Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thanks for Your Too Busy to Shop Input

It's been a pleasure hearing from many of you about how you, with so much going on in your lives, are "too busy to shop." I have included some stories, input and trends based on that input in my upcoming book, Too Busy to Shop: Marketing to Multi-Minding Women, which is slated for release on March 30, 2009.

In fact, two entire chapters are based on input from multi-minding women like you. Take a peek at the overview for the book on the publisher's online catalog http://www.greenwood.com/catalog/C35487.aspx. It's exciting to see it all come together!

Earlier this week, I shot a photo for book jacket cover. My five-year old daughter joined me at the shoot and we had a blast. I love including my kids in my work and they really seem to enjoy it, too. They learn so much by seeing what different people do for a living.

Let me know what you do to share your work with your kids.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Too Busy to Bake for School Holiday Party? Read On.

It's the time of year for holiday parties at school. If you have more than one child and have signed up to do something for each of their holiday parties (why do I over-commit?!?), here's a recipe for a great "truffle" treat that I just found on http://themotherhood.com.

The recipe requires no baking and does not take much time yet is fun to make with kids (cookie smashing involved) and has irresistible tastes for kids (Oreo cookies, chocolate and cream cheese). Sounds like a perfect recipe for a multi-minding mom at the holidays. Needless to say, we're doing a double recipe. Here is is -- http://www.themotherhood.com/search.php?navFind_input=oreos.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Too Busy to Shop this Holiday Season?

Almost all of the busy, multi-minding women I have talked to in the past week have said, "just a few more gifts and I am done." It seems that, just when you think you are done, there are "just a few more" things you need to get.

How are women managing to get the last of the shopping done? More women than ever are turning to sites like http://www.5minutesformom.com or http://www.coolmompicks.com and links to buying all in one easy stop. Personally, I cannot live without amazon.com at Christmas time.

Tricky part is that my son can now read and my daughter is on her way, so subtly labeled boxes are key to a secretive delivery. The big box with the FAO Schwarz-branded tape around it almost blew it.

So, free shipping and plain brown boxes are much appreciated.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Too Busy to Haggle with Airlines about Kids Seating

I've written a number of times about the hassles of air travel. When traveling on business, I am usually traveling alone and it's a pain. But, traveling as a family, as many do during the holidays, is a real pain.

When I book flights for my family, I always take special care to note I have two children and they need to be seated with with either my husband or me. Is this too much to ask? Apparently so because when I show up at the airport, it never fails that the seats have been switched and we are spread all over the plane, leaving us to beg flight attendants or other passengers to find a willing seat switcher.

Apparently, I am not the only one. This morning on twitter, a woman tweeted that "USAir wants extra $50 to guarantee our small kids sit next to us. Hope the guy next to my screaming 18 month old enjoys his flight." To which I replied "thanks for sharing! Will keep in mind for next trip. Either that or keep asking flight attendants to take supplies to kids." Her reply back can be a help to any mom traveling with kids "@toobusytoshop My plan is to just dunk kids hands in marshmallow fluff and see how fast the folks next to them will trade out. :) (see http://twitter.com/toobusytoshop).

Wonder if you can buy marshmallow fluff in the airport?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Multi-Minding Moms Will Love Oscar the Pig

Of all the things that busy, multi-minding women juggle, going back to work has to be among THE most stressful. The transition is difficult for mom, dad and kids. Now, Oscar the Pig is here to help. Little Oscar, his mommy and his nanny tell a story that makes everyone more comfortable when mommy leaves to go to work, or in my case, leaves to travel on business.

"Read it again, mommy," is the reaction I got from my five year-old daughter. Nothing warms a mother's heart more than hearing her child laugh and my daughter giggled out loud every time I read the line "piggy kisses."

Written by Megan Calhoun, a multi-minding mom herself and founder of twitter moms http://www.twittermoms.com/, the text is cute and cleverly-written and accompanied with beautiful illustrations. http://www.twittermoms.com/extensions/otp_images/oscar_and_mommy.jpg

If you are multi-minding mom who is going back to work, if you have a child who struggles with you leaving to go to work or to travel, Oscar the pig will help. The book is available at Amazon.com ($16-$18) or at http://www.oscarthepig.com/.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Too Busy to Film TV Show

I recently finished filming a kids TV show for the BBC. Called "Beat the Boss," the show pits three adult business people (the Big Shots) against three 12-year-olds (the Bright Sparks) to come up with a new product for kids. Our challenge was to come up with a new sauce for Heinz. It was very fun and interesting. I met some great people -- my fellow Big Shots, the very bright indeed Bright Sparks, the producers and crew.

