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Buttoned Up > Everyday Life > Life Balance > 5 time traps for working moms

5 time traps for working moms

posted by Sarah on October 5, 2011 | print article | e-mail to a friend
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  • MomofTwoPreciousGirls

    As a working mom in the financial field, I’m dealing with sales people all day.  When I try to not answer the e-mail right away, they call my phone.  When I don’t answer my phone, they hang up and call it right back.  If I still don’t answer, they hit zero from my voicemail and have the receptionist try to transfer them.  Then they make her leave her post to see if I’m available, even forcing her to knock on my door when it’s closed.  At this point, I’m thinking I’m just not going to get out of this.  I finally speak with them for them to ask me something so basic, that the assistant that they compensate for supporting them could have answered it half an hour ago!!!  

    With that as my daily battle, I am so in need of me time!  But then I get home and the kids are climbing on me and dinner calls and when they go to bed the husband is on me (literally!) and by the end of the night I do not even recall who I am anymore!

  • SarahButtonedUp

    Oh MAN – trying to operate and remain sane (with your head above water) in a “got-a-minute” culture is brutally hard.

    Try this at work:

    Shift to an “Appointment Management” approach. The situation you have now keeps you stuck in reactive mode – and as you know all too well, when you react all the time, you’re working much harder than if you were able to plan a little bit. (Right now I’m guessing you’re functioning at about 25% of what you could be in terms of productivity – that’s bad for everybody).

    Ultimately you’ll be able to help all those wonderful sales people in your organization to a MUCH greater degree if you force them (and you) to PLAN your meetings/calls rather than have them on the fly.

    If you don’t already have one, set up a weekly meeting (1hr max) for all sales people. The purpose of that meeting is to ensure people are on-strategy and questions/concerns/issues are addressed. Then send an email to them that says something along the lines of:

    “Help me help you! I am drowning in a sea of your “just-a-quick-question” phone calls and pages. It’s keeping me stuck in a reactive mode – and from doing the things I need to do to ensure you all succeed (maybe give them a concrete example there). Unless your call is absolutely urgent (and DEFINE urgent for them), please hold all calls until the mandatory weekly meeting – then specify the day/time. Otherwise I will post 2 times per day that I will take impromptu calls. If you call at any other time, I will not be available to speak and will instruct my assistant not to page me.”

    If you need to, talk it over with your superiors first so that they understand why you need to do this and can back you up if people complain. It may sound tough at first, but, really when you look at it, you are doing what is in THEIR best interest, not to mention yours. This insanity has cost you enough…!

    On a personal note, try this:
    Recognize that it might not be realistic to get “you time” on weeknights…but at least set aside an hour for yourself on the weekend. Maybe you and your hubby could trade off on the responsibilities?

    Also – are you working out at all? Even a 10 minute walk at lunch does wonders for your sense of equilibrium…


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  • Nlshultz

    Random question – where did you get the graphic from? It’s a good one!

  • Hollie Sehrt

    I think we got it from 🙂

  • Heather Henderson

    This article is the best use of my mindless net surfing time EVER!  Thank you for the great advice.  I’ve got my pen and paper next to me to make my “to do” list right now.  I’ve already closed Facebook and turned my phone to silent.  Awesome tips!

  • Sarah

    Glad you found them helpful Heather!

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