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How to Manage Work while Managing a Young Family

Managing a young family is no easy task, but juggling the responsibilities of a New York career on top of the increasing duties at home can be downright cruel. Days start earlier, nights end later, and without help from Grandma or a 24/7 nanny, new moms and dads in Manhattan can say goodbye to any semblance of a weekend to recover and regroup for the week ahead. If you have a young family, you might need to adjust your new work reality where what the boss needs in the next five minutes will start to take a backseat to the needs of your new son or daughter. Here are three tips on how to increase your efficiency and establish some balance.

Working and Managing a Young Family (Photo:iStockphoto)
End all procrastination habits
It’s time to break any habits that keep you from focusing on getting your work done. If you typically start your day at your desk by enjoying your Starbucks latte while reading up on the front page of the New York Times online for 15 minutes before you start to tackle your e-mail inbox, you’ll want to cut that down to five minutes or eliminate it altogether. One more email addressed in the morning is one less task to do before running home to relieve your 9-6 nanny.

Establish strong communication practices
If you lead or are part of a team, maintain regular catch-ups, prioritization sessions and project status checks to keep everyone’s eye on the ball. You will (I know from experience) get many unexpected calls from your nanny or significant other to address an immediate issue that will require you to step away. If you have confidence in your team, you can duck out for these mini emergencies with minimal impact to your company’s bottom line.

Eat healthier than you have before
Heavy meals saturated with oil and fat (I’m thinking specifically of the halal truck chicken and rice bowls you can find all over Midtown) will sap your afternoon energy and require several injections of caffeine to recover. The lost productivity from unhealthy meal choices can take its toll when you need to get home and be on your second game, which includes ensuring your baby gets to sleep and you can have an hour of personal time to keep your sanity. Choose fresher alternatives for lunch during the workweek to keep sluggishness to a minimum.

No doubt, working when you have young children at home is challenging. To say that getting dressed and out the door in the morning is insanity is an understatement. Believe me – I get it. I have been to that movie and I know how it ends. Sometimes a few minor modifications to your habits, longstanding or otherwise, can make an immediate and impactful difference. By the way, there is NEVER a home stretch. As they get bigger, so too do the issues you will deal with. Modifications now will help you deftly handle the numerous and ongoing changes that lie ahead in managing family and business obligations.

Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at

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