Zen Event Managers

Skift Take

- Multitasking is said to be one of the most critical quality of an event manager. Do you agree?

zen habits website

When I think about productivity, GTD, being organized and blogging, I think about Zen Habits. It is the best written blog about all of the above (and more) topics. No surprises it won the award as Best Overall Blog in 2007.

I am one of the thousands fan of Leo Babauta, its editor, who has accomplished a lot in life and shares daily tips on how to tackle stress and life.

I decided to interview Leo and ask him how we could become ‘Zen Event Managers’. He demonstrated to be a great individual and with amazing kindness replied to my questions.

While it is useful to be able to multitask when necessary, I don’t think it should be your main mode of working. For me, at least, learning to single-task — to focus on one task at a time and block out all distractions — has been the key to being more productive, to getting important things done (as opposed to a lot of unimportant things), to reducing stress, to simplifying my work life. It’s a more important skill in the long run.

– Managing events raises stress levels to rooftop. What would you suggest to deal with this daily nightmare.

Simplify things as much as possible. Take a look at everything you do (make a long list) and decide which ones are most crucial. Then streamline things so that you get rid of the unessential. You might not get everything done, but you’ll be less stressed and you’ll get the essential things done.

– Our desks are full of projects, programs and PC monitors, how should we cope with this clutter?

Declutter. Get rid of everything you don’t absolutely need. Then set up a system where you keep things in one place instead of all over the place, and stick to the system. See my Zen To Done (ZTD) system for more info.

– We are often convinced that working more actually delivers better results, do you agree?

No, not at all. What is important is doing the essential tasks that get you to the accomplishments you want, not doing a lot of busywork. If you can do 3 important things in 4 hours, rather than 20 non-important things in 10 hours, you’re more productive and more efficient. And less stressed. Learn to eliminate the non-essential.

– To become ‘Zen Event Managers’, the first thing we should change is…

Learn to focus on the important, and to eliminate distractions.