Some call it coincidence, others fate and some simply say “it was meant to be.” I like to think it was an answer to a prayer!

People have been telling me for the last 10+ years – “Wow, you are everywhere!” or my favorite, “You are so busy, how do you fit it all in?”  It never bothered me until I was seven months pregnant with baby #2 on the way. One day I stopped an thought, how am I going to keep this up?!  I was working full time in a growing business, speaking and teaching all with a very active 3-year-old and a very understanding (most of the time) husband. To say I was a ‘little overwhelmed’ on how I was going to manage it all was an understatement to say the least!

That’s when it happened.

The book “I Know How She Does It” by Laura Vanderkam (audiobook and hardcopy) changed my life and perception of time. That was the beginning of what has been an incredible journey to the appreciation of my own time, others time and how to ‘find’ more time to do the things I loved (work and non-work related).

Over the last two years I have become a huge Vanderkam fan, collecting and rereading her books, often singing her praises on how she has changed life by helping me change my perspective on time.  Yes, we all have 24 hours, but I was now thinking of my time in weeks not hours. Miraculously my stuff started to get done and my efficiency exponentially better. I wasn’t finding time, I was making the most of my time.  The journey hasn’t always been easy, or so black and white- creating habits and changing mindsets is a process. And it is still a challenge. But I am determined, and I have my reminders on my office bookshelf of Laura’s words (books) on time perception.

In 2016, I was a Round Table speaker at the Pennsylvania Women’s Conference in Philadelphia. That year Laura was a Break Out Speaker. I was fortunate to meet her a few minutes before her session. She blew me away in 30 minutes what she packed in for content. I knew then I needed to share her message with my network. The following summer July 2017, at the Mindfulness & Marketing Women’s Conference hosted by our company Kane Partners we had Laura Vanderkam as a speaker! It was a surreal moment watching a room of 75 women hear Laura’s message, the same one that changed my life.

This past year, 2018, I have been wanting more (time to be with my family and work on a few collaborative projects) which meant I needed to be even more productive. I just finished listening to Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Work Week for the third time on Audible and found myself going back to Laura’s book, again!

Fast forward 2 weeks ago. A package arrives at the office with an advanced reader copy of Laura’s latest book, “Off The Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done.” How did she know I was ready for the next step on my journey? She didn’t, that is just coincidence I suppose!

I wanted this FREEDOM she was talking about in the book and she delivers with the tools I need in black and white throughout the book!

So, what did I think? First off, I loved the size of the book – it fit perfectly in my bag and I was able to read on the go. I have stickies throughout highlighting my favorite nuggets and ah-ha moments she shares throughout the book.  Are you looking to take control of your time? Increase productivity? And stop this perceived busyness?  Then you will want to grab Laura’s book, hitting stores May 29, 2018! I loved the book so much I have purchased the audiobook, so I can listen to it while on my 45-minute morning drop offs.

Here are just a few nuggets I took away:

I have been more strategic with my choices of how I spend my time. I am mindful to where I am agreeing to spend my time. After all we all have the same 24 hours, right? For the last week I have consciously said Yes, No or Later- all guilt free. I had a full Saturday of ‘freedom’ while still doing items on the check list that have been there for months. It was incredible! How did Laura Jedi-mind trick me? I don’t know but I am grateful to have this renewed perception of time backed by her study and analysis of time logs and other peoples journey.

Now when someone will tell me “wow you are so busy” – I will simply smile and say actually “I am very productive and will be enjoying a trip of mini golf and get ice cream with my boys.”

Note to readers, check out page 50 it is my favorite I am even made it a quote image: “Mindfulness gives you time. Time gives you choices. Choices lead to freedom…”

If you read one book this summer on time management, mindfulness or productivity, make it this one. Your concept of time and cherishing moments in life will be changed – for the better!

L to R: Ladies from Designing 4 Hope with founder, Lori McHale 3rd from Left. Tracy Davidson of NBCPhiladelphia, Melinda Emerson the SmallBizLady, Laura Vanderkam author and Kristin Kane Ford Director at Kane Partners and conference Host.

I recruited Laura to speak at the Women’s Mindfulness & Marketing Conference at Bear Creak Mountain in July 2017.  Fun fact: Laura finished the manuscript while at Bear Creek for our conference!


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