Stop juggling and catch the important ball

Have you ever heard someone say that they "juggle" several projects/responsibilities at the same time? Some people see this as a proof of their efficiency at work. The analogy with juggling is very good, but maybe not in the way they think.

I can juggle with three balls and I am childishly proud of the few tricks I can do. Juggling is also relaxing (unless you are learning, then it is frustrating) and gives your upper body a good workout. When you juggle each ball is in your hand for just a fraction of a second. You have to throw it quickly and in the right direction so you can catch the next ball. This means that most of the time the balls are in the air, out of your control and your view.

I believe that the situation is the same when you "juggle" projects/responsibilities at work. You can only regard each for a short time before you have to take care of next. Most of the time your projects are "in the air" out of your control. Wouldn't it be better to have just two balls, one in each hand? As long as they are in your hands you control them to 100%.

Most methods for personal organizing is all about identifying the important balls and let the less important fall to the floor. You know where they are and can pick them up later, when you are finished with the more important ones.

So stop juggling, identify the most important balls and let the others rest. Since you can work more efficiently with each project in turn, the amount of effort is the same or even less then if you try "juggle" them all simultaneously.


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