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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, powerful insights from 1001 actual days in the lives of high-achieving women. 

Balancing work and family life is a constant struggle, especially for women with children and ambitious career goals. It's been the subject of countless books, articles, blog posts, and tweets in the last few years, and passions run high in all directions. 

Now Laura Vanderkam, the acclaimed time-management expert, comes at the "having it all" debate by asking a very practical question. Given that we all have the same 168 hours every week, how do people who do have it all - women with thriving careers and families - use those hours? When you study how such women fit together the pieces of their lives like tiles in a mosaic, the results are surprising. 

If you work 40 hours and sleep 56 (i.e., eight times seven), that leaves 72 hours for everything else. Vanderkam explains how her subjects use those "everything else" hours; why we work less and have more free time than we think; why it's a myth that successful women get too little sleep; and how women can have demanding jobs, spouses, and kids and still enjoy a healthy amount of downtime. 

She shares the time logs from 1001 days in the lives of women who make at least $100,000 a year and still make time for their families and friends, for sleep and exercise, and for leisure activities they love. Based on what she learned from the patterns in those time logs, she provides a framework for anyone who wants to thrive at both work and life. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2015 Laura Vanderkam (P)2015 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"As an entrepreneur and mother, I’m invested in honing time management strategies that enrich my life instead of taking any enjoyment or flexibility out of it - and Laura Vanderkam understands that. In her new book, she shares how busy people build full, productive careers and happy homes as well. You’ll find lot of tools that can help you make time for everything that’s important and cut out what’s not." (Angela Jia Kim, founder of Om Aroma & Co. and Savor)

"I’m a longtime fan of Laura Vanderkam’s insightful work - her recommendations for getting the most out of every day are often counterintuitive but always realistic and manageable. In her new book, she reveals the time management strategies that highly successful mothers use to build lives that work. Thanks to her findings, I’ll never look at my weekly calendar the same way again." (Gretchen Rubin, author of Better Than Before and The Happiness Project)

"For many years I’ve wanted to see reflected in our collective conversation what I know to be true in women’s lives: that many of us are happily combining work and motherhood, and loving both. Laura Vanderkam has written the book that’s been sorely missing, and she does so with an impassioned, eloquent voice, important new research, and the warmth of a dear friend." (Tara Mohr, author of Playing Big)

What listeners say about I Know How She Does It

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Rehashing of Previous Book 168 Hours

While Vanderkam used anecdotes from her mosaic time study, the principles she touts in this boon were largely the same as in her previous book 168 Hours. To be sure, repetition deepens impression, and these concepts definitely were worth repeating. That said, while I normally enjoy hearing the author read their own work, I much preferred the narrator on 168 Hours over Ms. Vanderkam. For a topic she is so passionate about, that emotion really did not come out in her performance. I would still recommend this book, though, for people trying to figures out how to make the most of their time.

6 people found this helpful

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Narrative is a powerful thing

What made the experience of listening to I Know How She Does It the most enjoyable?

I love books on time management but more so when the time management deals with the mindset piece.

I am not the target market actually as I'm not in the 4% of top earning women, and the definition of Big Job rankled a lot because I think many of the tips are applicable to most women.

What other book might you compare I Know How She Does It to and why?

Overwhelmed - Brigid Schulte - same conundrum on working women and fitting it all in

What insight do you think you’ll apply from I Know How She Does It?

I loved the mindset shifts. That while we tend to focus on one narrative (we're missing softball games so we need to give up work), there is another narrative too (we don't tell ourselves when we miss one game due to another kid's activities that we need to get rid of the kid :)). And if we have affluence, then use it to make your life easier - don't be a martyr.

I also loved the clever tips. Like if your organisation values a facetime culture, then choose one night a week (mon - thurs) and work very late but be very visible, and other days stick to normal hours. You're playing their game but being smart about it.

$50 000 workers work about 33 - 40 hours a week; "big career" workers work on average 10 hours more. Wow - is that all?

6 people found this helpful

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Unique solutions to time management issues

I love the narrator's voice. She presented creative yet practical solutions to difficult time management issues that busy women face. Although I felt that some of the statistical analysis presented regarding the Mosaic project was unnecessary, the overall message was not lost. I definitely gained valuable new insight from this audio book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • mk
  • 04-24-17

love this book!

This book made me look at my life different and with more of a positive outlook. Gave helpful strategies and was entertaining to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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  • 04-17-17

Boring, repetitive, bad narration

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Different narrator, faster reading, more dynamic and a more organized story. I felt it is repeating the same over and over.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Way too slow reading and weird pauses between sentences. Makes me fall asleep.

Any additional comments?

I loved 168 hours and bought this one with hope of getting some more of that spirit and story that was in 168 hours. Sooo disappointed. Waited and waited for a story but had an impression that it is only an introduction to the book over and over. I really like the author but she reads too slow, makes pauses between sentences, it is painful.

2 people found this helpful

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A must for every working mom OR DAD

I loved reading this, it validated so much and have such inspiring and useful suggestions! I'm going around recommending to every mom I know, most of whom run around like chickens without a head. And I'm insisting my husband read it to since all the suggestions apply to him as well! This book is not just for women!

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Fit my life perfectly

Reads a lot like "the millionaire next door" only with a different subject. I enjoyed hearing the basic principles of time management and not caring laid out in a book. It's a little irritating hearing her use cliches and pop culture references as much as she does, but the point is still a good one. And she did a very good job driving the points home with tips and tricks.

10 people found this helpful

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Not for me

I listen to audio books all the time so I'm familiar with the issues they tend to have. This book was too tedious for me, I prefer books that start with solid information right off the bat. I took a chance with this one because it focuses on women trying to balance being a career woman and a mother, I do not have children nor am I planning to. That being said, the first 30 mins of this book were horribly slow with very little content...I can't speak for the rest of the book because I am done with this one. I hope you have better luck with it because I will be returning it.

1 person found this helpful

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super boring and repetitive

this book could of honestly been an hour long and I would of gave it 4 out of 5 stars. it's literally 6 hours of her saying " just track your time and see where you waste your time on" easier said than done when you have a child under one. just annoying because she repeats this when WHOLE book. I wish she would of just summed it and condensed it to an hour

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So glad I found this

Laura Vanderkam wrote on an important topic with sophistication, understanding, and humor. I’ll listen again next year.