Having not done TV before, I did not realize the time it takes to create a 30-minute show... in this case, five days of filming! That means about 50 hours of film will be edited into 30 minutes. I have definitely concluded that I am too busy to do TV again!

Look for the show to air on the BBC between January and April and see who won!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Too Busy to Travel

At this point in time, you'd think there would be a better way to travel than the trying, draining, demeaning, time suck that is air travel. I love spending time with my colleagues and clients in other cities, but I hate the time wasted in airports needed to get there... time that could be spent with my family, but instead is spent waiting on delayed, cancelled and irritating flights.

I am particularly sensitive to the topic as I prepare two weeks on the road, including two red-eye flights. I start out on these journeys with a positive attitude and doing my best at multi-minding -- trying to shop for the holidays, catch up on magazine reading, working on my book and indulging in a 15-minute back massage at ExpressSpa. But, after all my productive work is done, there are still many grueling hours left.

What do you do to make travel more enjoyable? Is there are marketer that's doing a good job of helping? Let me know.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Beware of Kids Singing Viva Viagra after Watching Baseball Playoffs

As major league baseball will tell you, it's October and that means playyoff baseball. That's supposed to be a good thing. Not a huge interest for a busy, multi-minding woman like me or many of you, I suspect. But, my husband and son love it. It's like apple pie, right?

Well, it did get my attention the other night, but not because of wins, losses or outstanding pitching. After watching many a game, my eight-year old son started singing "viva viagra" around the house. You know, that lovely tune based on Elvis' "Viva Las Vegas," only for ED.

So now do I need to explain ED and Viagra to my son and pleasd with him not to sing it in school or just let it go and let everyone have a good laugh?

Why do marketers have to do that?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Too Busy to Plan Dinner

I love to cook, but I detest having to think about what's for dinner, especially on the days that I am in the office or traveling. Dinner is the last thing on my mind all day and then I have to, presto, think of a dinner idea that everyone will eat and for which the ingredients are in my frig or pantry, since I am too busy to make a stop at the grocery store.

So, what to do? I do like the Canned Food Alliance's site, www.mealtime.org. There are good, fast, nutritious recipes and since I try to keep a well-stocked pantry, it works with my lifestyle. Fortunately, my neighbor is a farmer who sells fresh, organic produce. I just send my kids next door and pick a fresh veggie that looks good to them that day.

Still, there are nights like tonight when I feel like I've exhausted all quick ideas for the week and we have an open house at school, meaning less than 45 mins to prep AND eat dinner.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Too Busy to Make Airline Reservations

Just tried to book travel for an upcoming family trip. I say "tried" because it was 55 minutes in the making before I was cut off and then additional 30 minutes while trying to recreate the travel scenario for two other agents. (Yes, I timed the calls and no, I could not do online due to they type of reservations.)

After all of that, I received only three of the four travel confirmations via email and had to spend another 15 minutes confirming the fourth.


PLEASE tell me the best way to book travel for a busy, multi-minding woman!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Too Busy to Golf...NOT!

My husband and I took our kids golfing after work yesterday, which we try to do once a week. In talking with the staff at the pro shop and restaurant at the course, we found out the course had been "packed" all day. Interesting... a weekday and one when the market was taking a bath. Granted, the weather was gorgeous, but apparently many people are not too busy to golf!

What are your NEVER too busy to do?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Too Busy to Sort through Blogs, Twitter and Still Have a Life

mommytrackd, twitter, the juggle, momcentral, twittermoms.... There are so many great blogs, resources and sites out there. I love to visit them, post and comment and I learn about a new one everyday. Yesterday, it was the Motherhood, started by two very cool moms who have a great idea -- blog sorting an aggregation. The site helps aggregate content from blogs and sites.

With time being such a premium and the amount of content exploding, this multi-minding woman needs help in prioitizing. Love any ideas that help manage and streamline content I want to see.

What's your go-to resource for the best of the best content? If you could only read one blog a day or visit one site, what would it be?

