What is a juggler doing?

When people reach out for a metaphor to explain how they are multi-tasking, the one that most easily springs to mind is a juggler continuously catching & tossing multiple objects in the air.

The juggler is juggling. No doubt about it.

Is the juggler multi-tasking?

If the multiple objects vary, does it become a multi-task? If the objects differ in shape, size or colour; do they create multiple tasks; a discrete activity in a class of its own ? A task so considered requires its own deliberate attention & specific action.

If the juggler is cycling & juggling at the same time, it is definitely multitasking. If the juggler is running & juggling at the same time, it is definitely multitasking.

When a juggler juggles multiple objects, it is not multi-tasking.  The task is singular.



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4 thoughts on “What is a juggler doing?

  1. Mushtaq MALIK

    The juggler is not multi taking at all. Its an illusion in fact. The juggler in fact I’d doing a single task at a time. Holding the object and then releasing it. The sequence is hold-release-hold release……

    The juggling act seems our looks to be multi taking because the action sequence is done faster than the human eyes capacity to see it as a singular (broken or sequenced) task.

  2. Raghav

    Very much true in Life. When we are feel incapacitated by a huge pile of action items we feel overwhelmed. But, the fact is we can attend only one task at a time.

  3. Babu Vincent

    Thought provoking, Rahul. We keep multi-tasking – especially in start-ups. At times, people are overwhelmed by the pile of things to attend to. When it comes to results, it is neither here nor there. The main thing is to have the eyes on the ball – even for a juggler. He loses the plot when momentarily he takes his eyes off the ball. I read somewhere, multi-tasking reduces one’s intelligence a lot.
    What do you think, Rahul?

    1. Rahul Vitekar Post author

      What we struggle to acknowledge when we multitask ( cell chat while driving ) is that by necessity, one task at any given moment absorbs our core energy to the detriment of the other. In this scenario, a lapse could be costly.

      In other scenarios, do we accept that if we attempt to do two things at the same time, we are doing neither as effectively? If we can accept that one thing is being done better than the other ; & can live with the results; so be it. Example – watching news while running on the tread mill. I know I grasp better if I dedicate my whole attention to news.

      We are a fascinating species. As a human being, if I believe that I read better with music playing in the background; this can become an anchor for a resourceful state over a period of time. Simply because I have attuned myself to it. If I were to somehow be freed from this attuning & become a beginner, I may grasp once again that both reading & listening as exclusive activities allow us to immerse ourselves whole & soul into them.

      Multi-tasking diffuses our energy & blunts the efficacy of our actions. If it does not reinforce our self-fulfillment, we can makes ourselves feel less intelligent.

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