Someone once asked best-selling author, Nora Roberts, how to balance the juggle of writing and kids. She said the key is knowing that some of the balls you have in the air are made of rubber and some are made of glass. What happens if you drop a glass ball? It smashes and leaves a right old mess for you to clean up. There’s no recovery or coming back from that.  

And if you drop a rubber ball? It’ll bounce right back and will keep bouncing until you have a free hand to grab a hold of it again. You’re on Juggle Street, there’s too much happening and too many balls – both glass and rubber – in the air. 

Grab a pen and paper and play along to take the first step in getting off Juggle Street.   

Step 1: Write down all the balls (aka tasks, actions and priorities) you have on the go. All the things that are on your mind and in your focus. Get them out of your head and onto paper.   

We’re now going to look at what you can do, delegate, defer and delete and then just like the sorting hat in Harry Potter, sort them into priorities of glass and rubber balls.   

Step 2: Circle what is important, urgent and only you can do it. Those that are critical to the success of your business and achieving your wildly important goals or moving the dial when it comes to reaching your business vision. They’re the non-negotiable must-dos.  

They’re time sensitive and important enough to be glass balls. This is your do pile.   

Look at these tasks you’ve circled, and ask yourself, challenge yourself – are you the only person in the world that can do them? Could some of those tasks be delegated to either a team member or outsourced to a VA, freelancer or consultant?   

Step 3: Underline tasks that are important and only you can do them, but they’re not time sensitive so they can be parked for a later date. These are your rubber balls and fall into defer 

Step 4: Put a star* next to the important tasks that are glass balls (they’re time sensitive and important to achieve your goals) but they don’t have to be done by you, you can delegate to a team member or outsource.  

Step 5: Any tasks left on your list are likely to be outdated, unimportant tasks that trick you into thinking you’re being productive. These are the things that have been on the list so long you keep forgetting about them. Or you might’ve gotten caught in the (quite common) trap of keeping something as a priority because it’s easy, in your comfort zone, and you feel a sense of accomplishment when you’ve done it even if in reality, it doesn’t get you closer to your WIGs and your vision. Be brutal, cross ‘em out, get them off your list right now. Dusty old tasks be gone!   

 

How aligned are your 4D’s with Culture, Operating Rhythms and Skills?   

If you were to put your do’s, delegate and defers into the three buckets below, how balanced are they? Is one bucket toppling over and full to the brim while another is empty or is it pretty even across the board. This is a great visual way to see if you are paying attention to not just one or two critical areas of leadership but all three. 

You might find that you’re juggling so many tasks but none of them are sitting in any of these buckets and that tells us there’s an attention gap that needs to be closed which goes a long way to explaining why you feel tethered to your business and getting off juggle street feels impossible. 

Nicky

P.S. If you enjoyed this newsletter, give it a like and share it with a fellow business owner or leader who would find this valuable.

Nicky is a Sales and Business Leadership Coach with over 2 decades experience in sales and leadership. She’s been running successful coaching businesses since 2015 and is obsessed with helping business owners and teams thrive. She helps her clients install smart business growth strategies and leverage leadership for peak performance.

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