There is a much-beloved-among-writers book by Anne Lamott called Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. It covers many of the challenges writers (and speakers) face, but the title is one of the most important parts to me. It reminds me of how to manage huge projects, like a novel. Continue reading “Floss one tooth bird by bird”
Most people who identify themselves as procrastinators are not really–it’s just that they’re trying to work beyond their juggling skills. It happens I can literally juggle three objects fairly well (though with nothing approaching the skill in the video above), but if you throw a fourth object in there, I don’t just drop one object–I drop them all.
Figuratively, when life throws one more item into our juggling pattern, it can cause everything to go to, um, pieces. For some people, the presentation becomes the extra object.
Take the analogy a little further: juggling four objects requires more than just juggling faster. It requires a different pattern. In essence, you have to be able to juggle two objects in each hand.
Likewise, adding presentations to your mix of activities will require more than simply working faster.
A rule of thumb is one hour of preparation for each minute of speaking. That will vary, obviously, but if you think a 20-minute speech will only take an hour to prepare and rehearse, you are setting yourself up for stress and ineffectiveness. Furthermore, 20 hours of preparation in the two days prior to delivering the speech isn’t as effective as 20 hours broken up into pieces and spread over a month.
That takes a different pattern.
You usually can’t “will” yourself into preparation, but recognizing the need for adding another object to the pattern, and for changing the pattern, may give you the insight to be able to schedule the time you need.
There hasn’t been much activity here the last week or so. In fact, none that you could see. What’s frustrating is that I have four other posts almost ready to go, but I haven’t had time to finish them.
I don’t even have time to develop this thought very far right now, but a) I wanted to share the above graphic with you, which I think is hilarious, and b) I wanted to comment that most people in current society who describe themselves as procrastinators are wrong. They are simply jugglers who are juggling past their skill level. That’s me. As soon as I can either master throwing one more object into the mix, or can put one down, or I drop one and it breaks, I’ll pick this one up again. Soon.