Recap: Back-to-school without the back-to-crazy

Thanks to everyone who participated in the webinar yesterday, which we co-sponsored with CurrentMom. MomsToWork was live-blogging the webinar, and you can read a summary here.

Here are some main points to ponder during these busy weeks:

1. September has real upsides. For working parents, it means a return to reliable schedules, and the chance to re-focus on which professional priorities need your attention before the end of the year. If you’ve been home with the kids during the summer, then the start of the school year may free up many hours during the week to focus on other projects. One webinar participant was using this coming school year to focus on figuring out how to be a better teacher when she re-entered the workforce next fall after several years at home with her children. Back-to-crazy? Try back-to-strategic!

2. Get a handle on how many hours you really are devoting to different things. It may feel like you’re always in the car, or always doing dishes, but are you? Keep a time log for a week and find out. You can join me next week in logging our 168 hours (and potentially be selected for a time makeover and guest blogging gig).

3. Think through what you’d like to have in your 168 hours. Create a List of 100 Dreams — an unedited list of anything you’d like to do or have in your life. We had some great ones yesterday, from learning Chinese and volunteering with a hospice program to getting an inherited car restored, writing a book proposal, and running a 10-miler. One of my personal favorites? Spending more one-on-one time with each of your kids. Note: I’m choosing Oct 1 as List of 100 Dreams Day here at My168Hours. I’ll post my list, and I hope you’ll list some of yours as well!

4. Ask your spouse and your kids to do the same thing. Wouldn’t you love to know what your kids really want to be spending their time on? You may be surprised!

5. Start blocking these things into your schedule. Be creative. You can listen to Chinese language tapes during your commute. You can work on the book proposal for an hour a night instead of watching TV. You can take rowing lessons with your kids in the early mornings. You can clock one-on-one time when another kid has sports practice. Look at the weekends, too. If you have teens, they probably aren’t up at 7AM on Saturdays. You can get up and use that time for thinking through long term professional goals.

6. Ignore, minimize or outsource everything else. Much of life is a choice. There may be consequences to not doing certain things, but for the most part, these are still choices. Try not doing the laundry. See what happens.

Anyway, we had a great time, and we’ll definitely do more webinars in the future! Some other 168 Hours headlines:

  • Meagan Francis of The Happiest Mom runs an interview with me (with a buzzing comments section).
  • Svelte Gourmand likes the 168 Hours approach to dinner
  • Reuters runs a column from me called “Is social media losing its lure…and return on investment?” As an answer to that, let me note that Dan Schawbel (author of Me 2.0) tweeted the link, alongside my Twitter handle, to his 90,000 followers. About 4 of them retweeted it, to several thousand more people. I got about 4 new Twitter followers since that happened. It really seems like most people just aren’t paying attention.
  • Stephanie Elie (aka Bizzie Mommy) reviews 168 Hours over at Lifetime Moms.

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