Why Multitasking Can Be Bad For You

by Jessica Tan, Communications Manager

As a mother, multitasking is a skill we need to keep the household running.

But at work, I realised the team (my second family) needed a mentor more than anything. Someone to make the right decisions, provide guidance and give encouragement when they needed it most.

2020 was a crazy year of multitasking while trying to stay afloat. The team started in October 2019 with just one person, me. And by end of 2019, I had two amazing staff transferred to my team. We doubled in January 2020 and by October, we were a team of 10. We ended 2020 as a team of seven. For the first time in my career, I was also faced with three resignations in my team. They had wanted to pursue their own dreams and I wish them nothing but the best.

How was 2020 for me?

To sum it up, it was a rollercoaster ride. Emotional highs and lows coupled with family challenges. It was a painful year. I cried, I cringed, I complained, I was exhausted but I never folded. I needed to hold it all together for my team and family.

I spent the first half of the year interviewing over 100 candidates, not just for my team but for the other teams as well. While trying to wear a few hats at the same time. When the Movement Control Order (MCO) hit, I was tasked to be in the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) team. It wasn’t just handling the internal communications, it was everything from ensuring medical aid is available for our operations team, managing the new SOPs and working arrangements to inquiries to ship medical aid. We even launched two new offices. One of which started from design to built. I didn’t do this alone. I had supportive teammates.

My five takeaways:

  1. You’ve got to start it. It’s always tough at the beginning but it starts with you. No one is going to make it happen. You have to start it and rally the team. I’m glad my team stood by me and brave through the unknown. We had many firsts and those experiences will carry us through.
  2. Trust the team to make the right decision. Give them the space to grow and explore. Guide but don’t provide all the answers. It’s all about the journey and not just the end goal. We want to cultivate thinkers and not doers. Leaders and not followers.
  3. Never compensate quality over deadline. If it doesn’t hit the 110% mark, don’t let it pass. It will come back to haunt you. Work on something as if it’s the final version. Don’t compromise quality.
  4. It’s never about you. As cliche as it sounds, don’t take things personally. If you put the team first before your own pride and ego, you will see things in a different light. This has really kept me going for the team.
  5. Know when to ask for help. It’s never a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of self-awareness that we still have areas to improve on. It’s humbling and at the same time, you’re also helping someone else to grow and acknowledge their strengths.

What do I want for 2021

I hope to bring together the right talents to build the Teleport brand. I hope that my team will be brave to face the challenges ahead together. I hope and pray that 2021 will be better for us all.

Thank you Sara, Asyikin, Yasmin, Jasmine, Nic and Lish for journeying with me. #DreamTeam

(Originally published on the Teleport Blog on December 27, 2020.)

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