Solo Parenting Time is a Gift, Not a Burden

Occasional solo parenting, right from the start, helped strengthen our bond
Occasional solo parenting, right from the start, helped strengthen our bond

As you might have deduced from my lack of blogging, this has been a crazy summer in the Behson household.

I traveled to a conference in DC and then almost immediately flew off to London for a family vacation. Then, Amy and Nick flew back home, while I continued on for a faculty retreat at FDU’s study abroad campus in Wroxton, England.

Then, Amy directed and performed at the Depot Theatre in Westport, NY, right along Lake Champlain in the Adirondack Mountains. While she was performing about 4 1/2 hours away, I was the solo parent for Nick during the week, and then we drove up to spend long weekends with Amy. Whew!

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Author Q&A: Laura Vanderkam on Time Management

Time management expert Laura Vanderkan is the author of I Know How She Does It.
Time management expert Laura Vanderkam is the author of I Know How She Does It.

When I was doing research for a Harvard Business Review article on time management, I came across Laura Vanderkam’s work on the topic. She has since become one of my favorite authors. We corresponded on twitter, and it turns out that our most recent books were published on the very same day, just a few months ago.

Her book, “I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time,” is really great, and makes the case that many successful people are able to find enough time for both their careers and their family/personal lives. I wanted to share some of the wisdom from her book with you. Here’s my Q&A with best-selling author, Laura Vanderkam.

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Respecting the Rhythm of Work and Family

Even when promoting a book, you need to respect the rhythm of work and family
Even when promoting a book, you need to respect the rhythm of work and family

One thing I have learned about balancing work and family is that you need to take the long view. Work can take precedent sometimes. Other weeks, family can come to the fore. And it’s ok if you are temporarily out of balance. We need to respect the rhythm of work and family.

In the business world, we call this the difference between Episodic Overwork and Chronic Overwork. It’s ok, and probably necessary for career advancement, to have some weeks in which you burn the midnight oil. Accountants during tax season. Lawyers in the home stretch of a big case. A big client deadline. Passing a certification exam. Promoting a book. Even in nature, high tides and occasional forest fires are good things.

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The Pros and Cons of Working the “Third Shift”

I often work a Third Shift on the laptop after Nick's asleep
I often work a Third Shift on the laptop after Nick’s asleep

More and more employees are working a metaphorical Third Shift. They put in their day at work, come home to spend time as an active parent, and then, after the kids go to sleep, they log in to work and put in a few more hours.

Third Shifting allows more time for family, but we need to be careful as it can perpetuate the notion that we must always be available to work.

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There Are 168 Hours in a Week: How Are You Using Yours?

A few weeks ago, Harvard Business Review Online published my latest article, “Relax, You Have 168 Hours This Week.” This is my eighth article for them (click here to see a list of them all), and one I am particularly proud of. In the piece, I use time management techniques to illustrate how we, as busy working parents can find enough time for career, family and life. Please click on the picture below or here to go to the full article, or see below for an excerpt.

Click here to read the full "168 Hours" article at HBR online
Click here to read the full “168 Hours” article at HBR online

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Welcome HBR Blog Readers!

“Knowing that we have 168 hours might be the motivation we need to prioritize and make the changes that will make our lives more satisfying” -From my August 1st Harvard Business Review Online article, “Relax, You Have 168 Hours This Week” Thank you for reading, and for visiting my site. For those of you who … Read more

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