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Entries in juggling elephants (30)


What Is Your Juggling Elephants Routine Costing You?

The first line of the article said it all: A couple going on a European vacation remembered to take their duty-free purchases and their 18 suitcases, but forgot their 3-year-old daughter at the airport. Read the entire article by clicking here.

Apparently they were late for a flight, and in the rush to the gate they forgot to check to make sure they had all five of their children. The good news is that the child was safely flown to meet them on the next flight. Scary moments.

A comment by one of the grandmothers really got my attention. She said, "We're in shock. They're very responsible and organized, top-notch people." Let's review-they left their child at an airport and flew to another country! While it would be so easy to just scream at the parents, I have to wonder-how many well-intentioned people have made some really poor choices because they were just working or living at such a breakneck "juggling elephants" speed.

How many good employees have left an organization because their manager or supervisor was just too occupied with "busy work" to respond to their needs. I'll bet there are a ton of individuals who have abandoned their life's passion because they were too busy with the daily rush of life. And yes, all too often, we see children or spouses get left behind in some way because someone was focusing too much on the "wrong ring."

What is your "rush to the gate" routine costing you? Some things are just too important to be lost.


Before you lose something of value to you, why not read (or reread) Juggling Elephants? You can buy it here.


Speeding Doesn't Help With The Elephants

I had to laugh. The article got my attention when it said, "Running behind the clock?" The main point in the article was that driving faster to get somewhere quicker was relatively futile. The statistic given by the National Traffic Safety Institute is that if you drive 10 miles at 70 mph versus 55 mph, you only save 55 seconds-less than a minute!

One solution I have found when running late for a meeting is to call the person expecting me for the meeting. When telling my anticipated arrival time (after apologizing for being tardy), I normally add a 10-15 minute cushion. Two benefits are created. One is that if there are any other traffic tie ups or delays, I'll still be on time. The second benefit is that if I don't encounter any more delays, I'll actually arrive "earlier" than anticipated and they will be pleased.


To stop the constant speeding in your day to try and get everything done, click here.


Building Energy Around The Message Of Juggling Elephants

Recently I did a keynote presentation to over 200 sales managers from a large corporation. It was a pleasure to be asked to speak to this group. What was even more exciting was to walk into their corporate facility and see the "set up" of the meeting. They had taken the concepts from Juggling Elephants and wrapped it around the theme for their conference. It included:

  • In the lobby they had set up a concession stand for the breaks where they served drinks, popcorn (popped fresh in a circus-like popcorn machine), and cotton candy.
  • The Directors had dressed up in a variety of circus outfits (gypsies, barkers, clowns, etc.) with the emcee and the vice president dressed as ringmasters.
  • Every detail was covered right down to circus music that played at the breaks.

Each participant had been given the book Juggling Elephants prior to the conference and were encouraged to read it before attending. This was a group, like most of us, that has plenty of acts in their circus. The stage was set for us to have a fun yet very frank discussion on the importance of being the ringmaster of our circuses and creating the performance of a lifetime. I would highly recommend such a setup and experience to any organization whose employees are feeling overwhelmed with too much to do. Taking an intermission to refocus is critical and will bring a return on the investment (and lots more standing ovations).


Sharing The Message of Balance

A recent review of Juggling Elephants on Amazon highlighted the ease of sharing the strategies of the book with other people: Carole Roman writes:

Great little book about putting everything in your life into perspective. Oddly enough, I read the book last night and this morning ended up describing the methods to both my sons this morning. They were overwhelmed and complaining about all the crazy things going on, and the whole idea of changing yourself into the "ringmaster" resonated with both of them. The authors highlight the main ideas or concepts, which are all pretty much common sense, but useful to remember when we get swept up the the swirling circus of our lives. This book could be a lifeline to anyone who feels life spiraling out of control, and if they use the tools to focus, place the players to their best advantage and not get caught up in the impossible, it may find themselves sitting back and enjoying the show. Juggling Elephants is a crash course in finding your center and then strengthening it by taking command.

Thanks Carole!!!


Elephants Aren't Always Negative

If you are following the dates of our blog posts, you will notice a HUGE gap between this post and the last one. We have been diligently working on the launch of Getting to It, which was released last month by Harper Business. We are thrilled with the book, and hope you find it beneficial as well. You can download the first chapter here as a pdf, or here as an Mp3.

Our journey to launch the book was quite an elephant, but it reminded us once again that our elephants, or those things weighing on our time and energy, are often not negative in nature. They are simply work or life events that come our way and require more than our normal attention.

And in keeping with our training about managing our elephants, we recognized that we couldn't keep the same number of "acts" in our lineup, so we stopped our blog for awhile. The good news is that we're back now, and looking forward to sharing our thoughts once again on time management and work/life balance.

Thanks for joining us for the circus of life. We appreciate it.