Multi-tasking Plate Spinners!

Penguins balancing act

Have you ever seen those old episodes of the Ed Sullivan Show where a juggler starts a plate spinning on a tall dowel, then adds another plate to another dowel, etc.? In the end he has a long line of the things spinning and runs around like a maniac to keep them from slowing and crashing to the stage. Here’s what I’m talking about…



You have to admit that the performer in this YouTube video, Erich Brenn, was quite good at multi-tasking! His is a practiced, finely-tuned act. Personally, I tend to be a bit of a klutz, so I would never even attempt this sort of feat! If I just had to do it, I strongly suspect that I’d suddenly find it hilariously funny as everything started falling apart, and then the whole act would be utterly lost!

When you get right down to it, none of us are all that great at multi-tasking. Something always suffers as we focus our attention on what we deem the more pressing issues. Juggling competing demands can leave us just as harried, ineffective, and exhausted as we’d feel if we were unskilled plate spinners. We have to know our strengths and weaknesses, develop resources and collaborators we can call upon when our metaphorical plates begin to wobble, and then recognize when we’re about to be overwhelmed mentally, physically, and emotionally — so we can call in our team of expert assistants before that happens!

My plates have wobbled many times and have occasionally crashed in a messy heap! I can’t say it was hilariously funny, but I survived it. Hanging onto my sense of humor helped.

Enjoy the video!

Verspielte, glückliche Füße

A version of this post was originally published on 1/16/13 on the author’s Bowen Speech Blog while it was hosted outside WordPress.


Cynthia Williams Bowen, MS, CCC-SLP owns Bowen Speech-Language Therapy, LLC in
Clearwater, FL.  Cyndee provides quality, creative, collaborative treatment to adults and adolescents with communication, swallowing, Parkinson’s, and related disorders.

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