经典TED演讲 | 如何掌控你的自由时间(附视频+中英翻译)

万水整理 TED与纪录片 2019-07-09



用TED 开阔视野

How to gain control of your free time

TED简介2016 | 经常听有人抱怨自己很忙,没时间做这个做那个,情况真是这样的吗?演讲者Laura Vanderkam女士将给大家带来一场抛开现象看本质的演讲。推荐给很忙和很闲的你。

演讲者Laura Vanderkam  劳拉·凡德卡姆





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. I was once late to my own speech on time management.


We all had to just take a moment together and savor that irony.


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. And the idea is that we'll shave bits of time off everyday activities, add it up, and we'll have time for the good stuff. 

第二,人们总是假设我有很多关于如何节省时间的贴士和技巧。有时候我听说一些杂志 在写这方面的故事,通常都是关于教读者如何在一天中获得额外一个小时。基本思路就是从日常的每个活动中挤出一点时间,加起来,然后我们就有时间去做更有意思的事情了。 

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.


Being extremely judicious in microwave usage: it says three to three-and-a-half minutes on the package, we're totally getting in on the bottom side of that. And my personal favorite, which makes sense on some level, is to DVR your favorite shows so you can fast-forward through the commercials.


That way, you save eight minutes every half hour, so in the course of two hours of watching TV, you find 32 minutes to exercise.


Which is true. You know another way to find 32 minutes to exercise? Don't watch two hours of TV a day, right?

倒的确是这么回事儿。你还知道其他可以找到32分钟锻炼时间的方法吗?不要每天都看两个小时电视就行了,对吧? (笑声) 

Anyway, the idea is we'll save bits of time here and there, add it up, we will finally get to everything we want to do. But after studying how successful people spend their time and looking at their schedules hour by hour, I think this idea has it completely backward. 


We don't build the lives we want by saving time. We build the lives we want, and then time saves itself.


Here's what I mean. 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 -- busy, busy people. 


I had them keep track of their time for a week so I could add up how much they worked and slept, and I interviewed them about their strategies, for my book.

我让她们记录了一星期的行程,计算她们工作和睡觉的时间,为了我的书,我还采访 了解了她们的常用策略。

One of the women whose time log I studied goes out on a Wednesday night for something. She comes home to find that her water heater has broken, and there is now water all over her basement. If you've ever had anything like this happen to you, you know it is a hugely damaging, frightening, sopping mess.


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. All this is being recorded on her time log. Winds up taking seven hours of her week. Seven hours. That's like finding an extra hour in the day.

于是那个晚上她立刻着手处理,第二天她找了一个水管工,第三天找了专业的清理人员 来处理损坏的地毯。所有这些都算在了她的时间表内。总共花了她一周中的七个小时。七个小时。这就等于一周七天每天都要挤出一个小时。

But I'm sure if you had asked her at the start of the week, "Could you find seven hours to train for a triathlon?" "Could you find seven hours to mentor seven worthy people?" I'm sure she would've said what most of us would've said, which is, "No -- can't you see how busy I am?" Yet when she had to find seven hours because there is water all over her basement, she found seven hours. 

但是假如你在这一周刚开始时就问她,“你能在这周抽出七个小时来参加铁人三项吗?”,“你能在这周抽出七个小时指导七个有潜力的人吗?“ 我确定她会像大多数人一样, 说,”怎么可能,你看不出我有多忙吗?“ 但是她最后不得不抽出七个小时,因为她的地下室都被水淹了, 她挤出了这七个小时。

And what this shows us is that time is highly elastic. We cannot make more time, but time will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it.


And so the key to time management is treating our priorities as the equivalent of that broken water heater. To get at this, I like to use language from one of the busiest people I ever interviewed. By busy, I mean she was running a small business with 12 people on the payroll, she had six children in her spare time. 


I was getting in touch with her to set up an interview on how she "had it all" -- that phrase. I remember it was a Thursday morning, and she was not available to speak with me. Of course, right?


But the reason she was unavailable to speak with me is that she was out for a hike, because it was a beautiful spring morning, and she wanted to go for a hike. So of course this makes me even more intrigued, and when I finally do catch up with her, she explains it like this. She says, "Listen Laura, everything I do, every minute I spend, is my choice." 


And rather than say, "I don't have time to do x, y or z," she'd say, "I don't do x, y or z because it's not a priority." "I don't have time," often means "It's not a priority." 

”所以与其说, ”我没有时间做这个,这个,或者那个。” 她会说:”我不做这些事情因为这些不是我的首要任务。““我没有时间”的意思通常是 ”那不是我的首要任务”。 

If you think about it, that's really more accurate language. 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.

其实你想想, 那的确是更准确的说法。我可能会告诉你我没有时间清理百叶窗,但那不是真的。假如你愿意付我10万美金让我给百叶窗除尘,我会马上就去做。 (笑声)

Since that is not going to happen, I can acknowledge this is not a matter of lacking time; it's that I don't want to do it. Using this language reminds us that time is a choice. And granted, there may be horrible consequences for making different choices, I will give you that. 

既然那不可能发生,我可以说不是因为时间不够,而是我不想做。这么说提醒了我们, 时间是一种选择。我会告诉你,当然,不同的选择有时候会带来可怕的后果。

But we are smart people, and certainly over the long run, we have the power to fill our lives with the things that deserve to be there.


So how do we do that? How do we treat our priorities as the equivalent of that broken water heater?


Well, first we need to figure out what they are. I want to give you two strategies for thinking about this.The first, on the professional side: I'm sure many people coming up to the end of the year are giving or getting annual performance reviews. You look back over your successes over the year, your "opportunities for growth." And this serves its purpose, but I find it's more effective to do this looking forward. 

我想给你们分享两个技巧。第一个,从职业的角度来说:我相信许多人在年底的时候,会发出或者收到年度绩效审查。你回头看看这一年的成功和 “成长的机会”。这的确起到了它的作用,但是我发现往前看会更有效。

So I want you to pretend it's the end of next year. You're giving yourself a performance review,and it has been an absolutely amazing year for you professionally. What three to five things did you do that made it so amazing? So you can write next year's performance review now.


And you can do this for your personal life, too. I'm sure many of you, like me, come December, get cards that contain these folded up sheets of colored paper, on which is written what is known as the family holiday letter.


Bit of a wretched genre of literature, really, going on about how amazing everyone in the household is,or even more scintillating, how busy everyone in the household is. But these letters serve a purpose,which is that they tell your friends and family what you did in your personal life that mattered to you over the year. 


So this year's kind of done, but I want you to pretend it's the end of next year, and it has been an absolutely amazing year for you and the people you care about. What three to five things did you do that made it so amazing? So you can write next year's family holiday letter now. Don't send it.


Please, don't send it. But you can write it. And now, between the performance review and the family holiday letter, 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. So maybe you want to write a family history.First, you can read some other family histories, get a sense for the style. Then maybe think about the questions you want to ask your relatives, set up appointments to interview them. Or maybe you want to run a 5K. So you need to find a race and sign up, figure out a training plan, and dig those shoes out of the back of the closet. 

或许你要写一个家族传记。首先吗,你可以读读别人的家族历史,了解一下大概的风格 然后可以想象你要问亲戚的问题,约定和他们见面谈话的时间。或者你想要参加一个五千米的短程马拉松。你需要先找一个竞赛报名,再做一个培训计划,从衣柜底下翻出你的运动鞋。

And then -- this is key -- we treat our priorities as the equivalent of that broken water heater, by putting them into our schedules first. We do this by thinking through our weeks before we are in them.


I find a really good time to do this is Friday afternoons. Friday afternoon is what an economist might calla "low opportunity cost" time. Most of us are not sitting there on Friday afternoons saying, "I am excited to make progress toward my personal and professional priorities right now."

我发现周五的下午最适合处理这事儿。周五的下午是被经济学家称为“低机会成本”时间。我们大部分人不会在周五下午想着,“我要朝我的个人和职业生涯的首要事件迈进了, 所以很兴奋。“ 

But we are willing to think about what those should be. So take a little bit of time Friday afternoon, make yourself a three-category priority list: career, relationships, self. Making a three-category list reminds usthat there should be something in all three categories. 


Career, we think about; relationships, self -- not so much. But anyway, just a short list, two to three items in each. Then look out over the whole of the next week, and see where you can plan them in.


Where you plan them in is up to you. I know this is going to be more complicated for some people than others. I mean, some people's lives are just harder than others. It is not going to be easy to find time to take that poetry class if you are caring for multiple children on your own. I get that. And I don't want to minimize anyone's struggle. But I do think that the numbers I am about to tell you are empowering.


There are 168 hours in a week. Twenty-four times seven is 168 hours. That is a lot of time. If you are working a full-time job, so 40 hours a week, sleeping eight hours a night, so 56 hours a week -- that leaves 72 hours for other things. That is a lot of time. 


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. You say you're working 60 hours. Well, that leaves 52 hours for other things. You say you're working more than 60 hours. Well, are you sure?


There was once a study comparing people's estimated work weeks with time diaries. They found that people claiming 75-plus-hour work weeks were off by about 25 hours.


You can guess in which direction, right? Anyway, in 168 hours a week, I think we can find time for what matters to you. 


If you want to spend more time with your kids, you want to study more for a test you're taking, you want to exercise for three hours and volunteer for two, you can. And that's even if you're working way more than full-time hours.

如果你想花时间陪陪你的孩子,或者准备你即将到来的考试,你想锻炼两三个小时或者 做两个小时志愿者,你都可以的。即便你的工作时间远超过法定时间。

So we have plenty of time, which is great, because guess what? We don't even need that much time to do amazing things. 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.


But small moments can have great power. You can use your bits of time for bits of joy. Maybe it's choosing to read something wonderful on the bus on the way to work. 


I know when I had a job that required two bus rides and a subway ride every morning, I used to go to the library on weekends to get stuff to read. It made the whole experience almost, almost, enjoyable. Breaks at work can be used for meditating or praying. If family dinner is out because of your crazy work schedule, maybe family breakfast could be a good substitute.


It's about looking at the whole of one's time and seeing where the good stuff can go. I truly believe this.There is time. Even if we are busy, we have time for what matters. And when we focus on what matters, we can build the lives we want in the time we've got.


Thank you.








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