What we can learn from jugglers

Juggling is hard. Even when you start out with the lightest of items, the degree of difficulty is pretty tough. While throwing only one single item in the air, catching it, and repeating that series over and over again isn’t all that tough, it can be tiring if you do it for long enough. But the likelihood of you dropping it is low, or at least lower than if you were to add even one more item into the mix. It’s even lower if you just handle the item rather than throwing it up in the air, and it’s less tiring.
When juggling, the degree of difficulty increases with every item you add, and also is adjusted even further by the type of item you add. Heavier items will drop faster, requiring quicker reflexes, sharper items need to be handled with extreme care, smaller items demand more attention to detail so that they don’t hit the ground.

Yep, juggling is hard.

I never was very good at juggling — or at least not so much if there was more than one item. As soon as another entered the picture, not just one of the items — but both — would fall to the floor. By trying to juggle more than one item, I lost focus on all of the things.

Knowing all of that, why do we juggle tasks, projects, minutes of the day? We know juggling is hard. When we watch a juggler in action, it’s impressive. Many of us say that we could never do it ourselves. And we’re right…but we still try to do it in our own way.

So, what can we learn from jugglers?

  • Juggling one item, by definition, is not juggling.
  • Jugglers became great at juggling because they didn’t juggle anything but the physical items they used to actually juggle. They focused on excelling at actual juggling.

We really should leave the juggling to the jugglers and focus on handling our stuff instead.