Seeing all those people running around looking stressed and anxious because they have so much to do, in today’s post I’ve decided to talk about the balls 🎾.
I ask the clients who are running like the hamster in the wheel with endless to-do-lists, to complete one simple exercise. I ask them to pick one ball for every task on their daily to do list. Including tasks related to family and household.
The client is often shocked by the results.
“Wow, that’s a lot of balls!“
“Can you hold them all in your two hands?”
An impossible number of balls, in fact.
“No wonder I feel exhausted by the bedtime. And no wonder I feel like running far, far away, somewhere with no people around, by the time the weekend comes...” one woman conceded recently.
If you, too, are juggling numerous balls daily, pause for a minute and reflect.
Is it humanly possible to do so much and do every task well enough? Are all the balls equal? Which balls help you add real value at work? Which ones are linked to your KPIs? Which balles can be delegated, or even thrown away? Have you counted in the “family” balls? ‘Cause they take your energy and time too.
Once you see how many unimportant balls you”re wasting your time and energy on, you, just like my clients, will realize that not only you’re not doing justice to the quality of your work and not being strategic, you are risking to end up with the burnout.
And let’s not forget about the Pareto 80/20 principle: eighty percent of the results that you see – in terms of clients gained, deals made, or money earned – probably comes from only twenty percent of the work that you have done. The remaining eighty percent of work produces very meagre results.
If you want to be productive, rather than just flat-out busy, you might want to focus your attention on the gains made by the most vital portion of your time: the twenty percent.
Like my clients, you, too, can make a decision to radically reduce and eliminate the balls one by one. They remove the balls of other people, the unimportant ones, the balls they don’t like, the balls that can be delegated etc. When they finish that first round, there are just a few balls left on the table.
“That’s much better. This, I can manage,” comes a sigh of relief.
My suggestion to you: choose 2-4 work balls per day — your high-value tasks, things that are most important to you. Pick them the night before. Eliminate all other, less important, balls. Ask for help and give some balls to others. At the end of the day, give yourself a pat on the shoulder for not dropping your balls — despite the stresseful times we’re all in, and for accomplishing your carefully-selected high-value tasks.
Let me know how it goes, and how many balls you’ve counted! 🎱