Is "The Four-Hour Workweek" really attainable for working moms?
We were talking in the Mom•Logic offices about Timothy Ferriss' best seller The Four-Hour Workweek, a book that basically advises employees to go on a "low-information" diet and only check e-mail twice a day (at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.). Wow, we love that idea in theory—we've all been yelled at by our kids for checking our work e-mail incessantly at home. But honestly, we're not feeling the twice-a-day email thing is realistic. So what's a working mom to do? We asked Ronna Lichtenberg, author of Work Would Be Great if It Weren't for the People.
She says anything you ask your boss should be in your boss' best interest (makes sense). So instead of making an announcement that you're checking e-mail less (which sounds apologetic and is just making too big of a deal of it, in Lichtenberg's opinion), she recommends saying, "I always check e-mail at 11 a.m and 4 p.m., so the closer you send me high-priority e-mails to that time, the more likely I can respond quickly."
If going cold turkey like this is too drastic, Lichtenberg recommends simply cutting back. Try checking e-mail once or twice an hour to start, and then schedule an hour a week after the kids go to bed to respond to longer, personal e-mails. Vow not to check e-mail after a certain time every night (say, 8 p.m.)—and stick to it.
Once you set these sorts of limits for yourself, the e-mails won't seem so never-ending, and you'll have more time and energy to focus on family.
Could you handle checking your e-mail just twice a day? Comment now.