Dear Brit: 'How Do You Juggle Multiple Projects at Once?'
The Brit+Co founder shares her five tips for better time management.
Brit Morin was 25 when she left Google to start Brit + Co, a lifestyle and education company aimed at helping women cultivate creative confidence. Now — 10 years, $50 million in funding and 1.2 billion pageviews later — Morin's passion is empowering more women to take the entrepreneurial leap. She's a managing partner at VC fund Offline Ventures, host of iHeartRadio podcast Teach Me Something New, creator of Selfmade, a 10-week start-your-own-business course for women founders, and most recently — Entrepreneur advice columnist. Find her here answering the most personal and pressing questions of women entrepreneurs.
Have a question for Brit? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and she could answer it in an upcoming column!
As a multi-passionate entrepreneur, how do you prioritize your time between your projects?
In today's fast-paced life, the question of how to find balance has never been more critical. Overworking yourself by compromising the time you set aside for yourself and running from one project to the next can snowball into burnout. As a multi-passionate entrepreneur, it can seem an almost impossible feat!
The key to achieving balance is much more complex than simply blocking your time; it begins with a positive mindset and progresses to better time organization and shifting priorities. So, how do you break the cycle and prioritize your time between your projects? Read on...
Focus is key
There will never be as much time in the day as we want, so selecting the primary focus for your time is the first step to success. Create a list of all your tasks and prioritize them in order of importance, acknowledging from the start that the average person will always accomplish less in a day than we set out to. Let go of the idea that one day you will be able to complete every task and project on your to-do list — as your tasks and projects shift, your list will begin to grow. For example, I do deep work hours to begin and end my day, ensuring I have time to catch up on email, the news and more before and after all of my meetings.
Some people pride themselves on their ability to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously, buying into the myth that they accomplish more in a day. However, multitasking keeps your mind from ever really focusing on any one task engagingly. Studies have shown that a natural consequence of an increase in functions is an increase in mistakes, which affects your memory and inhibits creativity. The solution? Remove as many distractions as possible and fully engage with the material/task. Pro tip: I turn off all notifications on Slack so that I'm not bombarded with alerts while I'm trying to focus.
Learn when to say no
"No" is not a bad word, and I am all for bringing it to the forefront of my vocabulary! Saying yes to every project, email request and calendar invite is a recipe for disaster and unhappy work life. Saying no frees you up to focus on the projects and goals that matter most to you and protects your ability to deliver great work.
Work in time blocks
You have already kicked your multitasking habit, so how should you organize the rest of your day to be most productive? Time blocking! Time blocking is an organizational method that divides your day into smaller blocks of time. You can choose how large or small your blocks are, adjust them as you go and stop wondering what you should work on next. Batch similar tasks together in the same block, add in blocks for personal items and bookend your time blocks with breaks. I try to leave Friday afternoons unstructured so that I can either take ad hoc meetings, deal with personal things or wrap up my week efficiently so that I do not have weekend "homework."
Give yourself a break
As multi-passionate entrepreneurs, we can easily forget to schedule a time to rest. There always seem to be more calls to make, emails to send and tasks that could get done. But to continue to be productive and creative, taking breaks is imperative. It can be as easy as:
- Schedule: As an entrepreneur, you will likely have an organized schedule stacked with your most pressing work commitments. I suggest getting just as organized with the personal promises you make to yourself. Grab your calendar and start adding in the fun moments so you can be sure to have planned for them when the time comes.
- Disconnect: We are always a click away from work in our digital age. Leave your laptop at home and put your cell phone on do not disturb so that you can truly be in the moment during the times you choose to take a break.
- Delegate: Learn to lean on your team or contractors and delegate so you can step away. Delegating isn't easy; it's a skill that must be practiced and shaped over time. But the better you become at delegating, the more effective you will be at avoiding burnout.
- Personal Growth: Find time for professional growth that feels like personal growth. Join a fun community of like-minded entrepreneurs such as Selfmade, and expand your creative journey by taking one of Selfmade's many workshops.
As you learn to master your schedule, I want to hear from you! Reach out to me by DM at @brit and let me know how you're juggling everything.
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