Inspired by the resourceful women I met while writing Mogul, Mom & Maid, I’ve culled this list of working mom hacks – tips to help you simplify the balancing act of the modern woman – based on the great advice from the successful women in my life. What are your tips for streamlining your life?
1. Check your personal email at work. Want to book the most convenient time for the parent-teacher conference? Need the easiest assignment for Family Fun Night? Check your emails regularly so you can respond first to emails from school, coaches, camps etc. (Hat tip to Lee Caraher.)
2. Exercise with your kids. Can’t seem to fit a workout in? Bring your kids to the track and let them play while you run. You can keep your eye on them as you tick off the miles. Or go for a family bike ride – everybody wins.
3. Download a speech-to-text app like Dragon. Write memos, emails, even entire blog posts while sitting in traffic or walking to the commuter rail.
4. Buy a coffee maker with a timer. If you need a cup of coffee to jumpstart your morning, make sure it’s ready when you first wake up.
5. Hire a robot. No budget for a cleaning crew? Invest in an iRobot vaccum and at least get that chore completed while you’re at work. The robot will clean your floors for you.
6. Stop cleaning for the cleaner. You do have a budget for a cleaning crew, but you clean the house before cleaning day? Stop it. Reassure yourself that no matter how messy your house is, your cleaning crew has seen worse.
7. Buy two of every cosmetic. Keep a set of makeup at home and a set of makeup either at work or in your suitcase – depending on how much business travel you do. Don’t waste any more time looking for your favorite lipstick in the bottom of your overstuffed bag. While you’re at it, buy two of that comfortable shoe you love, and that basic sweater set. If you find something that works, go with it.
8. Hold standing meetings at work. Are endless, pointless meetings sucking up your most productive hours? Hold standing meetings at work. You’ll be amazed how efficient people become when you take away the chairs.
9. Get off of Facebook. Move your mouse to the red dot on the far left corner of your Mac, or the little X in the far right corner of your PC, and click. You don’t need to know that the woman you worked with 15 years ago had gourmet grilled cheese for lunch and you don’t need to see pictures of your high school frenemies trip to Disney. you have better things to do.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/biplex/9621067381/