Going Digital

“This digital world is what you make of it in the end.” ~ Ciara

mobile-mom

Our Department has recently enrolled us in a Digital Academy–a series of 6 training modules aimed to equip us with the technical knowledge in communicating our brands through the digital evolution age.

An exercise, “A Day in the Life”, showed us how much of our digital footprints are imprinted on a regular day. From the time we wake up to our sleeping hour, we have at least 20 social media interactions, web searches, video streamings, and app usage everyday. I myself use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, Spotify, Snapchat, Youtube, Viber,  Messenger, Waze, Swarm, RPGs like Pokemon Go, and of course WordPress on a daily basis. That’s a huge step from just absorbing brand promotions using ATLs even BTL activations. Mobile usage has increased to about 60% compared to website/desktop internet access to only 30%, while watching TV are only at 10% and still on a downtrend. More and more people crave for accessibility and convenience in social sharing networks, and this has greatly influenced not only the way we consume brands, but the way we lead our lives in general.

As a working mom, I admit that I have depended on digital activities to help juggle multiple tasks, ease workload and still maintain relationships, from the homefront to the office. Waze helps me get from home to office, or to summer ballet classes while avoiding the usual Manila traffic. Youtube helps me think of new recipes for lunch and dinner. Viber and Messenger helps me keep updated with friends that I don’t see as much as I used to. Netflix with wine at home is our new Fridate (and even Mondate or Tuesdate). Though I have yet to try Honestbee, these along with Zalora and Lazada are the kind of apps that also cater shopping and delivery convenience for the working moms.

While today’s work-and-family life demands that we fulfill obligations faster and smarter, digital applications have truly lent a helping hand for working mothers. However, we have to be careful on how and how much we use social media. Security  must always be prioritized–especially in sharing pictures or personal information online. We must ensure that these privacy settings are in place especially on social media. We must watch carefully what our children digest through YouTube videos, lest they are chatted online by strangers or predators. We must be cautious in not looking at our phones too much, especially when on dates with our significant others or when on catch-up reunions with friends.

Think before you click, as they say. In this digital world, there are numerous applications that we are attached to that can create infinite dependencies. It is important to speak the digital language to know how these platforms may help us with the daily grind, but we should be wary not to let these technologies totally control our lives and our relationships in the long run.

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Travel Bugs

“There is a kind of magicness about going far away and then coming back all changed.” ~ Kate Douglas Wiggin

I’m on my last leg from an assignment in Eastern Europe to attend and assist delegates in a conference. Before that, I came from another weeklong midyear conference, out of town, from which I was the lead organizer for 500 delegates. Two weeks away from my family to fulfill my duties for work. 

It’s been difficult both physically and emotionally to be away for so long. Before when I was single, I would relish the thought of traveling to new places. I’ve always wanted to visit different destinations since I was a little girl, and my work has given me opportunities to see beautiful places in my country and around the world. Travel has always been a passion and a blessing. 

But having my husband and my daughter changed my priorities. If I can limit my trips now, I would gladly take that option. Otherwise, a lot of planning and preparation ensues. As a working mom, I not only have to ensure that every detail of the trip itinerary is complete, but also stock up on supplies for the household and endorse childcare to my family.

Here are some tips when a working mom goes away on a trip:

1. Make a Laundry List.

It helps to list down your daily routine so you can go it over with your husband, yaya or the Lolo/Lola on the things needed to be done and prepared everyday. This is what you do when your child wakes up, eats breakfast at this time, goes to her nap, playtime and bedtime routine. Schedules can be pinned to the ref or anywhere that can be easily seen, so the child’s routine will not be disrupted even while you’re away. 

At work, make sure to sit down with your superior to let him know of your trip details and scheduled return to work. Update him with your tasks and things to be settled so there are no loose ends before you leave.

2. Accomplish in Advance.

Prepping is very vital prior to your trip. Plan the menu and the meal plan for the week. If you can, cook the food the weekend prior and assign days for the week for each viand. Stock up on groceries (with a little extra for emergencies). Leave some money with someone you trust in case of an emergency purchase. List down names and contacts of your pediatrician, teacher and nearby baranggay/ police station.

Meetings can be set prior to your trip so you can settle concerns with customers without worries. Submit all deliverables in advance and assure clients that they can still contact your assistant or reliever while you’re out. 

3. Go online. 

You don’t have to spend so much to call and check up on home. While away, I use different tools to keep in touch: Viber, Skype, FB messenger. Before I left home, I tested all the apps on my device and my husband’s and brother’s to make sure they’re working. We aligned time zones too so we know which is the best time to call each other. Now I’m learning to use WorldSim too so I can call home and work for a minimal rate. 

In the office, I’ve turned also my auto-reply with my email address (not mobile phone) so customers and suppliers can still reach me for urgent matters. 

I am grateful for the support system I have right now–my spouse and my parents, along with yayas and household help–that have allowed me to take on trip-related responsibilities while they take care of the home front. I’m fortunate as well to have workmates who are willing to carry some workload while I’m gone. Without them, the delicate work-life-travel balance will not be possible. So, while it’s expensive, I make sure to buy everyone little tokens of appreciation from my trip. Goodwill always goes a long way.

And while you’re at it, enjoy the trip! Let go of the guilt and take in the scenery. Each adventure truly changes you, and you leave with new life lessons.

Thankful and excited to finally go home! 

Blinkist: Never Stop Learning

“A Smarter You in 15 minutes.” 

This was the promise from Blinkist, a new app I discovered online. The app features over 1000+ books, presented in 15-min snippets of the most important highlights, which you can enjoy through audio or text. From business/ marketing, to success / time management, even to relationships and parenting, the selections are really relevant and your library can be personalized to feature books that are interesting to the user.

Blinkist

From someone who collects books in the bookshelves and in my bedside table, never being able to finish them because of mommy duties and work responsibilities, this is a welcome breather. Now during my drive home, I can just choose a category and listen to new nuggets of wisdom, instead of feeling tired and frustrated with the rush hour traffic.

The app comes with a free trial only for 3-days. I’m thinking of extending my subscription for a year… a year of stress-free traffic and more learning time for this working mommy 🙂