I know how she does it – part 2

2609 Sat best-002

I hate it when people assume that a book meant for a particular audience is “not good” because they are not that target audience.

Like how people with kids or who live in huge houses freaked out about the Konmari book 😉

So I’m going to try my best to not be that person.

I am not the target audience as I am not in the 4% of “successful” female Americans who have “big jobs” and earn more than $100 000 per annum. At current $/ R exchange rates, that’s over R1.5 million per annum.

The people who submitted time logs seem to be fans of the blog so were all very similar already. I would have liked to see very different people as well as fans represented.

Basically (and there’s much more to it), the message of this book is outsource what you can afford to, split up your work day (move the mosaic tiles around to suit your desired life) and let the rest go.


5 things I did not like:

The definition of big jobs

I don’t believe that a big job is necessarily dictated just by the amount of money you earn. Because we all know about sectors that don’t pay well, like teaching and nursing.

I think I take exception to this because I feel most of the tips could be used by any working mother. And that success is a very personal choice.

A non-organised home

I know from Laura’s blog that she believes people like me who like an organised, decluttered home waste time doing that and should make peace with toys out and so on.

But I know for me, and for most of you who read this blog that our personalities thrive in an ordered, organised home. That is worth the (not very much time) it takes to keep this kind of home because it’s worth it for my peace of mind. You can try to be different but the way you’re going to be happier is to accept who you are and live with it.

Granted, I do believe in getting stuff done quickly so that you have the rest of your life to get back to. Not being obsessive but organising just enough so you can get on with what you really love to do in life.



I really do not know many women in normal or big jobs who actually sleep as much as the study in her book leaves me to believe. I coached time management for many, many years and all the women always needed more sleep. Not one person had good sleep habits (and by good sleep I mean “slept consistently for at least 7 hours a night”).

All the sleep stats therefore seem suspect to me, or maybe I’m just jealous 🙂 I do know that I thought I slept more before I started tracking my sleep with my Fitbit. You could be in bed 8 hours but due to awake times and restlessness only actually sleep around 7 hours. These days during the work week, I average 6 hrs 30 all the time and I make that time up on the weekend.

Commute time

She did not count commute time as part of the study. In Johannesburg, we would all be happier and have much shorter work days if commute time wasn’t counted in. On a good day, I spend 1.5 hours in the traffic. That’s 7.5 hours a week which is a very sizeable portion of the workweek.

It’s not a big deal if you don’t have a long commute, but it’s also not nothing.

2409 Heritage Day best-002

Split shifts

It turns out that people with the big jobs worked at their offices, would then leave to attend to parenting events whenever they needed, and then get back online at night for another 2 – 3 hours or on the weekends.

I still maintain that it’s a certain personality type who likes all that blur of work and life. I know that I like a nice, clean boundary between work and life. I have no issues with working at night a couple of times a month but I don’t like that to be a regular occurrence for me. If you like it, go for it 🙂

On this note, there is one thing I found interesting and is a great tip. If you work in a facetime culture environment, where people value people staying late rather than coming in early, then “work the system” and choose a night a week to stay very late. While you’re working late, be very visible and send lots of emails, etc. to show your face.

It’s a very clever tip but maybe I’m too straightforward –  the thought of having to work the system just seems like a lot of…work!

Did you read I know how she does it? What did you think?

PS Next time I’m going to share all the things I found most interesting, and then I think that will be it. The book is still worth getting even if just for a thorough challenge to your current mindset.

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  1. I have to say that I like a nice clean line and will do my utmost not to blur the two

  2. I did read this as well. Well I started reading it. After reading all those schedules my eyes started to blur. I am not the target audience either. I am sure there are great working mom tips in there but I didn’t relate much to the people there.

    • Thanks, Beth. The good thing for me was that I listened to the audible version. When I downloaded all the schedules later, I just closed it right up 🙂 It seemed like too much work to read/ analyse those.

  3. I did not read it. I probably won’t read it! I am DEFINITELY not the target audience. I don’t even like working! There is DEFINITELY a nice clean line.

    • Marcia Francois says

      I laughed at you not even liking work 🙂

      I do think there are some valuable bits; the main one being the narrative that we use about our lives.


  1. […] preference, as I’ve mentioned before, is a nice clear boundary between work and […]

  2. […] This is part 3; here is part 1 and here is part 2. […]

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