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READER Q&A: HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR TIME & MULTI-TASK? TIPS FOR JUGGLING SEVERAL ROLES?


rainbow shirt top, leeum museum seoul.

Kikoo you !!!

Oki … I said that I had a question for you and here it is !!! I see that you are a blogger, author, lifestyle authority and designer. My question is, how do you manage your time, per ‘role’ each day ? How do you prioritize when you are clubbing, doing public apperances, writing content for your blog, working on upcoming books … the works.

You seem to have so many pots on the fire I wonder how you compartmentalize everything. I don’t really want to talk about myself here but I will say that I am awed at your ability to multi-task. I have many things in front of me including soon to be moving to Europe to be with my fiance and having to support myself financially. My training/speciality is advertising and marketing so I feel that I can ‘bounce’.

I am very curious as to how you pull this off!
Best to you and Basil. Your silly, dark sister in New England.
– Ging

† † † † † † †
On my lengthy list of OCD fixations, productivity is written in caps. I think there are always ways in which we can “work smarter” without sacrificing sleep (and heaven knows I catch almost as many ZZZs as Basil Farrow!).

Everyone knows the tricks for getting work done: find a well-lit and quiet environment, limit distractions, plan in advance, write down little goals for the day (such as studying up to a certain chapter)…

So if we know all the answers, then why are we panicking the night before our Japanese exam? Because it’s one thing to list ways to be productive, and quite another to tick the boxes.

It is my MINDSET that compels me to finish tasks: my attitude towards productivity is unusually tyrannical.

Stop letting things slide and crack the whip.

Spit it out. Hem and haw, and you’ll never shoot the video or start the kitty blog. The product might not be as polished, but better to release an imperfect pearl than let it fester in your shell.

Today, for example, I worked on… something (can’t tell you yet!). I wasn’t 100% sure about it, but sent it off nonetheless. Chances are that it’s fine and I won’t have to dwell on the thing any longer. If it’s not, then better to get feedback ASAP and make changes.

Buck up. This is a favorite saying among some of my friends, used in the context of going out: “Buck up! Put on those heels and get on the Yamanote Line!”

Again, it’s all about mindset: to stay on the couch is to be feeble. Strength means showing your face at two Tokyo all-night parties in a row. The main purpose of these outings (for me, at least) isn’t hedonism, but inspiration; rejuvenation. And what better way to meet “like-minded travelers” that open your eyes to new opportunities?

The image of “juggling many roles” is an intimidating one. I view my daily schedule as a series of tiny tasks: writing a blog post, finishing caption edits, drafting a design, replying to an advertiser and my agent, prepping photos for future posts. These tasks may be for different ends, but they’re all manageable… as long as I get them done. From this perspective, I don’t think I have more roles than normal; some of you are students with part-time jobs, or have children/cats to care for…

(Do it yourself and do it now!)

Rants, reactions? Hit me in the comments, and I invite you to send me questions to answer in subsequent posts. Do it!

Song of the Day #118: Pink Martini – Je Ne Veux Pas Travailler

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52 Comments

  1. Posted May 19, 2009 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Excellent insight! :) I keep a daily planner with me at all times, and I always make a list of small tasks to do the night before. As I do each one, I cross it off the list. It makes it so much simpler to be productive without feeling overwhelmed!

  2. Posted May 19, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Excellent insight! :) I keep a daily planner with me at all times, and I always make a list of small tasks to do the night before. As I do each one, I cross it off the list. It makes it so much simpler to be productive without feeling overwhelmed!

    • Posted May 19, 2009 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Hahah I do the same, using Notepad on my computer (since it’s so easy to load up!)

  3. Posted May 19, 2009 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Carmina, thank you. “Better to release an imperfect pearl than let it fester in your shell” might be my new mantra for a while.

  4. Posted May 19, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I like how you said you view your sched as a series of little things. its sooo much less overwhelming when you look at it this way. I use that trick myself cuz it works. my poor little mind doesn't go into shut down mode that way lol. and at the end you feel good for getting it all done. and bonus you can look back and realize that it was not such a big deal after all, no need to freak out just cuz you had lots to do. which helps motivate me for the next round.
    make sense?

  5. Posted May 19, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing your insight on these things <3 I know sometimes I get flustered trying to balance my many divergent activities, so it is really nice to hear your advice on how to get a ton of things while staying focused and productive XD

  6. Posted May 19, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    And I know you have tons on your plate!! How is the planning for the event going?

  7. Posted May 19, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Yes – no need to freak out! We could all remind ourselves of that…

  8. Posted May 19, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    <3 <3 <3
    Wishing you the best of luck! Gambatte!