Love to hear from you.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Loved seeing Leslie Morgan Steiner on the Today Show talking about the Mommy Wars (her great concept and book) and Sarah Palin. Nice job, Leslie!

We know that women, and especially moms, are busier today than ever. We have bypassed multi-tasking and are multi-minding. We need to create shortcuts for ourselves to get done all we need to do in a day with families, work, meals, travel, homework, exercise... the list goes on.

As I thought about it, Sarah Palin is herself a "short cut," in a way, for women voters. Being a working mom with a family facing real challenges is what most women and moms do each day and so Palin seems very relatable to many families. It's shorthand for "I understand you" and helps to cut through the reams of rhetoric that we are supposed to wade through to understand positions.

Just like those great brands seem to embody women, Palin has the potential to do the same with the most influential group of voters... women.

Take the poll and let me know if you want a multi-minding woman in the White House.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Multi-Minding Woman in the White House?

Have to say, I love the idea of a woman, one with young children and all of the challenges of leading a multi-minding lifestyle, in the White House. Sarah Palin's life experiences as a woman and mom have the potential to change how work and life work are blended in the future.

While her life is not perfect, neither is mine or those of my friends and family. Just like we have to figure it our day by day, so will she. And, for the first time, those realities that we juggle could be juggled by one of the top women in our country. She knows first hand what we know and what we have to do every day.

Many moms have figured out how to do it their way by leveraging the power of blogs as businesses. I love that technology has enabled moms to raise families and work in ways that were impossible just a few short years ago. Perhaps having a working mom in the White House can have equally profound effects on how we, and our daughters, will juggle family and work.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

So Proud of My Sister and Nephew

My sister, a mother of three, is a master multi-minder. She is constantly juggling schedules, doctors appointments, housekeeping and a million other details.

Her life is joyful and more complicated by the fact that her son, our darling nephew, has Down Syndrome. Colby's photo has been selected as one of the images for the national Buddy Walk in Times Square in NY at the end of September. His image, along with 200 others, will be broadcast on the Jumbo-tron during the walk.

We are delighted for Colby and the entire family. If you are asked to support the Buddy Walk, or other efforts that support children with Down Syndrome, please do.

See Colby's story and a great pic of Colby and my sister here
http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_585077.html. Way to go, Colby!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Too Busy to Travel

My son's first day of third grade was today and my daughter's first day of school, ever, is Wednesday. On the day in between, tomorrow, I need to squeeze in a business trip to NY. With all I have to remember with the first days of school, trying to create mind space and energy to get to the airport, go to an important meeting and get back in time to have a normal evening for my daughter, is a challenge to even the most expert of multi-taskers.

So, today: use crock pot to make dinner for tomorrow. Pack lunch tonight so husband does not have to in the a.m. Lay out son's clothes. Have son do homework for Wednesday. Get my clothes ready for 5 a.m. departure. Assure daughter I will be back in time for her big day. Work. Make dinner for tonight. Bedtime routine.

And, tomorrow: get up at 4:30. Leave for airport at 5. Catch 7 a.m. flight. Cab to Manhattan. Meetings from 10 until 3. Jump in car to race to airport for 4:30 flight. Pray that flight takes off on time, or close to it, so I can get home. Drive home from airport. Get home by 7. Pull dinner out of crock pot. Prepare daughter for first day of school and try to have a normal evening so she feels comfortable.


Better remember to grab a double espresso at the airport.

Any secrets to juggling school and business travel? They are welcome here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Low-Prep Back to School

The dreaded back-to-school time is just around the corner. In my family, we try to supress it. My kids have no interest in shopping for clothes, school supplies or doing anything that would prep them for the big day.

Since I, too, am in denial, I do my best to prepare in ways that save time and in ways that are transparent to my kids. So, for example, instead of shopping or attending the school's uniform fitting day, my short-cut is to order all school clothes online via Lands's End. It's minimal effort for me and my kids don't even notice.

One area that always plagues me is school lunches. My kids like to pack their lunch, for the most part, but I end up packing the same thing everyday. They don't seem to mind, but I'd love some healthy variety, without adding lunch-packing time or effort to my morning.

Any ideas for healthy variety that won't add to my shopping or lunch-packing time? What could marketers or brands do to help? I'll share what I hear.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lost Luggage Makes Me Lose My Multi-Mind

When USAirways lost my luggage last week ( I went to NY, while my luggage somehow went to Washington, D.C.), I nearly lost my mind and certainly my ability to multi-mind.

