Julie Campistron knows how challenging it can be to balance work, family and her own self-care on a daily basis: She's a mom of two, CEO and co-founder of one of the leading meditation apps, Stop Breathe & Think. Julie spoke with LIVESTRONG.COM and shared her greatest tips on productivity and success — both of which don't include the widely-celebrated act of "multi-tasking."
Why Julie Doesn't Multi-Task Between Work and Family
In a world of smartphones and immediacy at every turn, it's hard to shut down and truly be offline. And when you run your own business like Julie does, "free time" can be particularly elusive. So what's Julie's number one tip to be productive? She sets time windows and tries not to multitask.
"I'm usually in the office or meetings from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., but from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., it's important to disconnect to handle our family dinner, my son's homework and bedtime routine," she says. "If I need to catch up on something important, I carve out an hour or two where I'm in full work-mode after 8:30 p.m., but I try not to multitask between family and work."
Julie strives to stay present because she believes it's crucial for her as an entrepreneur (and a parent!) to be the best version of herself in any situation she's in. When she drives her younger son to school in the morning, they connect by listening to an Audible book or she tells him an invented story (usually Harry Potter themed).
"Once I drop him off, I use the 20 minutes to my office to take work calls or catch up with my friends and family in France," says Julie. Another important part of her commute? "I will park and take a few moments to check in and do one of Stop, Breathe & Think's mindfulness activities (her current favorite: Relax, Ground & Clear)."
How to Achieve the Best Work From Your Team
Owning a business is a challenge for hundreds of reasons, but Julie says that one of the biggest ones is that she's constantly under pressure to lead her team to success. Whether you're hiring seasoned or entry-level employees, Julie believes in allowing all team members to truly own their work.
Julie's Best Tips for Real Productivity
Just because you're in meetings all day doesn't mean you are necessarily being productive. How often do you finish a meeting without having determined a real action item for moving forward? Julie's action-oriented productivity tips are key in building a pathway to success, with less stress.
"I'm a big fan of to-do lists. Mine are old-school written post-its, but they help me to stay on top of things," she says. "I always take handwritten notes during meetings, they help me remember what was said and I add to-do's from the meeting in the right-hand margin to be able to compile the aforementioned to-do lists more easily."
"Then, I write follow up emails with action items clearly laid out, and block out time in my calendar for projects I know I need to focus on uninterrupted." For Julie, productivity only comes when she's able to take the time to organize her thoughts, hone in on one task at a time and, above all, be truly present no matter what life throws at her.
Sounds like a great recipe for success!