Women as Time Managers


Real Simple Magazine
April 2012 Cover
When I do my keynote speech on Surviving the Superwoman Syndrome to women’s groups, I mention how we feel we must DO everything and BE everything to everyone important in our lives.  It always gets lots of agreement from the audience and they are thankful for the discussion on setting priorities and how to make them work that follows.  I base my keynote on what I have personally seen and my background in time management training.  However, I have never had any statistics to back up my words, until now.  The April issue of Real Simple had some very interesting data from a survey they conducted for their article Women and Time (on web as 11 slides rather than 4 print pages).  Below I have a few personal comments on their stats.

They say women would like to take “cleaning” off their “to do” list and have 16% more time and that 60% feel their husbands have the same cleanliness standards as themselves.  And of women surveyed only 26% give their husband household chores, yet more are happier if they let the spouse do a few chores. (I think they mean inside the house not in the yard though.)  Well, I say if you are true partners, you can divide cleaning activities up in a favorable manner.  For example, I hate pushing the vacuum around and my husband is grossed out at the thought of cleaning the bathroom.  So he vacuums and I, being a little-bit of a neat-freak, keep the 2 most germy rooms clean – kitchen and bath.  Since we got married over 30 years ago, we have always agreed whoever cooks, the other cleans-up.  Of course cleaning is easier when I cook because my fast-food jobs taught me to clean as I go, but you get the idea.

They also say 45% of women surveyed would not hire someone to do their household chores if they have the extra money to do so.  If I had big bucks, I’d have a maid to do the dusting.  I have a dust-allergy and would love to have someone do this for me.  At least now we have Pledge Wipes and their generic versions that capture the dust rather than just push it into the air.  I’m a neat-freak who loves everything in its place but not so much a clean-freak who is always dusting and wiping at things. (Other than in kitchen and bath – possible germs yuk!)  Above we only talked about delegating household tasks to spouse or partner; consider giving some simple chores to the kids as well, especially if they get an allowance so they learn to earn and not just expect to get.

The April issue also included several other 1-2 page articles on women’s time management, you might want to check out:  Work/Life Balance, Household Standards, Time with Kids, Leisure Time, as well as Techniques and To Do Lists.  Thanks editors and writers at Real Simple, you did a good job starting this topic.  To see how to manage time, visit some articles from earlier issues:  10 Business Strategies to Organize Your Family Life and 10 Ways to Rethink Your Lists.

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