I did not intend to check the bag. There wasn't room left in the overheads when I got on the plan so the luggage was taken by a flight attendant, supposedly to go straight into the plane below. I was going to NY to attend some big meetings and dinner and then my children and husband were to join me for a long weekend. All of my meeting clothes, my children's clothes, kids snacks, my toiletries and the ORIGINAL notes for my book were all in that bag that I did not intent to check.

When I arrived in NY, I was a busy woman who had no clothes for myself, no clothes for my kids, no comb, no blush and NO ORIGINAL NOTES FOR MY BOOK. That situation continued for FIVE days. Making countless call to USAirways early in the morning, late at night and on every meeting break did not help and greatly inhibited my ability to concentrate on anything else. In the hour I had between meetings and dinner, I had to power shop for a few things so I did not have to wear the same sundress and underwear I arrived in for a third consecutive day.

My husband had to pack new bags for my kids and for me and bring them along with the kids and his bags to NY. All of my efforts to be prepared and ease the travel burden for my family was for naught.

Not only did my bag vanish into thin air, but the claim ticket the flight attendant gave me was for the passenger in 20D... I was sitting in 10C. That at least explained why they could not trace it. Finally, the day before I was to leave for home, the call came. Marva at USAirways in DC had solved the mystery. Thank you, Marva! The bag arrived in time for me to turn around and go home.

Needless to say, I did not check the bag on the return trip. Needless to say, I will avoid checking luggage ever again in my life. It's worth saying that the lost baggage situation greatly compromised my productivity and ability to get things done. I hate that.

Anything compromising your abilit to multi-mind and get things done? Let me know.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Vacation Reduces Multi-Minding and Increases Opportunities for Marketing

Getting out of the work routine for a few weeks has tremendous, positive impact. I spent an incredible amount of time with my kids and husband, stayed up late, slept in and indulged at the spa. That's because of the things I did NOT do -- work, spend time in the car, keep up the house, get kids to activities, grocery shop every few days and multi-mind to the degree I normally need to to accomplish everything that's on my list.

Given my schedule was far less pressed, I was actually open to thinking about or trying new things. I strolled through the grocery store at the beach and looked at and tried new foods and wines. I scanned the local reviews to find the best crab cakes and then made a trip expressly to buy them. The welcome basket at the beach house provide a pasta sauce I had never used before. We tried it and liked it.

In short, the more relaxed atmosphere vacations provide are great opportunities for marketers to catch women in a more accepting frame or mind, and with more time, to try something new.When are you most likely to try something new? Let me know.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pre-vacation Motivation

There's nothing like the thought of an upcoming vacation to motivate me into major check-off the check list mode. New business proposal, check. Bills paid, check. Flowers planted, check. Sun screen, goodie bags for car ride, bottle of champagne for arrival, check.

Father's day gift? With just three days until vacation departure, I'll never make it to Lowe's, Home Depot or Dick's Sporting Goods, the hubby's favs. So, just went online and ordered what he's been lusting for... a new outdoor fire pit, wood-burning, of course. No travel time. No $4.00 a gallon gas needed. And guess what? No shipping charges! Considering the fire pit is 58 pounds, that's a huge bonus. www.firepits.com if any of you want to do the same.

And one more tip on a very nice etailer... www.pilotwear.com. Was looking for a Red Baron airplane at the request of my seven-year-old son for his birthday. Knew it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack at retail, so found one quickly at pilotwear.com. I ordered the red Baron and another model I thought he'd like that was black, but then he told me he does not like black planes. I replied back to the e-mail order confirmation and received a nice note from Steve at pilotwear, assuring me the change would be made and I would not be charged.

Nice to get a note from a person with a name who assured me I was being taken care of. More etailers should do the same.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Book Helps Moms with Transition to Big Bed

As a busy mom, I have oftened turned to books written by moms, web sites for moms and other moms for advice on a variety of things ranging from everyday challenges like getting kids to eat veggies to big transitions like moving into a big bed from a crib.

A new book by first-time author Rita Bergstein, “Your Own Big Bed,” is a delightful story that shares encouragement about an important milestone in a child's life -- transitioning to their own big bed. Published by Viking, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group in New York, this delightful story shares encouragement about an important milestone in a child’s life - transitioning to their own big bed. Published by Viking, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, the book has been receiving very positive reviews from book clubs and parenting blogs nationwide.

