As the weather is finally warming up in New England, so are our activity levels – of not only doing the work we love as we’re called to share our greatest gifts, but also finding time to enjoy nature’s wonderland, attend family parties and graduations, and think about a summer vacation – where we’d like to go to expand our minds, satisfy our souls and take a break from every day routine.
I’ve never been a big proponent of routine, and have been a master juggler of sorts throughout my life – because in all truth, l believe ‘variety is the spice of life’ and I like to be spicy!
That said, even the best of jugglers can drop the ball now and then, and it’s no fun (repeat no fun) when anyone drops the ball on a project, misses an important deadline and spaces out because there are too many balls in the air.
Here are 3 ways to Juggle, Stay Balanced and Still Have a Ball:
- My dear mentor taught me early on to write things down in one place and focus on one project on a time. This little piece of advice helped me communicate more clearly with one person at a time, and allowed me to be fully present and all-in. In fact, I found that it’s one of the greatest gifts to another human being to be able to listen completely and connect with who you’re talking to, without any interruption or monkey chatter. It doesn’t serve me, any of my clients or even strangers for that matter to multi-task and half listen when you’re with someone. And, if you’re reading texts or checking email while you’re having a conversation? I’d tell you and anyone else, ‘let’s talk when you have time.’
- Calendar your time in blocks, not by the hour. Many years ago, I calendared my time excessively. Now, as a recovering perfectionist and a more seasoned professional, I find that working in blocks of time suits my personality and desire for freedom and flexibility in far better ways. I’m able to do my marketing and PR writing say from 1 – 2a (not a typo); garden from 7 – 9a, consult with clients from 2 – 6pm and make sales calls when my prospects have indicated an interest, when they want to be called. And, I have haven’t even blocked in any time for media work, open office hours, writing my book, fun, treats, vacations, or exercising. Think of scheduling as a block party – and you can invite whomever and whatever you want in your life!
- Learn to Love saying No. It may sound selfish at first, but if you’re a pleaser and always ready to jump in and save the day, I ask you to consider saving your own day. Want to support a friend at their 5th fundraiser of the year and live miles away? Send a check. Always asked to organize your company’s annual event (and not be paid)? Say with the utmost kindness, ‘I’d love to but my plate is full – try me next year. But, I’m happy to bring dessert!’
If you want to run yourself ragged, and be a Busy Beaver, that’s up to you.
Been there, done that. Make time for what’s important, yes and do it with aplomb.
But life as a juggling act? Personally, I’d rather have a ball.
If variety is the ‘spice of life’, how are you going to spice things up?
Who can you give one of your balls to – to juggle for themselves?
What balls are really that important to you – and if they weren’t in motion, what would that mean? To you? To others you’re satisfying, perhaps even out of obligation?