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8 Multi-Tasking Women Let Us In On Their Best-Kept Secrets to Stay Productive All Day Long

Like, how do you juggle several roles at once?

1. Archana Jain

Managing Director and CEO, PR Pundit

As the MD of a PR agency, Archana has her hands (and hours) full, managing a 100-member team, liasoning with clients, and fuelling PR Pundit’s creative development, which involves organising campaigns and building brands. “Sometimes I feel like I cannot breathe given the number of roles that I have. I have learnt to divvy up and organise my week, and different times, to be able to play multiple roles.”


MY TIP
“I find it’s easier to start my day early and tackle things one at a time. Clear all your e-mails first—it allows you to focus on your priorities for the rest of the day. Then during the day, turn off e-mail notifications as they tend to distract and break your focus. I check mine only at periodic intervals. Lastly, find a time of day when your performance is at peak. Instead of labouring through the day tackling various tasks, I find I am able to get things done much more quickly during my peak productivity time.”

2. Suchita Jain

Joint Managing Director, Vardhaman Textiles

“I am currently shadowing the chairman and my duty is to conduct monthly group reviews, services and corporate reviews, which covers finance, accounts, HRD, IT, commercial taxation etc. I am also involved with all the new projects that are undertaken by the group.”


MY TIP
“Unlike what people say...don’t try to be a perfectionist. Put in your best and leave the rest to take its course. You cannot control everything and the more you try to, the more stressed you’ll become, and it’ll show in everything you do. I am a very goal-oriented person, and at the start of each year, I make a list of objectives and enter them into my phone—I cover all my short-term and long-term goals. This helps keep me on track, as well as focus and prioritise on the immediate tasks. There will be days when everything is falling apart, and suddenly you’ll be faced with business and personal issues. But you have to accept these challenges as a part of life and remain calm, maintain a balance and keep multi-tasking.”

3. Dildeep Kalra

Director, Massive Restaurants Pvt Ltd. and Founder, Style Horn

Massive Restaurants operates under four critically acclaimed, fine-dining restaurants—Masala Library, Made In Punjab, Farzi Café and Pa Pa Ya. Dildeep is the go-to girl for audits, catering hygiene, and everything from HR to marketing, and also branch conceptualisation for upcoming ventures. “I’m also in the middle of launching my own app called Style Horn, which is about liking or disliking, and allows people to give you honest feedback about your pictures. You can also become a home seller on the app, without any external charge.”


MY TIP
“As a rule, I plan the next day before I go to bed, and I document all upcoming tasks on my phone. This helps tackle any time management woes because I know exactly what I’m supposed to do, and when. Also, my main advice—do not procrastinate. Being at Massive, my husband and I believe in doing things now, not just today. We have become so attuned to doing things rightaway, that tomorrow just isn’t an option.”

4. Vandana Luthra

Founder, VLCC Group

“The major chunk of my work is devoted to daily meetings on brand strategies and expansion, I need to be aware of anything new happening in my industry and adapt to changes. I have also been involved in several other
initiatives in the beauty and wellness industry. Other than working as the chairperson of VLCC, I am also working as the chairperson of the Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council. My job is to create an organised body that can set benchmarks and service standards for this sector, and can provide a platform where students can interact with industry leaders.”


MY TIP
“I start my day early with a couple of suryanamaskars to keep myself brimming with energy all day. It’s my own personal time, even if it’s only for a few minutes. For the rest of the day, I prioritise my tasks according to
importance. But it’s key to delegate those tasks—leave it to the people who are skilled in their individual areas of work. The more files you clear by transferring them from your table to that of an assignment expert, the more time you have to generate new ideas.”

5. Namita Thapar

Executive Director, Emcure Pharmaceuticals and CEO, Young Entrepreneurs Academy, India

Namita heads finance, HR and marketing at Emcure, and also teaches students about entrepreneurship at her academy. She’s also on the board of a public company and of her business school, the Fuqua School of Business.

MY TIP
“I make lists and prioritise like most people. But the one thing that I find helps me most—is that I’m, not ashamed to ask for help. It shouldn’t make you feel any less like a leader. In fact, it helps you do your job better. My job also requires me to constantly make quick and effective decisions, and I tend to go with my gut. As much as I would like to get people’s opinions on a matter, I don’t always have the time to, but my instinct hasn’t failed me so far. I also have designated time slots for each task during the day, which includes my workout session, being a mother to my kids and all other commitments. I make a to-do list on my way to work, and I end my day early to spend time with my children.”

6. Adwaita Nayar

Head, Nykaa Retail

Daughter of Falguni Nayar, CEO of Nykaa.com, Adwaita has taken up the challenge to launch Nykaa’s on-ground stores. She now handles 16 stores—a number that will rise to 55 by next year. Apart from retail, Adwaita
also plays a pivotal role in brand building and marketing.

MY TIP
“I’m really into to-do lists, and at the beginning of each week, I make a list of things I need to achieve in each sector: marketing, projects, meetings, communication, etc. Then, at the end of the week, I review all that we’ve done. I put time blocks around everything! If I’m doing a particular task from 1pm-2pm today, I’ll either finish it by then, or stop doing it at sharp 2pm. Giving yourself a deadline forces you to finish tasks, and being aware that
you only have an hour or so to do it keepsyou focused. Additionally, every morning I ask myself this, ‘Out of all the tasks to do today, which ones would actually make a big difference?’, and then I ensure that out of all I’m doing, at least a few are super-meaningful. I’ve also set this culture in my team where every meeting we have has to be minuted. We share these minutes after every meeting, and allocate specific tasks to each person."

7. Pushpa Bector

Executive Vice President and Head, DLF Shopping Malls

Pushpa is responsible for leading and managing all DLF Premium Malls, where she heads the business units, including marketing, leasing, finance and operations. Alongside that, she’s working towards the launch of several spanking new malls. “ATM, I’m mostly concentrating on interacting with tenants on a personal level to see how they are in sync with our philosophy.”


MY HACK
“It’s important to prioritise when you are handling so many things at once. I put my morning gym session to extra good use by using that time to make to-do lists for the day, and think about all the things I need to prioritise. I usually give business and people oriented issues more importance than compliance issues. It’s extremely important to stay calm while juggling so many things, yoga helps me tremendously. I also visit the spa twice a month to keep stress levels in check, and cash in on some me-time, too.”

8. Rashmi Daga

Founder and CEO, FreshMenu

FreshMenu is an online food portal that delivers homecooked, gourmet food to people. It hosts a variety of different cuisines and has kitchens all over India to make sure that the food is freshly prepared (and hot) when it reaches you. Today, FreshMenu clocks in about 14,000 orders, and Rashmi personally visits each kitchen to ensure the hygiene levels match her high standards.

MY TIP
“The one thing that helps me manage my day better is spending very little time on e-mails. I keep them either for the end of the day, or when I’m on the move. I see that people really get stuck with e-mails, and allocating a certain time for them goes a long way. Also, don’t try to be superwoman; use as much help as possible, whether it’s at home or your company. You really need your support system because that allows you to save a lot of time
every day. As most of my day is spent travelling to different kitchens all over the place, I use that time to observe things in my industry—from the latest trends to the people I need to reach out to—and much more.”