Juggling balls in business

Juggling. I don’t remember ever taking a class on this in high school or college. Yet, as an entrepreneur and small business owner, you must master the skill like a professional circus star. Here are two methods that work well for me that I’ve just figured out through experience.

1) The 90-day strict focus juggling act.
This week and for the next couple months, I’m in serious lock down mode. This means other than sleeping, eating,  an hour or so of daily tennis or some cardio and cranking out quality work and I’m not doing anything else. PERIOD. I don’t recommend this approach often, it’s intense and most of your friends will think you are very weird and may even refer to you as a cave person, but sometimes, this style of juggling is just plain required.

This is a choice I’ve made because the current list of balls in the air that are directly tied to my big life goals. I am very intentional and know clearly what I want based on my core values.

My #1 life goal is: to ensure freedom and independence which are derived from financial, creative and high happy factor success.

My current list of responsibilities: my consulting work, my new book, Brand Turnaround: How Brands Gone Bad  Return to Glory, McGraw-Hill (complete manuscript due by May 1st), my Oddpodz blogging, my speech and trip Saudi Arabia all require big time, deep problem solving and creative thinking. For me, this is what I call the highly-focused juggle act. You keep your eyes and thoughts on specific projects and nothing else. You say no to social stuff, volunteer duties and anything that needs brain cells or attention, unless it’s part of your focused juggling act or really an emergency. Fortunately, I have the luxury of being single and having no dependents, so I can pull this off, this may not be so easy for everyone.

From here, I map out a very clear working plan.
This includes: daily objectives and needed tasks, support team and a detailed time line to accomplish all.  From here, I schedule daily blocks of time (the night before) to work on each of the four balls, (sometimes I even use a food timer to limit how much I spend on any given ball) stay very discipline so I don’t break my train of focus with non emergency distractions – like taking non urgent calls, checking email etc. – and I make sure I give clear instructions and expectations to any team members who is supporting me. Plus, when I do this highly-focused juggle I also do my rituals, read my affirmation as I eat right, don’t drink too much and visit my master goal list daily, so I’m so clear on where I’m headed.

When time is not such a critical factor, I use this more balanced juggling act formula, which produces great results.

2) The 365-day juggling act.
Stay calm.
Be happy you have balls to juggle. It’s much better than the alternative. Don’t view the balls that you are juggling as scary time bombs, but as great opportunities. Try to limit the number you juggle to 7 to 10 max or you are headed for the loony house soon.

Embrace balance.
Mix up your work load with non work stuff. Enjoy life, since it’s not a dress rehearsal.

Work from plan.
Write out daily objectives and needed tasks, identify who you need to support you and a develop a detailed time line to accomplish all.

Celebrate your achievements and be grateful.
Hourly, daily  and often.

Have fun, juggling is not a root canal.

Don’t forget to check out: Torn between two lovers, no different than business priorities.