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Entries in prioritizing (14)


Good Quote About Prioritizing

After a Juggling Elephants program a few weeks ago, someone gave me this great quote:

If you can't prioritize, everything becomes a crisis.

I got this hilarious picture of a circus where someone would say, "Let's see the animal act," and everyone would race around getting it into the ring. When the act was over, they would talk again and someone would say, "How about the trapeze act?," and everyone would once again move frantically around the floor trying to get the act ready as soon as possible. The ringmaster is stressed because they know that any minute of performance lost creates a less than enthusiastic audience. And the performers are frustrated because they have no idea what to do next.

What's your circus like when you fail to prioritize? Chances are, it's not your best performance.


Working Mom Ringmasters

Not long after Juggling Elephants was published, we had a reviewer of the book comment that they would add a 4th ring to their circus-their home. She went on to explain that while she had the standard 3 rings of work/self/relationships, she also had the passion to insure that her home was a warm and inviting place for her family. Her sentiments are echoed by many "working moms" in our society today. had a recent article where they offered 12 strategies for working moms. While the tips are timeless, the writer (Heather Dugan) does a marvelous job of connecting to the specific situations faced by working (outside the home) mothers.

Read the tips by clicking here.


What's REALLY Scary

On this, the day when all manner of "evil" is displayed to try and scare others, we offer you a question that can strike more terror into an adult than any zombie, ghost or strange noise. The question...

In your struggle to get it all done, what is NOT getting done?

Why not use this day to acknowledge that you can't get it all done and that you need to prioritize your tasks based on your values or purpose?

You know what is even scarier than this question? An increasing list of things that aren't getting done because you don't start taking positive action-NOW!


Check Your Priorities

In a survey by Booz & Company, 64% of executives said that "their biggest frustration factor is having too many conflicting priorities." That is easy to understand and even relate to especially when most all of us are faced with limited time and resources. If we had unlimited time and unlimited resources, their would be no frustration because we would have the means to accomplish all of our priorities (there would be no conflict).
It is easy to get frustrated as you face work/life balance issues. Because we have limited time and resources we are torn between the conflict of taking care of things at work as well as having quality "acts" in our relationships; not to mention taking care of ourselves.
As we say in our book, "Juggling Elephants" you have to pick and choose, because there are no shortages of acts that can be a part of your circus. The secret is to be proactive, prioritize and plan what activities you are going to include in your life rather than, a) being frustrated as priorities come into conflict or b) allowing nature or someone else to determine what YOUR priorities are.
The same goes for organizations. There would be a lot fewer frustrated executives if leadership would better define strategy and priorities thus reducing conflicting possibilities. Creating a personal or organizational strategy is not easy. It takes time and energy (two limited resources). But the investment is worth it in the long run.


The Juggler In Chief

Most of us could never begin to imagine the pressures of being the leader of the premier global power. It's mind boggling. An article at entitled Obama as Juggler-Multitasking mold shapes today's Presidency highlights the frenetic pace faced by today's President.

But the source of the President's need to multitask bears a striking resemblance to our own situations. Alan Silverleib, author of the article, writes:

But in recent years, he said, the daily pace has accelerated due to the rise of the internet, wireless, and other facets of the communications revolution.

There's a "kind of blinding rapidity" in which one event quickly overtakes the next, said Dalleck. Our attention -- and that of the president -- is whipped from the latest economic crisis to the newest tornado wreckage to the latest protest or outbreak of violence in the Middle East.

Faced with a pressure for constant response, modern administrations face times "of great pressure and intense demand over a series of compelling issues," he said.

The solution highlighted for Presidents, which would also serve us well was given by Wendy Schiller, a political scientist who said, The key challenge for presidents in the 21st century is knowing when to respond immediately and knowing when to take their time to manage a given situation.

Wise words for all of us-regardless of our situation.