I read a book recently that helped me with personal organization. The book is “Juggling Elephants” by Jones Loflin and Todd Musig.
There are a plethora of comprehensive personal organization and goal setting programs out there. I tend to gravitate toward simple, action-oriented concepts for myself and my clients. That’s what I appreciate about this book and am excited to share a few of the key points.
The first point is that no one is thrilled with the idea of trying to juggle elephants! Do you sometimes feel that in the circus of life, you are trying to do something that is bizarre and impossible like juggle elephants? The fact is you can’t juggle elephants, so get out of denial and quit trying! It’s time to create a realistic plan that will work! Trying to achieve unrealistic expectations is just “not a good thing”. Certainly, there is a place for stretch goals and dreaming big. But the way to reach those big goals and realize those outlandish dreams is one realistic step at a time! Each step must be achievable.
Another point in this book is that the ringmaster (that’s you) cannot be in all three rings at one time. You have a work/career ring, a relationship ring, and a personal self-ring. To have a great circus, you must have a quality act going on in all three rings. The lesson is to choose to be present wherever you are at that moment. If you are with your spouse or child, be there 100%. If you are relaxing and renewing, turn off the cell phone. If you are working with a client, give them your full attention. You can be fully present wherever you are if you have invested the time to “line up the acts” (plan).
There are other great lessons in this book on relationships, priorities, and personal renewal. It is a fun read that stimulates great thinking. The overarching theme of this book is that personal effectiveness is rooted in planning and organization. You must commit to a system if you want your life to reflect your deepest values and priorities. Though it is a challenge to consistently plan, the results are worth it for sure!