I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam

I Know How She Does It coverI was reading Laura Vanderkam’s “I Know How She Does It” when news broke of the racist killing of nine churchgoers in South Carolina.  At first, it felt meaningless to be mining the book for time-saving strategies and productivity tips as the nation (or some of it anyway) went into mourning.   It felt absurd to read a self-help book when I could be toppling confederate monuments or lobbying for gun control.

Yet I kept turning the pages.  And I realized that in the face of senseless violence, I was comforted by Vanderkam’s assertion that we have plenty of time to do the things that matter to us. Even toppling monuments to oppression or lobbying for change.

We have the time — we just don’t recognize or appreciate it, she argues. “The math is straightforward,” she writes to her audience of women juggling careers and families.

“There are 168 hours in a week.  If you work 50, and sleep 8 per night (56 hours per week in total), that leaves 62 hours for other things.  If you work 60 hours and sleep 8 hours per night, that leaves 52 hours for other things.”

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A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren


A defining moment in Elizabeth Warren’s life was watching her 50-year-old mother wrestle herself into a worn black dress typically reserved for funerals and head out for her first job interview.  The family was in dire financial straits after Warren’s father suffered a … Read More


In Praise of Diverse Books for Children

In Praise of Diverse Books for Children

Every now and then a crazy idea captures my imagination and won’t let go. In 2013, it was to sell 1,000 short-sleeved t-shirts in the dead of winter to raise money for a local nonprofit with deep roots but little name-recognition. In 2014, it was to transform a Richmond … Read More

Advice and Inspiration for Smart Women

What do women really want? Trust me, it’s not “balance.”

This blog offers a daily exploration of the varied, determined, sometimes misguided, but unfailingly human ways that women pursue meaning and happiness. Peruse the eclectic mix of advice, interviews, trend spotting and social commentary, then let me know what you think.

Here are a few of my favorite posts to get you started:

Come on. Click around. It’ll be fun, I promise!

Maya Smart