As summer kicks off and kids finish school, schedules can seem busier than ever. At the same time, rising inflation is impacting household budgets and the labor shortage makes working, running a small business and caregiving even more hectic.
Juggling all of the never-ending pressures that come with work and personal life isn’t easy, it requires superhuman skills and drive to get it all done — and it’s time to give these do-it-all dynamos the title they deserve: Chief Home Officers. We surveyed 750 CHOs* and spoke to celebrity CHO Adrienne Bailon-Houghton to understand more about their day-to-day.
They’re not just the CHO of the house — they’re the CFO, too.
CHOs spend, on average, five hours each week managing their household budget. For working parents, it’s closer to 7 hours — nearly a full workday. More than half of these finance whizzes are also managing budgets at work — talk about transferable skills!
But not all budgeting resources are created equal. More than 65 percent of CHOs agree that the tools they use to manage business documents at work would help them better manage their households.
CHOs tackle household tasks while they WFH — but productivity isn’t taking a hit.
Almost all CHOs who work remotely say they multi-task. For most, that includes household tasks. But, 89 percent say their productivity isn’t compromised and 82 percent feel that they are more productive when working remotely vs. in-person. Fewer remote CHOs attribute household duties (48 percent) like parenting and chores to delays with work efficiencies than they do with general tech issues (52 percent).
And while WFH burnout is real, when it comes to the ultra-efficient CHO, they’re actually thriving. With more flexible schedules and less time spent commuting, 18 percent of CHOs who work remotely say they get more sleep and 29 percent say they spend more time on health and wellness activities than they did three years ago.
Adrienne Bailon-Houghton on Life as a CHO
Singer, actress, entrepreneur, stepmom and CHO Adrienne Bailon-Houghton knows a thing or two about multitasking and staying productive under pressure. The founder of apparel and jewelry lines XIXI and LA VOÛTE sat down with the Acrobat team to talk about what being a CHO means to her, and to share her advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs who are juggling home and work life.
What does being a Chief Home Officer mean to you?
Being a Chief Home Officer means I am my own boss, which means I have to outdo myself every single day. As a CHO, I have to take full responsibility for my goals, I can’t brush anything under the rug.
Nearly a quarter of CHOs (23 percent) feel they don’t have the right skills to manage their household budget — even though most of them are already doing this at work. Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome, and what’s your advice to other CHOs experiencing this?
Every day when I get up, I say I don’t know what I’m doing but I’m going to go for it. When you’re experiencing imposter syndrome, remind yourself, you are not an imposter, you are someone who is chasing their dreams. The only imposter is the one that’s making excuses for why you can’t get it done.
What are your tips for managing household finances more efficiently?
My parents were first generation in this country so they couldn’t teach me anything that they weren’t familiar with (i.e. credit, budget planning, etc.). One of the first things I learned was creating your overhead budget and for me, that was life changing.
I monitored what I spent my money on and I realized I used to spend so much money on food delivery apps and I had to shift that and start spending more on groceries and schedule time to meal-prep.
I also think it’s important for the entire household to be on the same page goal-wise. One person can’t be saving up and the other one spending on the latest sneakers.
You wear a lot of hats: actor, singer, entrepreneur, wife and stepmom. How do you balance it all?
I love the saying “if it doesn’t get scheduled, it doesn’t get done.” I like sticking to the weekly schedule that I create for myself because it allows me one day to rest. I also enjoy going to the gym as my “me-time.” When I need an emotional reset, I spend time with myself. I think there’s something really special about silencing all the other voices and listening to the sound of me figuring out where I’m depleted.
Are there any tools or apps you use to stay organized?
I am obsessed with Adobe Acrobat because it allows me to create incredible templates that I can use on a daily basis. I could never find a planner that fit my needs, so I created my own template that even includes what I’m grateful for; it gives me balance when I’m overwhelmed with work. It helps me reset my perspective and reminds me why I do what I do.
You created an Acrobat PDF kit for CHOs using some of your favorite productivity templates. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this kit, and how CHOs can use it?
I get inspired by things that are aesthetically pleasing so the first thing I created was a beautiful template and organized it with priorities, health and wellness, along with a goal tracker. I also wanted to include my personal life because it’s very important to me, I included date nights to keep my family life in order so I’m not lacking in any area. I also included habits as simple as making my bed because that brings me peace.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
The key is to be realistic and have a clear vision so you’re not attempting to do 17 things in one idea. Stick to three things and make that happen. It’s also important to budget in order to profit. Your budget should reflect the reality of your bank account. The purpose of investing in yourself is that you’re going to get three times your money back. Remind yourself not to give up and understand that entrepreneurship is a learning process and things will go wrong but you should stick through it and allow mistakes to become lessons. You have to be passionate enough to never give up.
*Adobe conducted a 10-minute online survey among 750 US-based Chief Home Officers, including microentrepreneurs, SMB employees and enterprise employees that are 18+, employed at least part time and/or own a business, handle business documents that require legal signatures and are at least equally responsible for household management.