Juggling time and commitments

“If you're not good at juggling, then you're not juggling. I always tell people that. if you're dropping a lot of balls, then maybe you shouldn't juggle. And that's fine... there's different ways of working.” ~ Amanda Seales

This quote from Amanda summarises the ideas about juggling that I shared last time about Juggling and Focus .

This week we're delving into the practicals about juggling​. There are four key aspects:

  1. Know yourself
  2. Know your distractions
  3. Know your type
  4. Know your team

Know yourself

Do you like to have many things on the go?

Understanding this about yourself will assist you in juggling time and commitments.

How do you identify whether you do like a few things happening at once? Try pausing and understanding your personal response when there are many projects/jobs/commitments needing your attention.

By finding out about yourself you can understand how your response is different.

For example, I am energised by having a number of actions/jobs on the go but I also want no distractions and am more single-minded when I am working with a “people issue”.

Know yourself. 

Know your distractions 

A logical next step is to think about what distracts you?

Perhaps it is a time of day or a type of task.

Do you get distracted very easily when doing certain activities? Or there other activities where you can concentrate really well and maintain focus through all sorts of noise?

Is the latter because you place high value on that task or activity? Such high value that you don’t hear people talk. Is the former because you haven’t placed high value on that activity.

Knowing your distractions and how you value them can help you work out (juggle) when to work on what.

I want to let you in on a secret, I get distracted very easily when I am doing certain activities. And it is always hose activities I don’t place a high value on.

Know your type

At Affectus, we have this amazing personality assessment tool called The Big Five. One of the most robust conversations we have with clients who use this tool centres around conscientiousness.

How is your level of conscientiousness related to juggling and time?

Well I think that highly conscientious people are often more wired for getting things finished. They tend to know the task and where it finishes.

Whereas for someone with low conscientiousness gets distracted and finds something more valuable to bounce onto before finishing what they have started.

Yes, yes I know I know I am generalising here but the point is…knowing your type it is hugely liberating.

Another not-so-secret-secret. I am not very conscientious. It’s funny because even my teachers use to say that about me! But knowing I’m not conscientious makes me more conscious of juggling my time and commitments effectively.

Know your team

This seems an inconsequential concept but it can been liberating to really know who is in your various teams. And how can the team be effective time managers?

You may have many teams in your life. And if you know the team’s strengths you can then see their juggling habits.

What do they do well? How can you tap into that strength to assist you with your juggling.
Going back to the image of the bicycle-riding, tightrope-suspended, ball-juggling aerialist in
Juggling and Focus,she is part of a team. A whole team that makes up Cirque Du Soleil.

Understand your juggling in relation to others surrounding you and draw on their abilities.

How to juggle time and commitments

Knowing yourself is a good starting point.

To assist you with knowing yourself it is valuable to get a bit of a snapshot.

Here is a link to a simple inventory.

This will assist you in establishing your time wasters. And, from that point of knowing, you will have some insight into you, your distractions, your type and your team.

A final secret.Just to let you know this is not how I juggle.

“I'm always trying to show versatility. I'm juggling, and I'm flipping fire, and I'm chewing gum and rhyming at the same time... on a unicycle, while playing the drums.” ~ MF Doom