I used to be an advocate for multitasking, until one day I realized – I do not like fuzz in my pancakes.
Ok, I hear you – you’re thinking “why on earth is she talking about fuzz in her pancakes?” Put down your other two electronic devices and focus on this one while I tell you a story.
One morning after I shuffled my children off to school, I brewed myself a(nother) cup of coffee and wanted to cook up a pancake so I’d have a little fuel to start my day. Then I remembered I needed to take my vitamins (all this weather change has got me feeling a little less than my usual zesty self), so I poured myself some water. I finished up my pancakes, drizzled a little syrup, and figured I’d bring my breakfast (coffee, water, pancakes complete with syrup) upstairs to my office. In retrospect, I should have just taken some time to actually eat my breakfast (without working), but I’ll save that for another blog post.
Ok, so I will tell you right now – while I may have been a hostess at a restaurant, I was never a waitress. I don’t have that skill-set, and I don’t think I’d be a terribly good waitress either. Regardless, I decided to give it a go and get up the stairs, where I saw my iPhone (which of course I cannot live without it being near me at all times). So I placed my carefully balanced menagerie of breakfast on the stairs, swooped up my oversized iPhone and a few other random papers I needed to bring up with me, along with the breakfast, and made it to the top of the stairs when…
I dropped the plate. Yup. You read that right. But I didn’t just drop the plate…I dropped the plate in a manner where it flips upside down and the pancakes hit the carpet. Yes, the carpet. Which happens to have some fuzz, which is now mixed into a lovely swirl of pancake syrup. Wonderful!! Needless to say, this reinforced all the books and articles I’ve read lately that speak to the harms of multitasking and doing too much at one time.
“You can do anything, but not everything.” ~ David Allen
How much do you put on your plate? For me, this was a good (although sticky) reminder that we all need to be realistic about what we actually can and cannot take on. Sometimes we all say “YES” too much, do too much, and think we are capable of doing it all…until it eats up too much of our time, or flops face down on the floor in a swirl of pancakes, papers and fuzz. We all need to know our limitations – as they say, knowing your weakness is your greatest strength.
Are you overwhelmed? Trying to market your business, non-profit or build a book of business while doing everything else? Stop trying to balance too many plates, and know when it’s time to reach out for help. Hiring a consultant to assist with your marketing efforts can save you time, money, and sanity – feel free to contact me for assistance.