Book a Demo

How To Gain Control Of Your Free Time [TED Talk Lesson]

Learn about time management and get a few practical strategies to help find more time for what matters to you with Laura Vanderkam’s interesting TED Talk. If you’d like to practice all these words in conversation with a native-English teacher, learn how you can do it here.

“There are 168 hours in each week. How do we find time for what matters most? Time management expert Laura Vanderkam studies how busy people spend their lives, and she’s discovered that many of us drastically overestimate our commitments each week, while underestimating the time we have to ourselves. She offers a few practical strategies to help find more time for what matters to us, so we can “build the lives we want in the time we’ve got.”

Topic: Time Management   |  Length: 11:54   |   Speaker:Laura Vanderkam

Relevant vocabulary from the talk

  • to assume
  • to blame someone for something
  • do errands
  • demanding
  • commitments
  • keep track
  • to log something
  • on the payroll
  • get in touch with
  • up to you
  • to struggle
  • a main job and a side hustle
More advanced vocabulary:

  • tardiness
  • to question something
  • premise
  • along these lines
  • aftermath
  • to dust my blinds
  • to acknowledge
  • break it down into (doable steps)

Expand Your Career Opportunities by Improving Your Professional English - Talaera

Vocabulary practice and paraphrasing

Look at the sentences below taken from the video and rewrite them using different words but expressing the same meaning. You can either only change the underlined words, or change the whole sentence structure, up to you!

Example: I find that a really good time to do this is Friday afternoons.

  • OPTION A: I think that a really good time to do this is Friday afternoons.
  • OPTION B: Friday afternoons is for me the best time to do this.
  • 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.
  • The second thing they assume is that I have lots of tips and tricks for saving bits of time here and there. 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.
  • 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. Some of my favorites: doing errands where you only have to make right-hand turns.
  • I recently did a time diary project looking at 1,001 days in the lives of extremely busy women. They had demanding jobs, sometimes their own businesses, kids to care for, maybe parents to care for, community commitments
  • So she’s dealing with the immediate aftermath that night, next day she’s got plumbers coming in, day after that, professional cleaning crew dealing with the ruined carpet.
  • We have a list of six to ten goals we can work on in the next year. And now we need to break these down into doable steps.
  • You say you’re working 50 hours a week, maybe a main job and a side hustle. Well, that leaves 62 hours for other things.

Discussion questions about the talk

  • What is the talk about?
  • What things do you agree and disagree on?
  • “Time is highly elastic. We cannot make more time, but time will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it.” – agree or disagree?
  • “I could tell you I don’t have time to dust my blinds, but that’s not true. If you offered to pay me $100,000 to dust my blinds, I would get to it pretty quickly.” – what do you think of this line?
  • “But when most of us have bits of time, what do we do? Pull out the phone, right? Start deleting emails. Otherwise, we’re puttering around the house or watching TV.” – what do you do when you have bits of time?

Work on this comprehension questions with a personal teacher.

Discussion questions about time management

  • How do you spend most of your time?
  • Do you think you manage your time wisely?
  • Do you make a detailed schedule for every day?
  • Do you believe that when you say “I don’t have time” you mean “it’s not a priority”?
  • There are 168 hours per week. Would you be able to estimate how you use them?
  • How much time do you think successful people work each week?
  • What do you think you need to save time on?

One of the best ways to improve your communications skills is by practicing your English with a native-speaking teacher. Find out more about your English learning options with Talaera.

Expand Your Career Opportunities by Improving Your Professional English - Talaera

Talaera is an online platform that provides one-on-one English language training, anytime, anywhere, with 100% personalized lessons, HD video quality, and qualified teachers that will help you achieve your learning goals. Learn more.

Did you enjoy this post? We have more like this:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *