‘Can women have it all?’ This is the age old question that has continually challenged career women trying to get to the top. While a lot of women fear that aiming high in their careers means giving up on social and family life, the truth couldn’t be any further. Author Laura Vanderkam dispels this myth in her book, “I know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time.” The book looks into the life of women earning more than $100,000 per year while living and taking care of a child below 18 years. How do they do it?
1. 168 Hours vs. 24-Hours a Day
Leading women organize their schedules by the week. By looking at 168 hours, you have more time to distribute your tasks instead of working with 24 hours, which are never enough. So, instead of spending two hours daily with your kids, you can spend an hour each morning with them for three days and dedicate a couple of hours on the weekend to them. Finding a balance between your work, family and social life is easier when you work with 168 hours as opposed to 24 hours.
2. Multitask – The Right Way
Multitasking only works if done the right way; otherwise you will just spend more time on a task and fail to give it your all. Choose chores that require little concentration, for example, call your parents and relatives as you fold clothes or clean the kitchen or as you wait for the dinner to finish baking. You accomplish two tasks at a go without wearing yourself out.
3. Plan In Advance
Make a weekly plan before you start a new week. Planning helps you avoid wasting time especially on Monday as you try to organize your schedule. You also anticipate activities that may slow you down and plan accordingly. In balancing between your friends, family and work, planning helps you avoid missing out on important dates and function; plan at the end of your work week, over the weekend or on Sunday evening.
Is there time to exercise for the working wife and mother? Yes, if you plan right and approach it creatively. For example, try functional fitness: get in a few extra steps as you walk your kids to the school or over the weekend when visiting the zoo. If this option does not work, get done with your workout first thing in the morning when there is minimal distraction. Psych yourself by getting a workout partner, for example, your spouse where you can also spend quality time together.
5. Work in Shifts
Break the 9 to 5 workday into manageable chunks. For example, wake up earlier than normal and work on the more challenging tasks, spend time with your family and get into work a little late. Alternatively, leave work early to attend to family or personal matters then spend a few hours into the night working. Your working hours do not change; you get to work the same number of hours or more, while allowing yourself time to attend to your social and family matters.
Women can have it all and more. With more planning, confidence and faith in yourself, you can have a successful career, a marriage and raise your kids to succeed. Other women have done it so why can’t you?
Are you a working woman? How do you manage to keep it all together? Let us know in the comments section below.