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Working Mothers: Organizing Your Life

Ten Steps to Accomplishing Your Goals at Home
Going back to work as a new mother takes very detailed planning. To be successful both at work and at home, you need to be organized. Getting organized isn't difficult if you approach it one step at a time. Here is a step-by-step plan for keeping organized at home:
  1. Analyze the task assignments—Think about whether you're satisfied with the way the work is shared. Work an equitable assignment of functions so that you aren't overwhelmed with the whole job after a long day at work. Eliminate unnecessary tasks and hire out others.
  2. Save time by spending a little more money—In the long run, you have only two things to spend-time and money. If you want to save on one, you'll have to spend the other. Therefore, think seriously about buying labor-saving devices; for example, a microwave oven or a dishwasher.
  3. Keep a calendar—Use a large wall calendar to keep track of everything on the schedule. Have a short conference each week with your partner to go over the next week's activities.
  4. Make lists—Make a list of weekly tasks and cross them off as they're completed. You'll be surprised how well this system brings order out of chaos.
  5. Look for shortcuts—Most chores, both at home and at work, lend themselves to shortcuts. Some jobs can be cut down; some can be done less perfectly. Do a general pick-up the night before, and the next day's house-cleaning will be more manageable. To put a twist on a popular business saying-if it ain't dirty, don't clean it.
  6. Respect differences—You may have to teach your partner how to do some jobs. But once you've done that, stand back and allow him to do it in his own way. Be generous with praise.
  7. Work with small blocks of time—Complete small tasks or nibble away at large jobs in small blocks of time. Learn not to be upset if you have to stop in the middle of something.
  8. Be orderly as you do each task—Train yourself to work from left to right and top to bottom. Stand in one place while you're cleaning and do everything within reach before moving on to another position.
  9. Learn to do two things at once—Read your baby a story while you're waiting for the wash to finish. Talk to a friend on the phone while you're cooking dinner. Plan your errands so that everything in one neighborhood is done in the same trip. Write a quick note to a friend while waiting for a client.
  10. Save time and eat well at work and home—Shop and plan meals that will make you more efficient and increase your leisure hours.

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© 2005 by Marla Schram Schwartz. Excerpted from The Working Woman's Baby Planner with permission of its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon.com.

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