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How She Does It

Another working mother story, this time on Sophie Vandebroek, CTO of Xerox, whose husband died 10 years ago leaving her with three children.

How does she do it? By sticking to strict rules for travel, refusing relocations, and living simply. She hires someone to do laundry and grocery shopping, and doesn't sweat it if things don't go perfectly. "So many things we worry about," she says, "are not important." She keeps the family schedule uncluttered--only one sport or activity per kid per season--and chooses simple weekend activities and vacations, as well. She even keeps her hair short to make the morning routine quicker.

At work, she instructs her assistant not to plan any meetings before 9 am or after 5:30 pm. When traveling, she avoids scheduling meetings before 10 am, so she can fly in and out the same day.

And she always has accepted new jobs, no matter what crisis was unfolding at home. "The more senior jobs you get, the easier it is," she says. "You get less control over how busy you are, but you get more over decisions about when you're busy and how you're going to do things."

That's the secret, just keep getting promoted until you control your own schedule.

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