cover image 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

Laura Vanderkam, . . Portfolio, $25.95 (262pp) ISBN 978-1-59184-331-3

Vanderkam (Grindhopping ) offers a “new” system of time management: if readers want to “make” more time to spend with their children, get fit, or write that novel, they must slash nonessential time wasters and minimize tasks that are not “core competencies,” a business term for what a company does best and must prioritize. She offers solid and even excellent career advice, about both how to make the most of time at a current job and how to manage time to get ahead. And there is something curiously fascinating about her bizarrely brutal approach to time management (“There's little point... in spending much time on activities in which you can't excel”). But given that the author seems to be targeting a very rarefied echelon of upper-middle-class working moms (like herself), the book might have very limited appeal. More alienating, though, is her insistence on pummeling the life out of life. Vanderkam's vision may yield plenty of time to pursue worthy activities, but it's a life leached of color or spontaneity. (May)