Some people are born multitaskers, while others have had to learn how to juggle two, three, or four things at once. Michiko Vivo, pastry head at Slice (The Fort), staff to Senator Pia Cayetano, and one of our 100 Amazing Filipinas, is perhaps a little bit of both. We come to this realization early on in the interview, as we sat down with her over yema cheesecake and chocolate smoothies. While she gamely answered our questions, we noticed how she still managed to keep a watchful eye over the staff; and when a few of Senator Cayetano’s associates arrive, she smoothly excused herself and ushered them into a reserved room, all the while never breaking a sweat.

What's a typical day for Michiko?

Kasi it's session break right now, so I get to spend more time here, but not here exactly, sa commissary,” she says referring to Slice’s pastry lair which is also in the Fort area. “We have another facility kasi where we bake, so after, if I don't have to go to the Senate, I go there, and then syempre, currently, we're trying to expand, and then hire more people.”

This is what Michiko is focused on at the moment. Since most of their trainees don’t have a lot of experience, she’s been teaching them everything she knows from scratch; but at the same time, as the person in charge of all the pastries, she still has to be at the commissary as early as 5:00 A.M. “After 'nun, either 9:00 to 5:00, I'm in the Senate, or if not in the Senate, sa house nina senator, kasi minsan we work there.”

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(Photo by Mike Dee)

With everything that she’s doing, we wonder if she still has time for herself, when she’s not catching up on sleep, we add. “I do naman,” Michiko answers. “For as long as I get to spend time with my family, my friends, and my dogs, I'm good with that. I haven't had the time to travel yet, but I don't think it's because of work; it's mostly because of my dogs, kasi I don't want to leave them home alone! I do have time naman pero I would like to have more time.”

For now, though, Michiko does a wonderful job at balancing her work and personal life, and she gives her own tried-and-tested advice on how to handle time wisely.

1. Know your priorities. “Actually the thing is, you just have to know your priorities, kung ano 'yung priority mo, and then you create your schedule based on those priorities.”

2. Be forgiving to yourself. “You just have 24 hours a day. Kung hindi mo natapos today, you can do it the next day. You can't just sit down there and sulk na hindi mo natapos today kasi that's time wasted again.”

3. Micromanage.Ako, kapag sobrang gipit 'yung day ko, the night before, micromanaging talaga ako, to the hour ako--anong gagawin ko from this hour to this hour--just so the next day, I'm not stressed out. I have a plan. Hindi 'yung tipong I just go out, okay, bahala na kung anong matapos ko. It pays to be anal and detailed,” she shares, laughing.

(Photo by Mike Dee)

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