I was just talking to a colleague here at NYU who, like me, is insanely busy and oversubscribed. We both have lots of projects going on in parallel, and sometimes just simply through the day seems to be one giant juggling act.
I told him my personal theory about these things. Some people — and I suspect he and I are both in this club — are plate jugglers. We work best when we are juggling lots of plates in the air at the same time.
Of course every once in a while you just can’t help yourself. You succumb to the temptation to look up and see how many plates there are in the air. And that’s when you notice that a large number of plates are hurtling down at you from above.
I told him that my usual strategy at such moments (and I suspect it is his strategy as well) is to look down, grab the nearest plate I see, and toss it in the air.