Do you ever feel like your circus is running you instead of you running your circus? In his Opening General Session presentation, keynote speaker Jones Loflin, co-author of Juggling Elephants, provided useful, humorous tips for getting more done by focusing on the less-obvious reasons for feeling like we’ve lost control.
Loflin used the circus as a metaphor for life, and elephants as a metaphor for all the things that fill it.
- Stop trying to juggle elephants. Admit you can’t get it done. “The result of trying to juggle elephants is that no one is thrilled with the performance,” Loflin said.
- Celebrate what is going well and focus less on what is not going well.
- Be the ringmaster of your circus. By directing attention to the right things at the right moments, you can control the circus acts rather than letting them control you.
- Create the lineup. When looking at what needs to be accomplished, ask what could be delegated, deleted or delayed. “As long as you’re holding on to everything,” Loflin said. “You can’t add new acts to your lineup.”
- Prioritize. Focus on what is the most important.