Multitasking. It’s a skill that’s recommended by everyone, yet no one really tells you how to do it. The truth is it comes easier to some than the most, while there are a few who struggle to even do one thing. That said, every skill can be learnt and mastered.
By no means am I an expert on multitasking, so all I can do is speak about my experience.
Many moons ago, I received the best bit of advice from a peer. It was: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Being the idiot I am, I did the complete opposite. I’d give all my focus to a singular project. When it would fall apart or not materialise the way I envisioned it, it would upset me.
Eventually, I understood what my peer meant by their words of wisdom. It wasn’t about dedication; it was about spreading your attention in different areas to remain creative and relevant. I could be a copywriter AND journalist AND author AND screenwriter.
In terms of the former two, that’s where you notice a lot more prolificity. There’s a constant stream of work that’s needed on a day-to-day basis, so those deadlines will always take precedence. At the same time, they’re also the roles that contribute the most to my monthly income.
The danger is in forgetting about the other two roles since those deadlines are far more flexible. This is where I’ve had to adapt strict rules and time management to how I approach them. Since I have multiple projects on the go, I swap between them all the time and keep reminders of what needs to be done. Using calendar reminders on your phone is a good way to hold yourself accountable, as is working with a writing partner who strives towards a similar goal.
Every project is important, but I’m also realistic. I know what is doable and what isn’t. This is why I commit to things that a) excite me and b) are actually achievable.
Burnout is real and I’ve seen many bright stars crash and burn because of it. You need to look after yourself. Life is stressful and no one is going to tell you that you should take it easy. You need to do that for yourself.
Chase your dreams and make sure you get closer to where you want to be every single day (even if it’s a small step). Apply multitasking where you can and give it your all, but also be cognisant of your mental health. Nothing is worth more than that.