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.