The Flourishing Experiment

Author Laura Vanderkam explains how people truly do have more time than we think for what matters most to us if we make wise time management decisions. Go-to, real-food, dietitian Serena Marie, RD, offers her favorite and smartest food picks when dining out.

Featured Guest and Runner of the Week: Author Laura Vanderkam

Mother of four, runner, and full-time author Laura Vanderkam joins Kari to chat about how we truly do have time for what matters most to us if we examine our time management wisely.

  • Laura was our TRLS Book Club favorite in April 2016 for 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think (2011).
  • She has also written What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: And Two Other Short Guides to Achieving More at Work and at Home (2013) and I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time (2015).
  • She also contributes to many magazines and newspapers, including Fast Company
  • Laura wrote 168 Hours when she was admittedly new to blending work and parenthood. It was about her first few forays into that and looking at how people spend their time, how that has evolved over the years, and looking at the differences in how we think we spend our time and how we actually spend our time.
  • Her conclusion was that we really do have more time than we think. When we look at our lives as a whole, we tend to have space for what matters to us most.
  • She interviewed many successful people for 168 Hours, and she continued to write about the topic of time for her 2013 book.
  • Between her deadlines and book promotions, she juggles her children’s schedules between other life commitments (eight years old, six years old, four years old, and a one year old).
  • She found in interviewing people for I Know How She Does It, that some people have the tendency to get into a narrative format and that involves certain choices about how we tell things, particularly for the modern working mom narrative. “It’s all about the crazy.”
  • But she found that when you look at how people actually spend their time, when you look at the hour-by-hour nature of the schedule, things aren’t nearly as crazed as you might think.
  • She asked women who had professional jobs and children to keep track of their time for a week, and she found that there really was space in life for things that you don’t normally think of as being part of the working mom life (for example, adequate sleep, keeping normal working hours, time to watch TV or read, and time to exercise).
  • Kari loves that 168 Hours is all about mindset.
  • In terms of her running journey, her father was a runner growing up, and he ran in a 10K annually. She had tried running here or there, but in the fall of 2004, she had just gotten married, and her husband ran, so she wanted to run with him. They signed up and ran a half marathon on their first wedding anniversary.
  • In November of 2004, she watched Paula Radcliffe win the New York City Marathon, which really inspired her.
  • She sees exercise as both fun and a necessity in her life. She thinks it’s key to stick with something long term only if you enjoy it.
  • In 168 Hours, she gives readers a graph to plot out their hours for the week. Her takeaway is that there is more space in her life than she often thinks there is. It’s important to see this, because it gives you a very different mindset.
  • We often approach time from the perspective of scarcity, but instead think of it as, “I don’t do X, Y, or Z, because it’s not a priority.”
  • The TRLS demographic is made up primarily of women in their 40s or 50s who might be coming to running for the first time.
  • Over the long term, we have the ability to change a lot about life if we want.
  • Running can be a part of that—determining if we want to make it a priority and then figuring out how we want to fit it in our lives.
  • There’s no one good time for going on a run. Some people talk themselves out of running, because there’s no one perfect time during the day. But it doesn’t have to be at the same time every day. It’s about looking at the whole of your life and seeing if you can fit running in a few times a week.
  • If you’re working 40 hours a week, and you sleep 8 hours a day, that leaves 72 hours for other things. It’s important to see that the time is there, it’s just a matter of figuring out where it’s going to be.
  • We tend to overestimate the time we spend on the things we don’t want to do, and conversely we tend to underestimate the time we spend on the thing we do want to do.
  • She found that TV isn’t as relaxing as we think it is. It winds up consuming a large chunk of people’s leisure time. TV is the easiest thing to fill our leisure hours with. It’s a very effortless way to have fun.
  • Effortful fun, for example includes making dinner plans with friends.
  • Work happiness does have a huge spillover effect into home life, and vice versa.
  • Finding work you really enjoy is key.
  • Time spent on Facebook is like anything else. You have to use it mindfully.
  • Make a list of your top priorities for the day (both professional and personal), and fit social media around that in whatever way works for you.
  • She talks about visioning/visualizing (picturing what life will be like in the future) and putting into action a plan to make goals happen.
  • Have space in your life to seize opportunities. It’s very easy to become jam-packed and overcommitted.
  • “Just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I should do it.” Ask yourself: Is this a good use of my time, energy, and resources?
  • With four kids, her running routine consists of utilizing child care, so from about 8:00–8:30 a.m. she checks her e-mail, 8:30 a.m. is bus stop time, 8:40–12:00 p.m. includes writing/editing, and her afternoon is for edits, phone calls, or lighter writing. She runs in the afternoon.
  • She recommends time tracking to get better at time management. It forces you to be accountable.
  • Kari recommends the focus@will It provides music that engages your brain’s limbic system to increase your attention span and general concentration.
  • Laura is writing an upcoming book, so stay tuned!

Serena Marie, RD
Serena Marie, RD, answers Kari’s question about making smart restaurant choices.

  • Serena had gotten Kari to eat red meat again, which she had given up for years previously.
  • When you go out to eat and have to choose between fish, chicken, or beef, what option would you take if you had to assume that the meat is not organic or grass fed?
  • Ask if possible if the restaurant can cook your food in butter instead of oil or to steam or grill your options. The likelihood of the restaurant having a high-heat olive oil or coconut oil is slim to none. Restaurants most likely use a “polyunsaturated fat nightmare,” according to Serena.
  • Don’t worry about being that “annoying customer.” Speak up for yourself politely.
  • In terms of fish, even a farm-raised fish (not wild), is still loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and is a very nutritious choice.
  • Nonfat lean cuts of meat (chicken, turkey, steak) would be Serena’s second choice. Some choices of meat include sirloin steak, top round roast, bottom round roast, shoulder petite medallion, T-bone, and so on.

Gratitude Jar (Woot! Woot!)

Serena is grateful for her two smart, amazing younger sisters, one of which is away at college and coming home soon and another of which is graduating college.

Kari is grateful for the Delaware Marathon race directors (Wayne Kursch and Joel and Stacey Schiller) and for being given the opportunity to be the relay finish line announcer. Kari gives a shout out to listener Liz for stopping by during the relay to support TRLS! Kari also saw fellow TRLS listeners Foti, Becky, Jody, and Margaret. Kari gushes about the Delaware Marathon with its PR bell, friendly back-of-the-pack mentality, and more! Kari mentions “Everything You Need To Know About The Boston Marathon W/ Dave McGillivray” (Episode 67).

Next week, Kari interviews marathoner and mother of five, Rebecca Clarke, with whom Kari ran her first marathon.

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Laura Vanderkam:
Facebook: /lauravanderkamauthor
Twitter: @lvanderkam

Serena Marie, RD:
Facebook: /SerenaMarieRD
Twitter: @SerenaMarieRD
Instagram: SerenaMarieRD

Kari Gormley:
final unedited 2 (1 of 1)
Facebook: The Running Lifestyle Show
Twitter: @KariGormley
Instagram: @KariGormley

Direct download: laura-vanderkam-05-19-2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT