When I introduce as a blogger, author, working mother, standup comedian, dancer, motivational speaker, people usually ask me “where do you have time?” sometimes I wonder too. Because back home, I am a lazy person who loves to ly down on my swing and my husband has to insist me atleast 5 times to get up from there.
Also, I have been recently reading articles that multitasking is a myth and human brain is not designed to multi-task. It might be a failure etc. Hearing that, with a (trying to be sympathetic) face let me you, I am a big multitasker and I believe it’s possible.
So, the idea about writing this blog came based on a conversation we had with our 9 year old son during a long drive. He has the habit of making small doodles in his notebook during class. (yes, nostalgic smile for all) except for parents because we were trying to tell him that takes away his focus. “but you only said, we can do many things mumma” he had that real innocent face.
“To give an example, while you are on video call with granny, say you are playing with your sister at the same time. Do you enjoy both?”
He said “yesss…” waiting for the next ball from us
“but if you are studying or maybe watching a favorite movie climax scene, would u enjoy talking video call?”
With that smile he nodded “no”
“so, focusing on what you do, enjoying the task is much important, while you doodle in class, do you listen to mam or not?”, the parents in us are good in getting to the topic.
He just gave that biggg smile which means ‘not really’. Then his eyes brightened and he said,” so it’s like now, you are driving and talking to me sametime, doing both correctly. But when there is traffic, you will tell us not to talk for few minutes”
Wah, he got the point. End of the conversation, music mode ON, we eased the journey with music.
This conversation gave me an answer to my own question of how do I manage time. And I decided to write my mind map into point wise tips.
- The triangle time table : work, family and self is what I call as the triangle. And we can’t control the work timing or family responsibilities like morning getting everyone ready, then dinner time, weekend shopping, and extended family phone calls. These are important but try to find where can you get your me time. It’s not about what you want to do. But just find the time, and book it for yourself. No office, no phone calls, no home stuff during that time. You can even sit for 10 mins and stare at the ceiling but it’s a time that’s blocked for you. Make it a timetable.
- Don’t collapse the time table : now we are the species with extra emotions which means we tend to get over enthusiastic when we like something. So, when you enjoy you me time, don’t fall in love with it and collapse your schedule. The biggest success mantra for People who multi-task is “don’t mix and match”. If I write a blog during my office hours, that will create a back log at work and I have to end up double working on it or compromise family time later. It tangles. And using phone during family time is also a similar mistake. That’s why I mentioned it as “time table”
- Multi-tasking technique : I would say this is like the computer coding technique, especially loops and if else codes. There are subsets and the computer might have multiple commands in a single program but it executes one subset and then moves to another. So, focus on the task, close the loop and proceed with another. Example : I write short posts / quotes every morning. My family likes strong tea. So I give extra time for the tea to boil. And that 5 minutes, I write the quote / post. Once done, close the loop and focus on tea. This has become a routine now. I must say Tea is used to me.
- Priorities : this is a beautiful word we use to ourselves as a reason NOT to do things. Because I had a different priority. “I dint sit with my kid’s project because I had office work or vice versa.” but why do we think having one priority means it’s okay not to do the rest. Rest becomes optional. And who said only important stuffs can be a priority. Why do we bind to concepts and not what is needed. Let’s change the mindset. Let me give a silly example. Sleeping is my weekend priority, Saturday mornings I am a panda napping till 10 or 11 am. If I miss the sleep, I become a dinosaur. So I have the family who knows this and let’s me be panda most of the Saturdays. And that fuel, recharges me for the entire week. I feel extremely refreshed. So, find out the things that gives you energy, make it your priority. At work, every Monday I need to prepare a report. I enjoy doing it, working on numbers and graph. So, my Monday work priorities are clear, I don’t commit to meetings unless urgent. Because the report task recharges me. We can multi-task but not multi prioritize.
- Have a deadline : everything in life becomes fancy if we don’t have focus. So, have a deadline. From cooking, till planning a party, work, blogging, dancing, I have a deadline for everything. And I ride my horse of ambition with the focus. That makes me complete things so not giving me a chance to say”i started, couldn’t complete”
- Cut the junk : Thanks to the technology, we spend maximum time looking at our mobile phone, what’s so important? Glancing the forwards, forwarding to other groups, reading memes, same news on different channels, online window shopping. I tell myself there is no time for this. This also includes wasting time with people whom you don’t value and vice versa. Chit chat and gossip talks, gathering information about other colleagues, other families, this is the biggest junk that also corrupts our mind with negative energy. Never get attracted there.
- Validate once in a while : have a time table, find ur me time, don’t collapse, be focused, cut the junk, find your recharge point, try out the task with passion but remember, sit on that bench in a garden, allow yourself to reflect once in a while, if you are on right track. Your mind will give list of things that you could have done. So that will be added to your focus list. Keep running 🙂