Words to the wise - See others

Learn how to spin plates effectively

The nature of the business we are in means we rarely get the luxury of dealing with one thing at a time. For most part we are all constantly multi-tasking. The plate spinning metaphor is a good way to think about what we do. The best plate-spinners a) know the maximum number of plates they can keep going at one time b) have learned how to move from one plate to another making it look effortless and under control and c) know how long they can leave a plate spinning before it topples.

Applying that to our business you become a good plate-spinner by a) knowing your own current maximum capacity and resisting the temptation to take on one plate too many (over time you’ll likely find the number of plates you can take on at any point in time increases), b) learning tactics that ‘buy time’ (e.g. immediately acknowledging receipt of an email) so your client/colleague is left with the feeling that things are progressing and under control and c) being attuned to the tolerances of your clients/colleagues and knowing exactly what you need to deliver by when in order to keep the plate spinning healthily.

Plate-spinners and jugglers become expert with endless hours of practice and it’s definitely a skill you hone with experience. It’s never too early to start learning the principles of effective plate-spinning though.

“I enjoy multi-tasking, so I want to do a lot of things. I want to keep all the plates spinning”

- Annie Lennox, Singer