Heading into the end of this day, I’m painfully aware that something bad happens when you are trying to juggle too many plates at the same time.

Too many balls in the air? Photo by AlamarPhotography

The main thing that happens is that I lose focus.  If I have that many projects on the table at the same time — just to make sure I remember that they need to be done — I can’t pay attention to the one that is the priority.  Because I’m still aware of the other ninety-two projects sitting there waiting for me to do something with them.  And afraid of what will happen if I drop one.  Accidentally, of course.

I’m surrounded by piles of things that ALL need something done with them.  Answer a message.  Make a decision. Download something before the date expires.  Finish the last three items on a particular project list.  Order a book.  Remind my readers that they need to do something.

Oh yeah — Hey, you need to comment on my blog here, if you want to win an amazon.com certificate!  And do it before noon Eastern time Friday April 16th.  That’s tomorrow.  There.  I reminded you 🙂  Checking that one off the list now.

The thing is, this is a dreadful way to get anything done.  Really.

The worst part is that I know better.  I coach people on time management skills (among other things), for goodness sake!  Now I’m guilty of one of the worst habits:  not taking my own advice.  I know that people at the top keep orderly habits.  I know that successful people only work on one thing at a time.

This week I’m not doing that.  And I’m cranky and unhappy today, in the midst of all the unfinished things staring at me.

So here’s my solution.  I’m putting ALL the piles out of sight and ONLY keeping out the one thing that is the priority.  I can’t actually do anything about the rest of them anyway, so why are they in my visual field distracting me?  Now I can focus and concentrate.  Works out much better that way.  Wish I’d wised up around Tuesday instead of Thursday, though.