One of my clients recently commented that with all her responsibilities she felt like she was juggling a lot of balls in the air — managing the shop, its employees and its inventory, her charitable obligations and her responsibilities with two young kids at home plus her husband.
Can you picture yourself there?
I certainly can. At any given time I have content to write or deliver related to ICAP and our Members’ Studio, lectures and workshops to prepare for events where I am speaking, coaching calls with clients, planning for upcoming events or launches, not to mention the various balls I am juggling as a wife, sister, aunt, friend, and homeowner or any other volunteer position I might have. It truly could make you dizzy.
And, I know your life is not any different than mine or Beth, my client. How do I, and you, manage to juggle these responsibilities and not succumb to the falling balls? Here are some tips.
Outline your responsibilities
You have to get a handle on what you are responsible for in your life, so start writing. Create a list of your responsibilities and relationships.
It might include your work and what it entails; your family responsibilities; your personal care needs, such as that massage or exercise; outside activities, such as church or your art guild.
Keep in mind what your values are because they are critical here.
Identify what you need to do
This is about getting it out of your head and onto a list. Once you do that you can get some control.
Write down everything you need to do currently. You’ve got the list of responsibilities so that gives you a head start.
As you write down items, consider if you need to do it or it could be delegated to someone else or even deleted. Remember not everything you want to do really needs to be done — or done now. Put those items on a separate list.
Schedule your tasks
Once you have your list, get your tasks into your calendar.
You’ve got that list of tasks to delete or delegate. You might find more to add as you schedule. Schedule in a time to do that delegation.
Set a deadline and start to work on completing the tasks. This puts you in control.
And, create some kind of follow-up system to keep you on track.
Learn to set priorities
Not everything on your list needs to be done, does it? (See above about delegating and deleting.) Be ruthless about what is really important and what is not. And be ruthless about which responsibilities and relationships are most important and when. Again ask if they link to your values. You want to be able to put your time where it counts in your life, not someone else’s life.
Knowing your glass balls
When I start to feel overwhelmed by all the juggling I have going on, I remember an interview I watched with news anchor, Diane Sawyer. She talked about how life is like juggling. We are juggling glass balls (family and health being two examples) and plastic balls (some of the less important stuff). She emphasized to make sure we did not drop the glass balls. The plastic ones could drop and not cause too much trouble. But the glass ones are a different story.
It’s your turn!
Do you have too many plastic balls in the mix so that the glass balls might break? What can you do to get rid of some of the plastic balls or at least manage them better?