great experiences while they're happening, and why good memories seem to make time expand.
Vanderkam has packed this book with insights from busy yet relaxed professionals, including "time makeovers" of people who are learning how to use these tools. Off the Clock can inspire the rest of us to create lives that are not only productive, but enjoyable in the moment.
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  • From the book ONE

    Tend Your Garden

    Mindfulness gives you time. Time gives you choices.Choices, skillfully made, lead to freedom.

    -Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English

    Robert Kauffman has been a school principal for twenty-one years. During that time, he's discovered a truth about education and, really, any field involving good intentions and infinite demands. "I think people are often just overwhelmed," he says. Being a principal is an "ambiguous" job, which lends itself to "winging it." A new school leader will feel compelled to focus on the crises right in front of her. The trouble is that, at the end of a crisis-filled day, she'll realize she never did check in with that teacher who wanted advice on reteaching a math concept few pupils understood. The urgent crowds out the important. The important doesn't get done.

    Thanks to his two decades of experience, Kauffman imagined he was more effective than average, but in 2016, when he became the principal of Hillside Elementary School in Farmington Hills, Michigan, he knew he would be challenged in new ways. The school had an outsized proportion of English-language learners. He wanted to find time to support his best teachers, and mentor those who needed help. He wanted to focus on improving student performance without getting derailed by every late bus and broken pipe.

    So in late 2016, Kauffman signed on to the National SAM Innovation Project. This fascinating principal professional development program is centered on the belief that principal time is uniquely valuable. A teacher can influence the twenty-five students in his class. A principal can influence a whole school. But for principal time to be invested well, first the principal needs to know where his time goes. Then he can figure out options for redeploying time to the tasks that he does best. After that, he can do the hard work of following up daily to check that these lofty goals are reflected in the reality of how he spends his hours.

    Kauffman, who calls himself a "data dork," was keen to get this information. After the principal did some initial work with SAM headquarters, a black-clad gentleman appeared at Hillside Elementary School to follow Kauffman around for a Monday-through-Friday school week. Like Kauffman's very own Boswell, the man recorded in five-minute increments absolutely everything Kauffman did. This included snacks and water breaks. He followed him into the lunchroom and into meetings. He made notes as Kauffman dealt with the plethora of discipline issues that of course cropped up during a week when teachers were conscious of creating a good impression. Kauffman had prepared the staff, though he notes that they were still deadly curious about the whole process. Some tried to engage the mysterious scribe in conversation, generally with no result (he was beholden to clean data!).

    Soon thereafter, Kauffman received his stats. He learned that he was spending 39.2 percent of his time on "instructional leadership"-the teacher and curriculum management that tends to be the highest-value use of a principal's time. That's better than the average principal, who spends about 30 percent of her time on these matters, but less than Kauffman wanted. Time passes whether or not we think about how we spend it, and this is as true in an elementary school as it is anywhere else. Without active tending, Kauffman's time was easily taken over by the equivalent of weeds: dealing with paperwork that could be managed by other people, constantly answering email, and spending too much time supervising the cafeteria.

    So, like a landscape designer surveying his plot, he sketched ideas of what he would like...
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Off the Clock
Off the Clock
Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done
Laura Vanderkam
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