What Ring Should I Be In?

This time management technique is actually an aspect of Juggling Elephants, but it's too good a method to pass up -- even if managing your life like a circus seems too outlandish to you.

Juggling Elephants divides your life into 3 "rings" -- Work, Relationships, and Self -- and shows you how to create a lineup of "acts" -- which most of us would call projects -- for each ring. They then recommend asking yourself the following two questions every time you start doing something:

  1. Which ring should I be in? It does no more good for you to worry about work on your fishing trip, or to worry about your exercise program while on a date with your partner, than for the ringmaster to attempt to be in all 3 rings of a circus at the same time.
  2. Which act should I be focusing on right now? Acts should be "brought on stage" in order of importance -- but only if they're ready to go on. Trying to finish a proposal without the crucial data from the marketing department will only leave you frustrated.
This time management technique can help you switch your brain out of the multi-tasking mode that's often necessary in the modern world, and into the uni-tasking mode that allows the greatest productivity on a project.

Doesn't sound like you? Go back to Time Management Hacks and look for a time management technique that fits you better.

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