Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why I want to spin plates rather than juggle

Over on Stacy Julian’s blog she has been talking about multi-tasking and getting organised. I love to have several project on the go and get bored if I do not have a range of things to work on or choose between. For me metaphors are important in how I think about things and organization of multiple tasks is a good example. Here is what I wrote in the recent Big Picture Scrapbooking class Me: the Abridged version by the wonderful Cathy Z.

juggling is often used as a metaphor for multi-tasking but I think plate-spinning is better. With juggling you touch each item briefly before throwing it up again and the whole impression is of only just being in control. With plate spinning you spend time on each plate at the start and then work on any that are faltering to keep them going. An added bonus is that with plate spinning you can have someone help with the ongoing work but this can’t happen in juggling.

A really important part of the plate spinning metaphor is the idea of giving a plate a small stroke to keep it going rather than having to put big work into all projects weekly. Here I have incorporated the idea of micro movements from SARK – the idea is to write a small thing on your list (5 seconds to 5 minutes) and then you do it and write the next micro movement . She explains it better in this interview. The idea is that you have a feeling of completing something.
The FlyLady idea of setting the timer for 2 or 5 or 15 minutes for a task is similar – the big job will get done but in small bits.
One of my favourite sayings is ‘how do you eat an elephant? – one bite at a time’


Sharyn said...

Great post! Love the photo and the idea of spinning plates rather than juggling :)

Jan said...

Oh thanks for the FAB links I love the Flylady, what a great site!! Going to help me heaps.
I remember the process of moving to here (NZ) very much like the plate spinning process!
Thanks for sharing.

SarahLP said...

What a super analogy - makes perfect sense!!

Kelly L said...

Found this post when looking for an analogy for plate spinning and juggling. This post was perfect!