Let's say you are like me. I wake up 5 a.m. to get "free time" which means I exercise, or send emails, or write creatively (aka sleep on keyboard). Then I go work 9 to 10 hours a day. After that, my two kids need to eat, do homework and talk about things like "Who do you think is a faster runner? You or Daddy?" while sitting on the toilet for an hour, just to avoid going to bed. Somewhere after, they (finally) fall asleep; but before I (almost immediately) fall asleep, I read, hit "like" 600 times on Facebook and buy clothes online that don’t fit any of us but that we all wear because we're too overwhelmed to return them.
Your schedule may be different. One woman I know sleeps until 8 a.m., works all day, puts the kids to bed, then goes back to work from 9 to 11 p.m. Another takes care of her kids all day then works from 9 to 1 a.m. But regardless of the differences in schedules, most of us hit a Friday where we scream "No more!" For me this happens every six months. Then, like great old timber falling in a virgin forest, I topple into bed and line up four or five seasons of any show on Netflix or Apple TV. It doesn't matter which one: Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Walking Dead, True Blood, Gossip Girl, Glee. As long as I am swaddled in a soundproof, down duvet and not disturbed over two full days, plus Friday night, I can get up recovered on Monday morning and go on living my life. In a perfect world, we might say that we need to do less and avoid the whole burnout-meltdown cycle. But I can’t do less—and I hear the same thing from other women all the time—which is why all of us need this particular less-than-scientific formula, the one that lets us abandon multitasking, singletasking and anything other than pause, drool, repeat. (Note: Some women may have to put extra parentheses around the whole equation and subtract guilt.)