Being a new mom and a co-founder in the tech startup world, makes for a very busy schedule. On any given week, my Google Calendar tells a story of team meetings and family dinners, design work and presentations. How do I organize my time? I’ll give you a hint: I only have one thing going on at a time.
Often in today’s world, when a lot falls on our plate, we assume that multitasking is the way to go. For me, my recipe for success calls for focusing on a single task, seeing it through, and moving on to the next thing. It doesn’t always free me from getting stuck or sidetracked, but it does allow me to give all of my attention to what’s in front of me.
How do I do it? To single task successfully, you’ll need to commit two things: your mind, and your schedule.
Commit your mind to being totally present in the moment. When I had my son in the spring of 2016, I found myself trying to do everything at once — and quickly found that it’s impossible. Instead, I have found that being present in the moment I am in is much healthier and helps preserve my energy. So, when I am at work I am 100% focused on the task at hand; I listen intently in meetings, I ignore distractions while doing design work. However, when I go home, I do not open up my phone or computer until my son goes to sleep — as I want to cherish the time I get with him. We all live busy, ever-changing lives, and I understand this is not always obtainable. However, understanding your intention is the first step to being present. And being present, of course, is the key to single-tasking success.
Changing your schedule to embrace single-tasking. For me, the easiest way to honor my single-tasking goal is to always block out time in my calendar. Instead of using my calendar to book time with others, I also utilize it to book time with myself. As chief creative officer and co-founder of Blueprint Registry, I often times need large chunks of time to work through design objectives, wireframes and final designs. In order to not be interrupted by one-off meetings or calls, I block off time on our shared team calendar to ensure I get the time necessary to complete a project.
Are you trying to adopt a more single-task oriented workflow? I’d love to hear what your strategies are, and how they’re working. Leave me a comment below — I’ll be sure to leave time in my calendar to read it and respond. :)