If you are in the Pittsburgh area, a book signing is scheduled for Thursday, May 29 4:00-7:00 and Saturday, May 31, 11:00-2:00 at Cia’s, A Gallery of Fine Jewelry, Gifts and Art. Cia’s is located one mile west of the Turnpike on Route 30, in Irwin Plaza, across from Irwin Bank. The beautifully illustrated, hard cover book is available for sale at Cia’s for $15.99.

Good luck and let me know how you like the book.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Who Influences What You Wear?

I've talked recently with several companies that sell women's clothes. Seems like the dynamics in apparel are changing, just like in many other product categories. Busy women seem to be turning away from celebrities, models and an ideal of fashion to more realistic images and what makes them look best.

Who or what do you turn to for fashion advice or an opinion on what to buy? Is your sister a fav web site serving as your short-cut to buying that next pair of jeans or shoes? Who holds the most sway?

Take the poll at the right-hand side of this blog or e-mail me and let me know what you are doing to determine what to wear and where to shop.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hope It Was a Great Mother's Day

It was a rainy, cold day here for Mother's Day, the perfect weather for staying inside and making a fort, or a boat (as we did), out of couch cushions. No e-mail, no travel, just a slow-paced, whole day with my family. Perfect!

Hope your Mother's Day was everything you wanted.

I am wondering about Mother's Day gifts -- what did you get for your mother and why did you decide to get her that particular item? Where did you get your idea or recommendation? Where did you shop? What did you get and where did your husband or child get their idea?

Let me know about your Mother's Day gifts.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Multi-Minding Cab Ride

As a working and traveling mom, I spend a good deal of time in cabs. It's usually a time to make and return phone calls and organize receipts. Down time is simply not an option!

In New York, yesterday, I stepped into a cab that actually helped my multi-tasking and multi-minding. A video screen in the cab provided some news and feature stories of interest to women. The touch screen enabled the rider to control the volume and to pick options of items to view. There was even a banner ad for a "great two-bedroom in Chelsea for under $1M with storage and outdoor space."

In a cab, you are certainly a captive audience with relatively low expectations about the ride. This ride enabled me to learn a bit about autistic kids through a news feature and even hear two movie reviews.

Now, if I only had time to go see a movie!

Any interesting tools you have seen that help us make more of our busy day?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Blogs Provide Short-Cuts to Purchases

We busy women are always looking for short-cuts in researching purchases. Many times, we turn to friends and family for recommendations on a variety of categories.

Many of you have told me that mommy blogs are playing an increasing role in serving as a resource for recommendations. I've also noticed more and more blogs dedicating more time and space to product reviews.

How many of you are using blogs as a source for recommendations? Do the product reviews drive you to purchase?

Let me know. I'd love to hear.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Too Busy to Blog

Sorry for the delay in creating this latest post. I've been too busy to blog.

I've heard from a number of you about how and when you CROP, or look for CRedible OPinions as a short cut to purchase because we are all too busy to to do all of the research ourselves. Many women turn to friends and family -- sisters, moms, close friends -- online and offline to get recommendations.

For example, my sister knows everyone in the world and can quickly recommend anything from a the quickest place to get X-rays to the best place to get prepared salad.

Who do you turn to and for what? Let me know. I'd love to include examples in my book, Too Busy to Shop, which will be published in spring of 2009.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Who Do You Turn to for Recommendations?

When you are a woman who is too busy to shop, it helps to get opinions and recomendations from people or places you trust as a short cut to researching what you want to buy.

Need someone new to cut your hair? Buying a new camera? Researching pre-schools? In my experience, busy women usually do not start from scratch. They simply do not have time. They turn to friends, family, media, colleagues, web sites or somewhere that gives them information they feel they can trust. Women are searching for CRedible OPinions as a short cut to a purchase decision. I call it CROPing.

How do you CROP? Who do you go to for recommendations and for what? I'd love to know more and plan to include the general themes and some good examples in my upcoming book, Too Busy to Shop: Marketing to Multi-Minding Women, which will be published in spring of 2009 by Praeger Publishers.

Let me know how you CROP.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Too Busy to Shop? Let Others Help

I could not have survived this last weekend without letting others do a great deal of the shopping and work. I pride myself on being prepared, as many multi-minding women do. Control of the details = control of life, which is much needed when you are juggling what seems to be a million details.