  9. Posted May 19, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Hahah I do the same, using Notepad on my computer (since it's so easy to load up!)

  10. Posted May 19, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    “i have a litlle slave humbert that murmurs 'aw fck it' in my ear.. nature calls some blood to decline and ruination”

  11. Posted May 19, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Yay! you're post inspired me to finish my pile of school work!! :'D now it's done! I'm such a procrastinator, I think my chibi loli fell asleep!! I'll make this post her alarm clock. :D

  12. Posted May 19, 2009 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Carmina, thank you. “Better to release an imperfect pearl than let it fester in your shell” might be my new mantra for a while.

    • Posted May 19, 2009 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      <3 <3 <3
      Wishing you the best of luck! Gambatte!

  13. Posted May 19, 2009 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    I like how you said you view your sched as a series of little things. its sooo much less overwhelming when you look at it this way. I use that trick myself cuz it works. my poor little mind doesn’t go into shut down mode that way lol. and at the end you feel good for getting it all done. and bonus you can look back and realize that it was not such a big deal after all, no need to freak out just cuz you had lots to do. which helps motivate me for the next round.
    make sense?

    • Posted May 19, 2009 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      Yes – no need to freak out! We could all remind ourselves of that…

  14. Posted May 19, 2009 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing your insight on these things <3 I know sometimes I get flustered trying to balance my many divergent activities, so it is really nice to hear your advice on how to get a ton of things while staying focused and productive XD

    • Posted May 19, 2009 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      And I know you have tons on your plate!! How is the planning for the event going?

      • Posted May 21, 2009 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        Ohhh that event actually happened a couple of weeks ago…Planning it was stressful and challenging, but it came together very nicely~! I uploaded a ton of pictures from the fashion show onto MySpace, so please check them out if you get the chance ♪! I’m looking forward to doing more J-Fashion type events that bring different styles together so I’ll keep you updated on my future projects in the SoCal scene and maybe we’ll be able to collaborate on something XD

  15. Posted May 19, 2009 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    this is so true! trust Carmina for the stylish approach to a Margaret Thatcher-work ethic (Maggie is a bit of a joke for me, if i only get like three hours sleep, i say im 'doing a Maggie'..)
    thats probably the only thing id disagree on, in fact. i find i get more work done inthe small hours than during the day. we have an all-night library in my college, so it works to my advantage.

    best part of this post: 'better to release an imperfect pearl than let it fester in your shell. '
    i think this totally applies to blogging, also anything creative, even just writing college essays- gotta just keep at it! also i have a major stationary fetish, lots of little notebooks for keeping lists in..

  16. Posted May 19, 2009 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    “i have a litlle slave humbert that murmurs ‘aw fck it’ in my ear.. nature calls some blood to decline and ruination”

  17. Posted May 19, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Yay! you’re post inspired me to finish my pile of school work!! :’D now it’s done! I’m such a procrastinator, I think my chibi loli fell asleep!! I’ll make this post her alarm clock. :D

    • Posted May 20, 2009 at 3:11 am | Permalink

      Hahaha! Rise and shine, chibi!

  18. Posted May 19, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    this is so true! trust Carmina for the stylish approach to a Margaret Thatcher-work ethic (Maggie is a bit of a joke for me, if i only get like three hours sleep, i say im ‘doing a Maggie’..)
    thats probably the only thing id disagree on, in fact. i find i get more work done inthe small hours than during the day. we have an all-night library in my college, so it works to my advantage.

    best part of this post: ‘better to release an imperfect pearl than let it fester in your shell. ‘
    i think this totally applies to blogging, also anything creative, even just writing college essays- gotta just keep at it! also i have a major stationary fetish, lots of little notebooks for keeping lists in..

    • Posted May 20, 2009 at 3:09 am | Permalink

      Oh, I am most certainly a night owl myself, when it comes to work hours. I was referring to bad planning that leads to panicking right before something is due, resulting in an unwanted all-nighter. Glad you like the pearl quote – and YES, it applies 100% to blogging and any artistic pursuit!

  19. Posted May 19, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    i get distracted way too easily. not by things happening around me, i just tend to drift away in thought for long blocks of time until i finally snap out of it. i can't help it.
    lots of time lost there=/

  20. Posted May 20, 2009 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    i get distracted way too easily. not by things happening around me, i just tend to drift away in thought for long blocks of time until i finally snap out of it. i can’t help it.
    lots of time lost there=/

  21. Posted May 19, 2009 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I am most certainly a night owl myself, when it comes to work hours. I was referring to bad planning that leads to panicking right before something is due, resulting in an unwanted all-nighter. Glad you like the pearl quote – and YES, it applies 100% to blogging and any artistic pursuit!

