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Women can do anything — but not everything. As the largest online career community for women, we at Fairygodboss realize that balance is a myth, and that picking what to prioritize when everything feels important on a day-to-day basis isn't always easy. In the #MakingTime series, women share with us how, for one day, they chose to spend their most precious resource: time.

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Who: Rachel Stewart

What: Author of "Unqualified Success," Executive Vice President of Titan Restoration, Co-founder and CEO of Xcelerate Software

Where: Mesa, Arizona

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5:20 a.m.

Alarm goes off.  I spend a few minutes thinking about the upcoming day and mentally preparing. I like laying in bed for a few minutes before having to start the day.

5:30 a.m.

Check emails, respond to texts, mentally review notes for the company meeting. I’ve made it a goal this year to improve the effectiveness of all meetings and this takes a lot of prior preparation and energy but has resulted in a far more engaged team.  Worth the effort!

Rachel Stewart with her book, "Unqualified Success"

6:10 a.m.

Jump in shower and quickly blow-dry hair.

6:30 a.m.

Conference call with Xcelerate Software Team to discuss new screen designs, upcoming feature releases, and other software integrations.  I do my makeup while I'm on the conference call.  

7:20  a.m.

My daughter comes in to ask if swim team starts today.  Yep!  And I totally spaced on it — somehow it didn’t make it on the calendar. I text our nanny to see if she can come early and drop her off.  Even when I try to be on top of things, I seem to always be scrambling. Flexibility has become one of my superpowers!

7:35 a.m.

Out the door for work. I love my short commute!

7:45 a.m.

Get computer hooked up and everything prepared.

7:55 a.m.

I quickly upload a video to LinkedIn from content that was already created.  

8 a.m.

Time for the company meeting with 50+ employees. It takes a minute to get people’s energy up! Company meetings following a Monday holiday aren’t great for interaction. The agenda for this meeting includes: welcoming five new employees; discussion of company detailed vision (this has been a game changer for us); discussion about industry happenings and the effect on our business; discussion about differentiators and how to maximize our advantages and mitigate our challenges; discussion on the customer experience; update the company on new general manager hiring search (this hire will give me the ability to move into an Executive Vice President role, giving me time to move forward with acquisitions in other markets, launch the job management software, and promote my new book, "Unqualified Success"); celebrate work anniversaries and birthdays.  

8:50 a.m.

Meet with my public relations coordinator to discuss different avenues for promoting the book. She gives me a list of media requests that I need to complete and articles that she needs written. I add it to my growing to-do list.  

9 a.m.

We get on the phone with Warren Cohn and his company Herald PR, the best in the business when it comes to PR. He helps us devise a social media ad campaign that we will start running in a few weeks to promote "Unqualified Success." 

9:20 a.m.

Impromptu strategy meeting with my executive team to discuss angle of an upcoming opportunity.

9:55 a.m. 

Respond to a dozen candidates for the Director of Sales Position on next steps in the application process (our recruiter and HR director is on vacation for the next several weeks).

10:10  a.m.

Meeting with Xcelerate Staff to discuss new features. The big question in the room was how to avoid scope creep and what was the main job to be done with the new feature. Does scheduling/calendaring need to be designed into the new feature? Where is scheduling on our road map? Can we complete the module without addressing the scheduling/calendar feature? We saw new prototypes of module and also discussed an open sales position and possible candidates. We really needed someone in this role yesterday but aren’t going to make a hasty hire.  

11 a.m.

Conference call with producers of a television show that want to do a feature on the disaster restoration industry and would like to highlight us. We discuss expectations, timelines, and requirements. We'll need to take this back to the team to make a decision about the feasibility. They want to shoot during our busiest time of the year. Great exposure, so we will try to make it happen!

12:10 p.m. 

I run and grab lunch and bring it back to the office to work during lunch. Our line of credit is up for renewal and the bank needs some documents.  

1 p.m. 

Conference call with recruiter to discuss the general manager candidates and game plan on the next steps. We have narrowed it down to two candidates and I need to dig further into both to make sure they would be a good culture fit and what the organization needs right now. Scheduled follow-up interview times.

1:30  p.m.

Email and phone call catch-up.  

2:20  p.m.

Call with team member to game plan for important meeting tomorrow with Healthcare Executive. We have been working hard to get this account and want to make sure we are on the same page before tomorrow.

2:40 p.m.

Employee asked if he could meet with me. He wants some career advice that doesn’t pertain to his manager's scope. I try to be careful about this… I want to be as accessible to the entire organization as possible but don’t want to undermine any managers' ability to lead or create bottlenecks.

3:30 p.m.

Reviewed and responded to emails sent by my management team regarding their teams KPIs.  

3:50 p.m.

Checked my LinkedIn and responded to people who commented on the post.

4 p.m.

Sent off skills matrix to two new members of my executive team with instructions on how to self-evaluate and times for upcoming coaching sessions. Spent time to evaluate both of them.

4:20  p.m.

Worked on completing some of the to-dos on my list. I didn’t even get started on the list my PR coordinator gave me.

4:50 p.m.

Called my dad back and made some commitments I have no idea how I will keep.  He needs help on some business projects.  Maybe I will have some time on the plane in a few days because I really want to make time to help him.  

5 p.m.

Finished filling out and signing my daughter's club soccer forms. Left to go grab her and drive to the soccer parent meeting and practice. Called my husband on the way to check in and make sure we were on the same page with all the kids' activities. Dinner will be dropped off at 6. (One of the biggest stress relievers on me has been finding someone to do meal prep and delivery three nights a week).

5:30  p.m.

Dictated some email messages to my lovely assistant (a.k.a. daughter) about an upcoming out-of-town church youth event that I am on the committee for. That happens in three days, and my husband and I are in charge of all the speakers. The venue has changed rooms on us and so we need to scramble a little bit.  

5:50 p.m.

Call my nanny and make sure she knows all the details for my youngest two children for while we're out of town for the youth conference.  

6 p.m.

Attended a soccer parent meeting and found someone close to us to carpool for the season. Major victory! Also made a note to calendar in more consistent driving sessions with my daughter. She gets her license in two months and we are woefully unprepared. How did time go so fast?  

7:10 p.m.

Called back a friend while waiting for soccer practice to finish up.  Waffle between enjoying the time to catch up and feeling guilty that I am not working on some of these looming to-do’s.  Did I mention I haven’t prepared for the 45 minute class I am supposed to lead at the youth conference?  

7:30 p.m.

Add a few more items to my to-do list to be prepared for the end of the week.

7:45 p.m.

Drive home with my daughter, catch up on her life, hear the funny stories about soccer, wonder again how she got to be this old and mature this quickly.

8:20 p.m.

Finally get home, kiss my husband, change clothes, and sit down to eat dinner. Spend time with my 5 year old and then tuck him into bed. 

9:15 p.m.

Check in with my other children, check my phone and respond to a few emails.

9:45 p.m.

Sit down with my husband to watch a television show. Fall asleep instantaneously. Wake up to the sound of him doing the dishes. What a gem. I need to do something nice for him. Let me add that to my to-do list.

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Interested in contributing to Fairygodboss' #MakingTime series? Email [email protected] with "#MakingTime" in the subject line.

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