With my mom's 7oth birthday party on Friday night, my husband's birthday dinner on Saturday night and my son's First Communion and Conformation on Sunday, plus fishing, baseball practice, hair appointments and the fact that I had to be out-of-town on business Wednesday through Friday, it was a busy weekend to say the least.

How did I manage? First, I made as many preparations beforehand as possible -- ordered birthday gifts online, grocery shopped before I left on my business trip and froze perishable items, enlisted my kiddies to help make centerpieces for Confirmation reception the weekend before. Fortunately, my sister made the arrangements for my mom's party, including the cake and flowers. My husband reserved the space and talked to the events coordinator for my son's reception.

Without the help of my husband, my sister and my kids, I simply cold not have managed to cover all of the bases. So many times we try to do it all ourselves. Even if you are the one who is mentally juggling all of the details, let others help with the work.

Let me know how you manage to get it all done. I'll share your suggestions.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Make the Most of Travel Time

Spending a lot of time in airports is not my idea of fun, but I have to do it anyway. Being the multi-minding woman that I am, I try to make the time work for me. Here are some suggestions for things you can accomplish in an airport:

- shop for a month's supply of birthday and anniversary gifts and cards. Many retailers will hold the purchases for you so you don't have to carry them while you travel. Just pick them up when you come back through the airport.

- splurge on a 15-minute massage or manicure at the Express Spa. Can't make time for such treats on a non-travel day that is consumed with kids and work.

- buy a new tube of lipstick. You won't have to choose a color that your four-year old daughter likes, too.

- buy a book or magazine and actually have a few minutes to READ it. What a concept!

- call a girlfriend you've been meaning to catch up with but life always seems to get in the way.

- bring along your holiday cards are address the envelopes, uninterrupted, allowing you to actually get them done.

Bring on your suggestions for airport accomplishments so other multi-minding women can learn from you.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Save Time, Buy Jeans Online

What busy woman has time to try on endless numbers of pairs of jeans, trying to find a pair that fits well, while your kids are peeking under the curtains of the neighboring dressing rooms and hiding in the clothes rounders in the store?

Try going to http://www.lee.com/fitfinder.asp?ref=cat&gen=1# and find your fit online. There are lots of styles to choose from that enable you to bend down and tie your child's shoe laces without revealing half of your backside. Jeans that fit are delivered to your front door. Love it.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Batteries: A Problem for Busy Moms

I received a post that I had to share from a mom who has a message for toy marketers and battery manufacturers: batteries bite. Multi-minding moms, busy with a million things a day, can't be bothered with battery upkeep. Isn't there a better way? Help!

Here's the post and thanks, AC for sharing:

"But can we pause and talk about batteries for a minute? They're my nemesis, the absolute death of me. Sure they make toys vroom and zoom and do all sorts of cool things, but every time I turn around, something needs a new battery. And why is it that every toy -- even toys you wouldn't think need batteries -- require them? And a screwdriver. Sure I own a Costco-sized box, but I'm forever buying them. Or at least thinking about buying them. I need Ed McMahon to show up on my front lawn with a life-time supply. No wonder it's so difficult to get things done, I'm always replacing batteries!

Just think how much more time we'd have to do useful and productive activities if we did not have to replace batteries.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Kids Help Multi-Minding Moms and Learne at Same Time

This just in from my sister re my post last week "Kids Can Aid Multi-Minding Moms." My sister has an even better idea. Not only do you ask the kids, whose brains are much more highly functioning than mine, to remember items you need to get at the store, you also have them write a list. That way, you remember and your kiddie practices writing letters and words.

Great idea that serves two purposes. Busy, multi-minding women love that.

Only problem for me is... all of my lists end up sitting on the kitchen counter b/c I forget to take them with me. Guess I need to ask Ellie to remind me to take the list, too!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Travel Is No Friend to Multi-Minding Women

Yet another evening spent in an airport... wishing I could see my kids before they go to bed and not able to do much productive work after thumb-typing for two hours on my handheld device. Yes, after after spending 10 hours traveling and six hours in meetings yesterday (and having done that for years), I have concluded that air travel is a multi-minding mom's worst enemy.

So much time is wasted. I can't stand it. Between the lines, the delays and the generally unpleasant state of air travel and the airlines, you can't make any part of the experience work for you.

