The other day, a client shared that she was feeling a sense of overwhelm. With an abundance of things needing attention, she mentally beat herself up anytime she paused to rest and rejuvenate. The guilt was overwhelming her.
Can you relate? What guilt do you have around what is or isn’t getting done in your life? Has the overwhelm grown so big that you’ve decided to simply not do anything?
Or are you ready to reduce the guilt and increase your joy? Are you willing to release the story that you have too much to do and not enough time to do it? Are you ready to try a different approach?
It’s enticing to judge every day against our most productive day. But your best effort one day may be vastly different from your best other days. One of my Ryan’s Rules of Order states: “you must assume everyone is doing their best at each and every moment — even you!”
Simply put, some days we can juggle more tasks than other days.
Think of it this way. Anyone can juggle one ball. You can, so can I. We can also usually juggle two balls, especially if we have two good hands.
Years ago, I had a desire to learn how to juggle, so I bought a set of red and black juggling balls. And now I can juggle three items, usually with ease. But if you add a fourth ball, forget about it!
I haven’t mastered that skill just yet. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. The Pearl Street Mall in Boulder is filled with street performers who I’ve watched juggle four, five, six, even ten items at a time with ease and grace. And sometimes they’re on fire!
Our egos want to beat us up for what others can do that we seem unable to do. As my friend Regina loves to say, “I could if I wanted to.” It’s not my skill set at this moment, but I could learn if I wanted to.
But I’ve got a better idea.
Instead of focusing on what you can’t juggle today, ask yourself this one question: What can I do today? So often we’re trying to juggle too many things at once, when our “in the moment” skill set is 1, 2 or 3 balls at a time.
First, write down everything you want to get done today. Then, look at your list and ask yourself: what three things absolutely, positively must be done today? Maybe it’s a call you can make to confirm a date. Or feedback from you that someone’s waiting on. Or something you need to thaw so you can cook a specific meal for dinner.
Whatever your three “these must be done today” items are, start by doing those three things. Only those three things.
Once you’ve finished those tasks, pick another set of three things and so on… Before you know it, you’ll have juggled your way through 10 or 20 items during the day. And you’ll have done it with ease and grace.
Can’t narrow it down to three things? Then trim the list. What to remove? Use this scenario to guide you:
You’re on a boat headed toward your dream destination. The boat is filled with boxes that are all the same size and weight. These are your tasks and projects. You suddenly discover your boat is too heavy and is riding low in the water. You have to throw boxes overboard if you’re going to make it safely to your dream destination. Which boxes (tasks/projects) are you willing to release so you can get to where you want to go in life?
Open up to that willingness and you’ll begin to know what I already know about you: You always have enough time, energy, resources and wisdom to accomplish all that is yours to accomplish today!
And if you want to master the skill of juggling 3 (or more) items, start with 3 pieces of tissue. Pull them up from underneath your hands instead of tossing them in the air. Or check out this wonderful beginners juggling video (http://bit.ly/lHsPiI.) For the record, oranges make great juggling balls — and yield much more juice after they’ve been dropped a time or two!