Get the key ideas from

Drop the Ball

Achieving More by Doing Less

By Tiffany Dufu
13-minute read
Audio available
Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu

Drop the Ball (2017) is a guide to living that makes the simple argument that you don’t have to do it all to have it all. Part memoir and part manifesto, the title provides a new approach to life for modern women.

  • Young women breaking into the working world
  • Mothers still striving for professional success
  • Anyone interested in advocating gender equality

Tiffany Dufu is a consultant, public speaker, and leadership expert who helped launch the Lean In and Levo professional networks. She was named one of Fast Company’s League of Extraordinary Women in 2012 and has presented everywhere from TEDWomen to Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
4,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

Drop the Ball

Achieving More by Doing Less

By Tiffany Dufu
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu
Synopsis

Drop the Ball (2017) is a guide to living that makes the simple argument that you don’t have to do it all to have it all. Part memoir and part manifesto, the title provides a new approach to life for modern women.

Key idea 1 of 8

The modern idea of doing it all is an unrealistic goal.

Let’s say you’re an aspiring manager with a rigorous and rewarding job at a fast-paced company. What does your work day look like? Meetings in the mornings, writing reports in the afternoon, and some email exchanges throughout the day. Great! Time to clock out and relax.

Not so fast. Turns out, you’re also a mother. Once you leave the office, you have a whole other job to do. It’s time to pick up the kids from daycare, whip up a healthy dinner, and do a week’s worth of laundry. By bedtime, you’re exhausted.

Can you do it all again tomorrow? Maybe. But, maybe that lifestyle is actually unsustainable. Unfortunately, in the modern world, many women are pressured to perform perfectly at work and at home.

The key message here is: The modern idea of doing it all is an unrealistic goal.

Over the last few generations, women have successfully staked out a bigger role in public life. For many women, this has included pursuing professional careers. While this change is definitely positive, complete gender equality remains out of reach. Consider that women are half the workforce, but they only claim 18 percent of leadership positions.

One major reason for this disparity is that women, even working ones, are often still responsible for the majority of domestic labor. The tasks of raising a family, keeping a house, and other traditionally “feminine” responsibilities have not disappeared, and they're still mostly done by women. In fact, according to the American Time Use Survey, 50 percent of women handle daily housework compared to a paltry 20 percent of men.

Now, this doesn’t mean that all men are lazy or that every husband purposefully foists extra responsibilities on his wife. However, unconscious gender roles still structure how work is allocated which puts women at a unique disadvantage. Consider this: Only 19 percent of millennial men felt that having children was holding them back professionally. In contrast, 58 percent of women felt motherhood hurt their careers.

Even when a household has enough money to hire outside help to handle the chores, these pressures don’t always abate. While wealthier women welcome the extra help, many report feelings of failure for not handling the household.

It seems that in the contemporary world, many women are either stretched too thinly trying to handle a huge workload, or they’re left feeling guilty for abandoning traditional responsibilities. In the next blink, we’ll look at some ways this dynamic gets reinforced.

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Learn more, live more

Sign up now to learn and grow every day with the key ideas from top nonfiction and podcasts in 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.