I take that back with two exceptions. The only physical stores (meaning not online) I shop at anymore are at airports because the delays enable me to buy gifts there. The air mall at the Pittsburgh airport is one of the best. And on occasion, I've been known to visit Express Spas at the airport. When you have hours of waiting, a 15-minute massage is a worthwhile indulgence.

If you have any tips for making the most of your time while you travel, PLEASE share!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Kids Can Aid Mom's Multi-Minding

I have discovered a new help for multi-minding moms -- lean on the memory capacity of your very able kids. With so much on my mind, I am always saying to one of my two kids, "remind me to..." and they always remember.

Today, before I shopped, I asked my four-year-old daughter to help me remember the items I wanted to get, which were out of the ordinary for the normal trip to the grocery store. Not only did she remember every one, but she also spotted them for me in the store.

While my mind seems is similar to a sieve, her little brain works on all cylinders. Thanks, Ellie! Your multi-minding mom appreciates your help.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

No Time to Return Purchases

The last time I had to return something I ordered on-line b/c it did not fit my daughter, it stayed in the trunk of my car for four months. In fact, it’s still there.

It’s not that I’m lazy. I’m just busy and a return is so ungratifying. You are admitting that you’ve made a mistake in size and now you have to take your precious time to correct the mistake. That means filling out return forms, putting the item in a box, taping the box and, most time-consuming… taking the box to the post office or to FedEx.

Here’s my dream. I wish all e-tailers would provide an adhesive return label AND a sealable return pouch. That way, I can stick on the label and squish it into my mailbox. Saves my time, mailing tape and patience. Most of all, I’ll order again.

Any suggestions for e-tailers that make it easy to return or exchange purchases?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Little Time to Shop... for Yourself

An interesting take on having time to shop... many women make time to shop for others, but not for themselves. This feedback is very consistent with research I have seen that indicates multi-minding women think of other's needs first 75 percent of the time.

Here's proof...

I love your blog and will send it around to all of my friends – the concept is so true. We’re having my baby's baptism on Easter in Atlanta (timing is a big coup.) The baby has numerous ensembles, I made sure my husband has a new suit weeks ago. Of course this weekend, I finally found something for myself in 20 minutes while my husband waited for me with the baby. Leisurely shopping is over for me.

Thanks, Laurie!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Fundraisers: Good Causes Can Help You Save Time

Seems like you can't escape fundraisers -- every school, sport, charitable organization and community has one, or several. I used to look at fundraisers as something else I had to do... having to take the time to fill out paperwork for something extra I really did not need.

It occurred to me at some point, though, that what I buy through fundraisers could actually replace things I would buy and, given many fundraising products are delivered to your door, could save me time, too.

So, rather than make a trip to the store to buy candy at Easter time, I buy all of the candy through my son's school fundraiser. It helps the school and it's delivered to me. No extra trip to the store. At the holidays, instead of searching for small gifts for a variety of co-workers, friends and teachers, I patronize the Cub Scouts popcorn sale. Everyone seems to like the popcorn and the purchase helps my son's cub scout troop.

Try participating in the next fundraiser that comes your way. You are helping a local cause and your too busy to shop, multi-minding lifestyle.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Grocery Stores and Exercise Are Hot Buttons

Thanks to all of you who posted comments or e-mailed me about the trials and tribulations of grocery stores and quick and easy exercising. The responses proved how we are all trying to squeeze so much into our days and were full of great tips. You all have a great sense of humor. When I read your responses, I laughed out loud. We all need that. Hope you all can find a moment in your busy day to laugh.

A few highlights to share for my fellow multi-minding women...
- Try Jorge Cruise's 8 Minutes in the Morning workout -- fun, fast and effective (thanks, Marti!)
- Tracy added "I have shopping down to a science and I detest anything that slows down my process." I can relate.
- Julie shared her post-work runaround that included picking up cupcakes, cooking dinner, attending a meeting, homework supervision -- all while her husband is traveling. Such is the life of an in-demand woman.
- Maria shared a story of the "Deli Dilemma," which I thought was so entertaining that I'd share it in full...

