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Home » Laura Vanderkam: How to Gain Control of Your Free Time at TED Talk (Transcript)

Laura Vanderkam: How to Gain Control of Your Free Time at TED Talk (Transcript)

Laura Vanderkam at TED Talks

Here is the full transcript and summary of author and time management expert Laura Vanderkam’s presentation on: How to Gain Control of Your Free Time at TED conference.

Listen to the MP3 Audio:


When people find out I write about time management, they assume two things. One, is that I’m always on time, and I’m not.

I have four small children, and I would like to blame them for my occasional tardiness, but sometimes it’s just not their fault. I was once late to my own speech on time management. We all had to just take a moment together and savor that irony.

The second thing they assume is that I have lots of tips and tricks for saving bits of time here and there. And sometimes I’ll hear from magazines that are doing a story along these lines, generally on how to help their readers find an extra hour in the day. And the idea is that we’ll shave bits of time off everyday activities, add it up, and we’ll have time for the good stuff.

And I question the entire premise of this piece, but I’m always interested in hearing what they’ve come up with before they call me. So some of my favorites: doing errands where you only have to make right-hand turns —

Being extremely judicious in microwave usage: it says three to three-and-a-half minutes on the package, we’re totally getting in on the bottom side of that.

And my personal favorite, which makes sense on some level, is to DVR your favorite shows so you can fast-forward through the commercials. That way, you save about 8 minutes every half hour, so in the course of two hours of watching TV, you find 32 minutes to exercise, which is true.

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