How Do I Do it ALL? by Holly Pavlika

Holly PavlikaThis is the seventh entry in “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” a series of guest posts about the working mom/stay-at-home dilemma.  It’s written by Holly Pavika, a dear friend and an award-winning creative marketing industry veteran and was recently the Managing Director of Big Fuel, the nation’s largest pure play social media agency. Taking her social media expertise and with particular knowledge of moms and women-focused marketing, she has recently moved over to lead MOMentum as President, of this marketing subsidiary of Big Fuel. MOMentum connects brands with moms through insight, technology and community. Holly is one of the few women to have her name on the door of an agency not once, but thrice. Holly also has contributed pro bono efforts for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, EveryMotherCounts, Global Poverty Project and she has been selected as one of 30 women to attend a United Nations Foundation Summit in Washington in support of Shot@Life.  You can follow her avid tweets at @HollyPavlika.

So how do I do it all?

First let’s set the stage regarding what “ALL” means. A little context might help.

I have about 6 jobs. I am first a mom of two teenagers. Now just because you think they’re older children, you might think they are easier. Sorry to burst your bubble, but hell no. It doesn’t get an easier it just gets different. Motherhood is a life sentence and mine isn’t over yet. Their favorite phrase is to tell me “but it’s your motherly deed.” Yeah, right. Make your own lunch, please.

Second, I’m the President of MOM-entum, marketing to moms company. I was the Managing Director of Big Fuel and while I was doing that job, I started this little blog called MOM-entum, which became a full time second job. It kept growing and evolving till my bosses said, “Hey, this is a huge opportunity so let’s spin it off as a separate division.” So this is my new all-encompassing job. I’m building this and it’s pretty much a 24/7 job since social media never stops and I’ve got a website to build, speaking engagements and conferences and events and so so much to do. 2012 is going to be amazing though.

Third, my daughter is an aspiring model and actress so I’m her momager. It means fielding calls, running to auditions at times, being on set every once in a while.

So how do I do it all? Here are my secrets.

1. I get up early.
I’m lucky I’m a morning person so I naturally get up early. How early? 5am. And over the years, I’ve trained my internal clock so I usually beat the alarm. No one bothers you in the morning. I get more done in the first two hours of the day then the rest of it. My kids think I am crazy because I never really relax. I can’t sit down and read a book if my “to do” isn’t done.

2. I have self-imposed rules.
I set rules for my self. I’m my own worst enemy. I have to go to the gym 4-5 times a week. I have to write for the blog 3 times a week. I can’t leave the house in the morning if there is a mess.

3. I have lots of energy and what I don’t have I supplement by drinking lots of Diet Coke.
Ah, the breakfast of champions–Diet Coke. It’s my one vice so don’t give me a hard time about it. I’m sipping a nice, icy cold one right now.

4. I’m fast and multi-task non-stop.
I inherited my mother’s gene for speed and multi-tasking and I owe her big time for all her good qualities I inherited. She’s also the reason I can’t leave the house without it being clean. Is cleanliness an inheritable gene or a motherly gene?

5. I trust my gut. I don’t spend a lot of time stressing over multitude directions. I just go. And course correct if need be.
I don’t waste a lot of time hemming and hawing on what to do. I make decisions and go. My first boss told me not to be like most women. He felt we sucked at making decisions. He said make one and if you’re right–celebrate and if you’re wrong–apologize. But never leave people waiting on a decision. Even though it was a sexist remark, it stuck in my head.

Anyway that’s it. I’ve got a lot to do today. So far today, I’ve cleaned off my computer’s desktop, cleaned up all my email, ran the dishwasher, cleaned the refrigerator, fed the dog, wrote a few emails, wrote this blog piece, changed the sheets, took out the garbage, did a bit of tweeting with some other early bird moms, wrote my mom, scheduled a conference call for this afternoon and got the laundry ready to go.

I still need to mop the floors, hit the gym, do the laundry, go to the bank, grocery store, fill out a huge college financial aid document, have the conference call, write another blog article, do the past week’s timesheets…

I think it’s time for some more Diet Coke.

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  1. Oh, and our name is Holly. Another coincidence.

  2. Holly, we have so much in common. I also multi-task and work fast. That’s how I get so much done in a day. Thanks for sharing your tips with us. You are one inspiring dame!

  3. So glad there’s someone else in the universe who can’t leave the house a mess! And the working out 4-5x per week? Uh-huh. But the most important thing being busy has taught me? The speed of decision-making…and what’s you’ve decided, just follow through.

  4. so inspiring! also, i now feel very lazy.

  5. Holly, you ROCK HARDER than I knew. I’ll have to tweet you more in the mornings. I need to organize better. I do it all, but I always feel scattered. Multitasking is my enviable trait. Most of my family can’t do it, but I think I had it easier at my old corporate job. Multitasking is a lot easier when 1-10 of your “to do” list doesn’t have its own demands and no real schedule (I speak of my 21-month old).

    Keep doing what you do, and I’ll keep taking notes.

  6. A role model for sure!

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