The Deli Dilemma
I welcome the time-saving feature of the self-service kiosk at the deli. I can quickly type in my order –dexterity is one of my strong attributes. As the order is processed, I am happily multi-tasking by shopping for other groceries. However, the majority of time, I find there is an attractive, “professionally-made”, white paper sign with hand-written, black Sharpie letters posted on the kiosk that boldly announces “Out Of Order.” Meanwhile, under the sign, I can hear the kiosk welcoming me to place an order The situation exasperates me.

My conspiracy theory is that the part-time deli clerks don’t want the extra work load of processing the kiosk orders. Unlike multi-minded ladies, they have all the time in the world – they are AT work. There is no incentive to process orders more efficiently, so why bother. So, as my blood pressure rises, because I see precious time being wasted, I grudgingly grab a number. Typically, there is a six to eight person wait. So, in the nearby aisles, I frantically search for soda, juice and snacks while periodically checking the rotation of numbers. And, God forbid if you miss your number. It’s like a mortal sin trying to regain pole position!

Once my number is bellowed, I wait again for the clerk to open the package of meat (never fails there’s not one open), slice it to my liking, package it and ask for the next item. In addition, I especially enjoy the chit chat amongst the clerks - wasting more of my time. Meanwhile, my multi-mind is thinking about finishing this daunting task and returning home to spend time with my family.Overall, I guess the deli trip is worth it because my kids enjoy lunches packed by Mom that include little love notes.
Maria T. Brady“Momtrepreneur”Marketing Agency Owner and Jewelry Gallery Partner

Thanks, all, for your tips and stories.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Get Fit in No Time with the Navy Seals

It’s that time of the year... swimsuit season is just a few months away. We are looking to shed a few pounds and trying to get in shape. Who has the time, or the desire, to think about new, more healthful foods, a new exercise routine, new exercise equipment, a gym membership?

Add this to the consideration list. I was listening to a fitness instructor who said you should not do the same work-out day after day. You need to “surprise” your muscles.

Maybe all of you know this already, but my Comcast On-Demand channels now include dozens of fitness and sports training activities. On Saturday, bored with my Stairmaster and threatened by the guy who implied the almost-daily Stairmaster routine won’t surprise my body enough to help fitness, I discovered (OK, my husband showed me) the on-demand options. I was intrigued by Navy Seals training modules and guess what – they are seven to eight minutes long! Perfect. Did the stretching module and felt proud. Now I am a Navy Seals training regular.

No longer confined to Gilad on Fit TV, I love being able to access a variety of brief fitness programs when I want them, usually at 6:30 in the morning.

Any quick and easy health or wellness enablers you know of?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Don't Rearrange the Grocery Store Aisles

Here I am, a multi-minding woman with lots on her mind. Important stuff like what really good, nutritious meal can I put on the table quickly when I get home at 6:30 after work. That’s what I’m thinking as I enter my local grocery store. That and should I let my four-year-old daughter use the handheld bar code scanner, which will take 12 minutes longer, or do I stand in line at the checkout and have to take my groceries out of the cart twice. Yes, for the sake of time, I debate that kind of stuff, along with do I spend five minutes standing in line at the deli today.

Walking into the store, I realize I have a new challenge. They are rearranging the aisles. Not just a few product lines, but the entire inner section! I can’t believe it. With daughter in tow, I have to search out every item… for weeks! I am not happy. I can’t plan my shopping list by the store layout. I can no longer breeze through aisles knowing where everything is. It takes me 23 minutes more to get what I need. If I had a reasonable alternative, I’d switch stores.

Rearranging more than two aisles at a time in the grocery store is an enemy of the busy woman and should be illegal.

Any grocery stores that are organized for multi-minding women?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Are You Too Busy To Shop?

I can’t believe that I am going to admit this, but I am too busy to shop. As crazy as that sounds, I’m going to bet, that if you think about it, you are, too. I am busy doing things I want to be doing – taking care of a great family, being a wife, working, traveling, preparing meals, helping with homework, writing, doing laundry (OK, that’s one I don’t want to do), attending ballet classes, school plays, baseball games and cub scout meetings. There is so little time for anything that is not a priority.

As a woman and a mom, I am the chief purchaser for my home and family so I need and want to buy things, but when? Given my schedule, how can a marketer reach me? And, how can they reach me in a way that works for me, not just for them?

I’ll be sharing experiences with you and I hope you’ll share your experiences, too so we can come up with tips and tools for all of us bsuy women to use. Together, perhaps we can change the product and marketing of those who market to us to make it work for, not against, our busy lives.