“How to design your life for more meaning and more tranquility” Episode 213 Part 1 of 2

With Laura Vanderkam
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Show Notes

Title: “How to design your life for more meaning and more tranquility” Episode 213 Part 1 of 2

GUEST: Laura Vanderkam, time management and productivity expert


Ever feel like your to-do list is running your life? Maybe you’re frustrated that you don’t have time for the types of experiences that make life more meaningful? Maybe you feel like your time is literally flying, but you don’t feel like you have much to show for it?

These feelings are familiar to most of us, and they are often accompanied by an overall feeling of being overwhelmed. In this state, it’s very difficult to take a step back and experience joy or to work to invest in those experiences that help us build and sustain influence in our lives and careers. 

This week’s guest will help you redesign your life to not only get more done, but to help you calm the chaos. 

Chaos — and the overwhelm it leads to — can hijack our precious mental energy (as we talked about in Episode 209) diverting it away from those projects and people who are most important to us. It’s calmness that enables us to be more present, while still getting all the things done that have to happen in a given day or week. It also happens to be an essential building block for building and sustaining influence! 



Laura Vanderkam is a time management and productivity expert, and the author of “Tranquility by Tuesday,” her latest book among an impressive library of some nine books on time management and productivity including: The New Corner Office, Juliet’s School of Possibilities, Off the Clock, I Know How She Does it, What the Most Successful People Do Brefore Breakfast, and 168 Hours. Her work has appeared in: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Fast Company, and she is a repeat guest on She Said/She Said Podcast (Episode 93) having joined me back in 2020 to talk about WFH strategies with kids during the pandemic. Laura also hosts two podcasts: Before Breakfast, and co-hosts The Best of Both Worlds with Sarah Hart-Unger. 

NOTE: The conversation with Laura Vanderkam is split into two episodes — Episode 213 Part 1, and Episode 214 Part 2, which gives you the option to listen to the entire conversation (both episodes back-to-back) which runs about an hour, or you can split them up listen in two separate 30-35 minute episodes. Your choice, but I do recommend listening to the episodes in order 213 followed by 214.    



  • TIME AWARENESS: Why time awareness and understanding more precisely how we spend our time can inform a more honest self narrative or story about our time and how busy we actually are v. how busy we think we are.
  • INCREASE YOUR HAPPINESS? Why time awareness might make you feel better and even happier.  
  • SHOULD YOU PLAN YOUR WEEK ON SUNDAY? Why you might want to rethink the conventional wisdom of planning for the week ahead on sunday.  
  • LAURA’S 3-CATEGORY LIST: The benefits of a 3-category list for the upcoming week.
  • HOW SHOULD I SPEND MY SUNDAY? Why spending Sunday more focused on fun than on the week ahead might be more valuable. 
  • LAURA’S TIP “ONE BIG ADVENTURE” AND “ONE SMALL ADVENTURE”: The power of making space for “one big adventure” and “one little adventure” and how that can make your time more memorable.


  • MINDSET: How your mindset impacts how you view time.
  • BATCHING: Why and how to “batch” smaller tasks.
  • FALSE NARRATIVES: How to tackle your own false narratives about time and “busyness.”
  • MAKING SPACE V. WASTING TIME: The real difference between wasted time v. making time and space to think. 
  • TAKING ON “THE 2 MINUTE RULE: Why “the two minute rule” might not be the time saver you think it is. 
  • WFH: The WFH productivity/distraction balance. 
  • BACKUP PLANS: How to create effective backup plans, and how they can contribute to “career resilience”. 


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You can also reach me via the contact me link below: she said/she said podcast contact me or message me on Instagram, Linked IN, Facebook or Twitter: @ LauraCoxKaplan 

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About Laura Vanderkam

Purchase “Tranquility by Tuesday” 

Download Laura Vanderkam’s FREE Time Makeover Guide

She Said/She Said Podcast Episode 204  Lisa Woodruff, Organize 360 on “batching tasks” and The Sunday Basket 

She Said/She Said Podcast Episode 93, Laura’s previous appearance on She Said/She Said Podcast

Before Breakfast Podcast

Best of Both Worlds Podcast 

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