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How Do You Juggle It All?

Right now, I’m managing the re-launch of Pastors.com, several creative projects, multiple blogs, and a few other odds and ends. Some of you are managing much more (like toddlers, messy husbands, or air traffic control).

I’ve written before that I believe this is the age of many hats. One of the questions I hear a lot is “how do you manage it all?” I not only hear it asked of me, but I hear it asked of nearly everyone. We’re all busy… or we’re not that busy, we’re just whiners (compared to the Puritans at least). Either way, we certainly live in an age of immense complexity.

If you’re like me, you’d love to find the perfect solution for managing the chaos and simplifying all of that complexity. We don’t want to be bored, just balanced. Of late, I’ve run across several pretty great resources that have helped me find a bit more balance in my life and I wanted to pass them along.

In Artie Davis’ article, WATT Are You Doing?, Artie talks about how each of us has a certain number of “watts” per day, which represent bursts of creative energy. By devoting a watt to each major task on our plates and then dividing the rest of our time to everything else, we can be extremely productive in short periods of time.

Oleg Mokhov posted an article that also addresses How to Juggle Multiple Projects and Clients Without Going Crazy and has this to say:

Let’s face it: it’s hard working on multiple things at once. Focusing on just one thing is much easier than trying to juggle multiple projects and clients. Yet the reality for most designers and firms is you’re working on many projects and with many clients, often simultaneously. Luckily, there’s ways to juggle multiple projects and clients without going crazy.

  1. Stay organized: use to-do lists or a project management app
  2. Maximize your work time: write your tasks out the day before
  3. Avoid overwhelm: see all projects and clients as one timeline

And as for me, the recent discovery of the Things App for Mac and iPhone have been life-changing! I can now see all that I have to do by project, by priority, or by due date. I can re-arrange my timeline and schedule automatically-renewing recurring tasks such as “write a blog post.”

Things App

So the question naturally turns back to you, the crowd. How do you get it all done? Or how do you get half of it all done? Or all of it half done? How do you juggle it all?

Recommended Resource

Project Time Management

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  • http://joshuamhood.com Josh Hood

    Good post, Brandon. Time management is a vital issue in todays information-overloaded society. I have heard several people rave about Things Management Software, but unfortunately, us Droid and PC people don’t have that option…yet.

    • http://www.brandonacox.com Brandon

      Before I discovered Things, I was using Google Tasks for pretty much everything, but I somehow found a way to view it in the browser’s full width instead of the little popup in gmail.

  • http://www.caseytygrett.com Casey Tygrett

    I side with Eugene Peterson’s strategy here, that you start the day off doing something that is totally “unproductive” in the sense of work. Read a poem, sit in silence, look at creation, pray, etc. and then you are forced to push things into the remaining time and it makes you critically assess what is important and not. I think we’re balancing a lot but we don’t have a very critical definition of important, essential, and simply “nice to do/be a part of.” Clarifying those definitions is extremely important.

    Love your blog – you’ve given me some good thoughts for my own!

    peace

    • http://www.brandonacox.com Brandon

      Casey, I agree with you and Eugene. Efficiency isn’t the goal, effectiveness is, which requires silence before God when the world is buzzing around us.

  • http://www.mobiledevicemanagement.org Roscoe

    Hey Brandon,

    Do you find that technology is a double-edged sword? It helps us simplify and get more done on one hand, but creates a whole new set(s) of tasks on the other…

    • http://www.brandonacox.com Brandon

      Yes, definitely, but that is the side effect of having more tools for more connections too. It’s a give and take.