Eat the frog to enjoy the pancakes
- Hey Mary Pat! Tell us a little about your life and what makes you you! I’m a married mom of a 3 year-old son and almost 1 year-old daughter. My husband, kids, and I enjoy swimming, hiking, and cooking together. I work as a Brand Manager at Campbell’s Soup and am passionate about giving back; I volunteer on several boards. I was a D1 athlete in college and bring my competitive streak to alumni rowing events and the Peloton leaderboard. I love to read and am inspired by my amazing Badass Ladies Book Club.
- How would you describe yourself when it comes to planning and organizing in your life? If it’s not written down, it doesn’t happen. My husband and I have a standing Wine & Weekly Planning night to go through our schedules, short and long-term tasks and house projects. We divide and conquer, assigning responsibility and due dates - I’m hopeless with open-ended objectives. Both of us are energized extroverts who thrive with a lot on our plates – and to juggle it all, constant communication and aggressive time management are key.
- Describe your productivity stack or tools you use in your planning process. I carry a notebook with me to jot down reminders in the moment. These make their way to a digital task list (work) or shared calendar with my husband (house & kid stuff).
- What does a typical week look like for you? I’m in the office 4 days a week, with one day working from home. There will typically be a night or two that my husband and/or I have a board meeting or other volunteer commitment, and another time that we have a social event (book club, neighborhood gathering, etc). We have a date night once a week, whether we go out for dinner or enjoy leisurely takeout at home. On the weekends, quality family time is the priority. We’ll head to the local pool or trail in good weather and are regular library patrons. And you can find us making pancakes together every Sunday morning!
- What’s your typical weekday morning routine? What do you do to get ready for your day? I’ll wake up early to get 45 minutes on the Peloton, with the goal of being showered and dressed for the office by 7:00am - parent hack: I’ll put a robe on over my clothes so I don’t worry about messy kids. My husband and I get the kids ready and we’ll all eat breakfast together – often I make a big oatmeal bake on Sundays and we’ll eat that for the week (my son’s favorite is pumpkin, and he likes to pretend to dig for dinosaurs). We wrestle the kids into the car around 7:45am and they commute with me. I’m fortunate that my office has daycare on site!
- What’s your weeknight schedule like? What sort of activities do you prioritize? 6:00pm-7:30pm is protected family time. We usually do meal prep so we can eat with the kids without waiting, or my husband (a great cook) will prepare something on days he works from home (about half the week). Then, we’ll put the kids to bed. Depending on the night, we’ll finish up work, chores, volunteer meetings, or relax together.
- Do you have a favorite productivity tip, hack, or philosophy? “Eat the frog” – start with the most onerous thing on the list so it’s out of the way.
- What is your favorite Arrange plan and why? I love the kids’ seasonal reminders. It’s great to have the next size up seasonal clothes on hand before the weather changes.
- If you could dream up any new Arrange plan, what would it be? I’d love to have local events dialed in.
- What do you wish you could wave a magic wand and instantly accomplish? What do you wish you could put on autopilot? I wish somebody would shop for me. Clothes, personal care … can someone else do it? I like feeling confident in my clothes but I don’t like figuring it out myself. I’m still searching for the perfect black v-neck, haven’t found the right one yet!
- What are you great at remembering? Personal details (ie coworkers’ dogs’ names, neighbors’ food allergies, friends’ favorite books, etc).
- What’s the last thing you forgot? Backup daycare clothes for the cold weather … my son came home in a t-shirt and shorts the other (cold) day after an accident. Sorry bud!
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