Synopses & Reviews
From the bestselling author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, powerful insights from 1001 actual days in the lives of high-achieving women.
Balancing work and family life is a constant struggle, especially for women with children and ambitious career goals. Its been the subject of countless books, articles, blog posts and tweets in the last few years, and passions run high in all directions.
Now Laura Vanderkam, the acclaimed time management expert, comes at the having it all” debate by asking a very practical question. Given that we all have the same 168 hours every week, how do people who do have it allwomen with thriving careers and familiesuse those hours? When you study how such women fit together the pieces of their lives, like tiles in a mosaic, the results are surprising.
If you work 40 hours and sleep 56 (i.e. 8 times 7) that leaves 72 hours for everything else. Vanderkam explains how her subjects use those everything else” hours; why we work less and have more free time than we think; why its a myth that successful women get too little sleep; and how women can have demanding jobs, spouses, and kids, and still enjoy a healthy amount of downtime.
She shares the time-logs from 1001 days in the lives of women who make at least $100,000 a year and still make time for their families and friends, for sleep and exercise, and for leisure activities they love. Based on what she learned from the patterns in those time-logs, she provides a framework for anyone who wants to thrive at both work and life.
Everyone has an opinion, anecdote, or horror story about women and work. Now the acclaimed author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast shows how real working women with families are actually making the most of their time.
Having it all has become the subject of countless books, articles, debates, and social media commentary, with passions running high in all directions. Many now believe this to be gospel truth: Any woman who wants to advance in a challenging career has to make huge sacrifices. She s unlikely to have a happy marriage, quality time with her kids (assuming she can have kids at all), a social life, hobbies, or evena decent night s sleep.
But what if balancing work and family is actually not as hard as it s made out to be? What if all those tragic anecdotes ignore the women who quietly but consistently do just fine with the juggle?
Instead of relying on scattered stories, time management expert Laura Vanderkam set out to add hard data to the debate. She collected hour-by-hour time logs from 1,001 days in the lives of women who make at least $100,000 a year. And she found some surprising patterns in how these women spend the 168 hours that every one of us has each week.
Overall, these women worked less and slept more than they assumed they did before they started
tracking their time. They went jogging or to the gym, played with their children, scheduled date nights with their significant others, and had luncheswith friends. They made time for the things that gave them pleasure and meaning, fitting the pieces togetherlike tiles in a mosaic without adhering to overlyrigid schedules that would eliminate flexibilityand spontaneity.
Vanderkam shares specific strategies that her subjects use to make time for the things that really matter to them. For instance, they . . .
* Work split shifts (such as seven hours at work, four off, then another two at night from home). This allows them to see their kids without falling behindprofessionally.
* Get creative about what counts as quality family time. Breakfasts together and morning story time count as much as daily family dinners, and they re often easier to manage.
* Take it easy on the housework. You can free up a lot of time by embracing the philosophy of good enough and getting help from other members of your household(or a cleaning service).
* Guard their leisure time. Full weekend getaways may be rare, but many satisfying hobbies can be done in small bursts of time. An hour of crafting feels better than an hour of reality TV.
With examples from hundreds of real women, Vanderkamproves that you don t have to give up on the things you really want. I Know How She Does It will inspire you to build a life that works, one hour at a time.
About the Author
LAURA VANDERKAM is the author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, All The Money In The World, 168 Hours, and Grindhopping. She is a frequent contributor to Fast Companys website, and a member of USA Todays Board of Contributors. Her work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, City Journal, Scientific American, Readers Digest, Prevention, and other publications. She lives with her husband and three children outside Philadelphia.