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Balancing family, home and work with Kate Byford, deputy CEO of PR company Bird Consultancy

Thank goodness for slow cookers, they are a working mum’s lifeline says Kate Byford, deputy CEO of Bird Consultancy, as she describes how she fits family and home into a busy working day.

My day

6.30am: My alarm goes off so it’s a quick shower then downstairs to get on my laptop, but not before making a big cup of coffee and getting BBC Breakfast on to get the morning headlines. This is my quiet time in the morning to check the morning news, catch-up on emails, check my diary and plan my day.

7.30am: Time to get ready. Little boy is awake – hair-up day it is then.

8.00am: Downstairs to make breakfast (carrying an armful of washing), and throw dinner in the slow cooker (a working mum’s lifeline). Then I carry on with some work while my son munches on cereal. I carefully position my laptop out of the debris zone, no-one wants to see a stray Cheerio sliding down the screen of their Macbook!

9.00am: We’re out the door by 9am – nursery run, and then to the office.

9.45am: I arrive in the office. I deal with general admin; post and messages, and then gather everything I need for our weekly team meeting at 10am. 

10.00am: The team sits down every Monday to look at what we’ve got on with clients, what new business proposals are out and deadlines for the week. Always productive, and gets us geared up for the week ahead.

11.00am: I’m straight in to a client meeting, planning future campaigns and new content for their new blog. I’ve been working with this client for years, so this meeting quickly turns into lunch… oh go on then!

1.00pm: Phone rings, and it’s a journalist request for a comment from my housing association client. Deadline 4pm, so I hit the phones to start my enquiries and draft a comment.

2.00pm: Comment has gone to the client for approval, so it’s back to my to-do list. I get some management actions out of the way; salaries, accounts, new contracts, etc. 

3.00pm: Next is a meeting with some of the team to plan an exciting new service that we’re launching to support SMEs and start-ups. Really excited about this. Inevitably, we come away with lots to do! Then back to my desk to deliver the comment to the journalist on time. Done!

4.00pm: New business meeting to end the day – this still gives me a buzz , it’s fun to always be learning about new companies, what people are doing, what they’ve got to talk about… then the creative cogs start turning. 

5.00pm: I’m out the door, usually shouting a few final things as I leave… then it’s on the nursery return run.

5.45pm: I arrive home and have a quick check in on my emails, and then it is Mummy time. This is my precious hour where I get to have some playtime. Then its wind-down time with a cuddle and a little TV before bedtime.

7.15pm: Baby is asleep so it’s back downstairs to help my husband finish off dinner and tidy up the explosion of toys.

8.00pm: Finally get to sit down to watch a bit of TV. If I’m on a big deadline this is when I might log back on and do some work, but I try and limit that as much as I can. You need your downtime to be at your best in the day.    

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