  22. Posted May 19, 2009 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Hahaha! Rise and shine, chibi!

  23. Posted May 19, 2009 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    *giggles* Thx for answering my question and you DEF need to animate this tiny, dominatrix loli …. *ouch* She's strict ! ~*^

  24. Posted May 20, 2009 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    *giggles* Thx for answering my question and you DEF need to animate this tiny, dominatrix loli …. *ouch* She’s strict ! ~*^

  25. Posted May 20, 2009 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    Wondefull! With my busy lifetyle, I nomally put remindes, lists and tasks in my mobile!

  26. Posted May 20, 2009 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    I have so much to do that 24 hours (and I have to sleep too, le sigh…) just aren't enough!
    My day job doesn't exactly help me out there either.
    Do you have any good advice for getting time, or rather, MAKING time?

  27. Posted May 20, 2009 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Wondefull! With my busy lifetyle, I nomally put remindes, lists and tasks in my mobile!

  28. Posted May 20, 2009 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I have so much to do that 24 hours (and I have to sleep too, le sigh…) just aren’t enough!
    My day job doesn’t exactly help me out there either.
    Do you have any good advice for getting time, or rather, MAKING time?

    • Posted May 20, 2009 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Hmm… I have some friends who find it hard to say “no,” or feel obligated to show up/support a dozen events or friend groups…. I think I’m pretty good at setting my foot down. I don’t consider it to be selfish, but an honest appraisal of how much time I have, and how I can best spend it.

      Hope that helps a bit!

  29. Posted May 20, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Extremely helpful blog!!

    Because I am guilty of pretty much everything you've said NOT to do on here, lol!

    Thank you so much for sharing how you manage your time;

    it really helps to be able to do that, no matter how busy one's schedule is.

    I'm going to use the information you've given readers in this blog to motivate/help myself to start managing my time too!

    <345 ~

  30. Posted May 20, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I'm so glad! I tried to use some imagery – the oyster pearl, the little Loli on the shoulder – to help make it concrete. I'm sure you'll see a difference in the way you work!

  31. Posted May 20, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Hmm… I have some friends who find it hard to say “no,” or feel obligated to show up/support a dozen events or friend groups…. I think I'm pretty good at setting my foot down. I don't consider it to be selfish, but an honest appraisal of how much time I have, and how I can best spend it.

    Hope that helps a bit!

  32. Posted May 20, 2009 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Extremely helpful blog!!

    Because I am guilty of pretty much everything you’ve said NOT to do on here, lol!

    Thank you so much for sharing how you manage your time;

    it really helps to be able to do that, no matter how busy one’s schedule is.

    I’m going to use the information you’ve given readers in this blog to motivate/help myself to start managing my time too!

    <345 ~

    • Posted May 20, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      I’m so glad! I tried to use some imagery – the oyster pearl, the little Loli on the shoulder – to help make it concrete. I’m sure you’ll see a difference in the way you work!

  33. Posted May 21, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Ohhh that event actually happened a couple of weeks ago…Planning it was stressful and challenging, but it came together very nicely~! I uploaded a ton of pictures from the fashion show onto MySpace, so please check them out if you get the chance ♪! I'm looking forward to doing more J-Fashion type events that bring different styles together so I'll keep you updated on my future projects in the SoCal scene and maybe we'll be able to collaborate on something XD

  34. Posted May 21, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Looks like fun!!

  35. Posted May 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    everything you do is awsome.I am in aw of your work (in fashion and cooking)

  36. Posted May 23, 2009 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    everything you do is awsome.I am in aw of your work (in fashion and cooking)

  37. Posted May 23, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I love these Reader's Questions features. Really inspiring! I, too, am very hard on myself, but I don't really act on it. Now I'll take the next step and GET THINGS DONE NOW!! >:D Thank you, Carmina… ^^

  38. Posted May 23, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I'm so happy you like the feature! Feel free to email me any questions to answer here.

    You can do it!!!

  39. Posted May 23, 2009 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    I love these Reader’s Questions features. Really inspiring! I, too, am very hard on myself, but I don’t really act on it. Now I’ll take the next step and GET THINGS DONE NOW!! >:D Thank you, Carmina… ^^

    • Posted May 24, 2009 at 12:08 am | Permalink

      I’m so happy you like the feature! Feel free to email me any questions to answer here.

      You can do it!!!

  40. Posted May 23, 2009 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    I love these Reader's Questions features. Really inspiring! I, too, am very hard on myself, but I don't really act on it. Now I'll take the next step and GET THINGS DONE NOW!! >:D Thank you, Carmina… ^^

  41. Posted May 24, 2009 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    I'm so happy you like the feature! Feel free to email me any questions to answer here.

    You can do it!!!

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