But get ready. This is not a gauzy, feel-good, candle-lighting manual. We're not going to advise you to rub peppermint scrub on your feet to "take care of yourself," or to make time for your herb-infused yoga. You'll have time for all of that after you adopt Womenomics, mind you, but that's not the solution. This is a hard-nosed system that will teach you, step by step, how to get professional freedom by capitalizing on the approaching wave of Womenomics.
We will help you find more time in your day by cutting your time at the office. We will help you shake the stress but keep the income and clout. We'll teach you how to come clean about what you really want, how to ignore what the traditional careerists say you want, and how to say no to what you don't want. You'll learn how to get rid of guilt, that useless female affliction. We'll show you how to get the most impact for your time by being strategic about which tasks you take on. We will hand you the tools for all of it—down to the specifics of how to unplug from technology or how to schedule appointments so they work for you.
This is not a parenting book. There are plenty of those. And you don't have to have screaming, knee-high people in your life to benefit from Womenomics. No—this is the path for all of us to find the time for fulfillment, whether it's for kids, ailing parents, marathon running, or even, as we found in one case, your beloved dog. We don't care what your time is for—we just know you need it. And this book teaches you how to uncover it. Younger women, we've noticed, are extremely passionate and intuitive about avoiding the mistakes we've made and are already searching for solutions. For those of you just starting out, we'll help you navigate the pitfalls. (And when you've finished this book, pass it along to the men in your life. They may not say it as loudly as we do, but they want this too and can learn from the way women are remaking the future.)
And, yes, not only is all of this still possible in a recession, but it may well be easier than ever. We'd argue, in fact, that a woman's desire and capacity for flexibility and her unique management skills could be the silver lining of this economic downturn. A number of employers are introducing alternative work schedules, furloughs, unpaid vacation time, and reduced schedules specifically in response to the economic situation. These firms see flexibility as a way to keep up morale and avoid mass layoffs. Companies of all sizes, including giants such as Dell, Honda, Nevada casinos, and the Seattle Times, are getting creative about cutting labor costs. They want to nip and tuck instead of slash.1
Because women do tend to value time as much as money, flexible schedules offer solutions women often welcome. One mother of three, recently placed on a mandated two-week furlough, said she quickly turned what seemed a "negative" into a "positive." By spreading the furlough out, she realized that she's gained a trial period for the four-day workweek she's been after and is secretly thrilled to have the extra time.