As a working (and traveling) mother of two boys ages five and two, a job that requires time beyond 9am-5pm and a wife to a working husband (he’s a civil engineer), I have to rely on my support system which includes my husband, family and friends. When you’re a mom, you have to look for reliable and trustworthy support from those around you – your squad, if you will. In addition to those close to me, I rely on technology to help squeeze more out of the day and the week. While certainly not at all a replacement for my support system, my phone and specifically selected mobile apps have provided complementary technological support to make me more efficient as a businesswoman, mom and a spouse.
Hold your judgment if you’re going down that path. I know that some may argue that technology is a double-edged sword, a distraction from family and work that causes more problems than it solves. I disagree. Perhaps I am a bit biased as I work in sales for a leading medical technology company. But for me, technology helps to streamline work, mom and overall family and life duties. I truly understand the value that the right technology can provide. I am not ashamed to say and share that my iPhone is another appendage – one that I rely heavily on.
My phone wields quite a bit of power and helps me pack it all into my daily schedule. I figured I would share with you how the power of my phone and some of my favorite apps find their way into my day during a “typical” (I use that word lightly) week.
Sundays are the day to plan for the work week ahead and focus on family time and “running errands.” I have cut out a lot of wasted time gallivanting from store to store to stock up on household items and even groceries. How? Amazon Prime and Shipt are my best friends for these types of errands. With a few taps on my phone – a couple of hours shopping is condensed to 20 minutes and I can be at home spending quality time with my boys and husband or place an order as I watch TV. My items from Amazon arrive a couple of days later and groceries come in fresh within a couple of hours or ordering. The only task that’s left is to organize and put it all away. Totally worth it!
And just like that, the start of the work week is here! I realize that my best friend’s wedding is coming up and I have nothing to wear. It’s Rent the Runway to the rescue! I can order an entire outfit from head to toe and eliminate the cost and time (and stress) it takes to navigate the mall. Since I travel so often during the week, I realize that I will need to ship the outfit to the wedding location. I do some virtual shopping, add in the dates, where it needs to arrive, and I am set! Talk about checking things off the to do list in style.
My husband and I joke (but in all seriousness) if it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t exist. So needless to say, we have a shared Google Calendar that we add everything to – from flight info, to girls night, guys night and pickup times for the boys, you name it, it’s on there. I always spend a few minutes at the beginning of the week, checking through and making sure my week’s activities are on there and other important info so my husband and I are synced up on where and when we are going to be places.
Part of my role at work requires quite a bit of travel. Like most people these days I definitely rely on Uber for transportation from place to place. Plus this adds time back to my day where I can work, make calls, take a quick breather, etc. Since I am the passenger and don’t have to worry about picking up a rental car and driving around a city and navigating directions, it eliminates cost and stress and adds back some time to the clock.
The Wallet App on my iPhone has come in super handy as well – there’s no need for me to carry all or honestly really any of my credit cards as I have them all synced in the app so my phone really does become my virtual wallet to an extent.
After a productive and long day at work it’s time to decompress and head back at the hotel. I check-in with my husband and FaceTime with my kids before they head to bed. The perks of technology! After getting settled and sending a few last emails, it’s time to kick back and relax for a bit. For entertainment, I enjoy watching shows via the HBO Go app (just finished Big Little Lies and highly recommend it!) And if I want to do some leisurely reading, I use OverDrive to connect to my local library and download eBooks. Both provide inexpensive and free entertainment on the road – all in the palm of my hand.
As the work week comes to an end, and I am waiting in the airport to head back home, I am able to track my expenses and use the Concur app to keep an accurate tab on my work expenditures. I can even take photos of receipts throughout the week and make sure that all is accurately accounted for and submitted even before I get back home. One less administrative task to do and more quality time for my family. Another box checked off the list! Speaking of lists, I do use a virtual checklist app (I like EverNote) to keep myself honest and replace all those sticky notes that used to once cover my desk and clog up my purse.
Ah the weekend! As we all know they go by way too fast and 48 hours is never enough time to get it all done especially when there are errands that are often a time suck and take longer than anticipated. After a week of toting the kids around in the car, it certainly looks that way. Going to a carwash is inconvenient and a waste of time, so I have the carwash come to me. I use a carwash app called Washe. You pay a bit more for the convenience factor which is well worth it in my opinion to have my car cleaned on-demand in my driveway – once again adding time back into my day to focus on what matters most – my family.
Time to rinse and repeat. No one day or week is exactly the same as another. And the best laid plans – don’t go to plan, but if you’re a parent, you’ve figured that out already. At the end of the day my phone is more than just a phone – it is my personal assistant, travel buddy, entertainer, organizer, accountant and more. Don’t be afraid to use technology to your advantage to supplement the support system that you have and add time back to your day to spend with your family.