Why? Because we don’t have the time. 41.6% of women working fulltime have children under the age of 2. Does that surprise you? It surprised me.
As a Senior Director of Marketing and mother of a 6-month old boy, I can tell you that there are very significant life/work challenges that come with being a working professional and mother. Maternity leave policies in the US are ridiculous and finding the time within a busy workday to pump (especially if you’re heading to a conference or trade show) is extremely challenging.
As a marketer, I live-and-die by checklists, and I’m very methodical about making sure everything is done on schedule. Most days I find that I don’t have time to think strategically, or even take deep breath, but I know that needs to change for the success and growth of my company.
Strategic thinking needs to happen when rested and rejuvenated, but with new working mothers loosing approximately 740 sleep hours in the first year of your baby’s life, how can we defy the odds and become more strategic?
All right, I know what you mothers are thinking, what’s more important? Quite literally providing food for your infant OR making sure that you help your company meet their quarterly numbers? Well the truth is that they are both REALLY important, and the role you play within your company will significantly benefit your child and yourself in the long run, so you want to make sure you’re doing your best to think strategically, even when struggling with sleep deprivation.
4-Steps to Aid Working Mothers in Thinking More Strategically
- Keep Notes. Great business ideas are everywhere but with SO much going on in the everyday life of a working mother we tend to forget record our ideas.
- Schedule Strategy Sessions. Block 1-hour per week to think about ideas that aren’t on your current to-do list. Sometimes this is best to do with a co-worker so you can bounce ideas off one another. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box or look at how other industries are innovating.
- Ongoing Education. Try to attend one learning session every 1-to-2 months. Do it during working hours, and if cost or travel is an issue (which often it is), there are tons of free Webinars going on daily.
- Failure is an Option. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is a stepping-stone to success. If you don’t take the time to communicate your ideas or implement new programs, you’ll never excel.