Chelsea Clinton is, without a doubt, a woman with a global footprint. On the presidential campaign trail with her mother (Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton) and as vice chair of The Clinton Foundation, she works to achieve international health reform, increase opportunities for women, reduce childhood obesity, and help communities affected by climate change—all while raising, with husband Marc Mezvinsky, her own brood: 2-year-old daughter Charlotte and 3-month-old son Aidan. (She planned this interview around her breast-feeding schedule.) Leading up to the first presidential debate, we asked Chelsea to share the top career tips she picked up from her mother and father, President Bill Clinton.
Set To-Do Lists for the Month, Not the Day
"Right now, I think about what I have to get done over the course of a month, and I generally think about my life in terms of weeks within each month, setting goals for everything I hope to get done for work, friends, and most importantly, family," she says. "My husband recently told me to own up to my type A–ness in the need for a schedule, even if the schedule has shifted since we've had kids. I now try to clean out my inbox and write thank-you notes every 48 hours instead of each day. I try to talk to my closest friends at least once a month and more often if we all have the time; it's harder now that most of us have little kids.”
Indulge in Family Time
"Even though I plan my days as best I can to maximize time with my kids, I try not to think of them as something to be managed," Chelsea says. "I am fortunate to have some control over my schedule, so I organize my day so that I can soak up my time with Charlotte and Aidan in the morning or at night if both morning and night aren't an option that day. We have endless research about how important it is that children are connected to their parents—it's why it's so important we work toward paid family leave, predictable scheduling, a living wage, and child-care support."
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Emphasize the Little Details
"Ever since I was a child, my mom has instilled in me that details really matter. No matter how busy you are, you have to understand as much as possible about whatever challenge you're confronting and what you're going to try to do to overcome it," she says. "If you don't get the details, you'll miss something."
Stay Motivated After Meeting Your Goals
"One of the hardest things is maintaining focus after you've already accomplished something," she says. "View what had previously been an end goal as an interim step—I find that humbling and energizing."