One thing you may notice at my work desk – I have a set of juggling balls. I am a self-taught amateur juggler that first learned how to juggle at least 6 years ago. Today I understand that juggling isn’t just a fun activity. It can help you gain more focus and be better at work. There are also a lot of scientific articles that confirm juggling can enhance your brain skills or increase the amount of gray matter in the brain. Read more about scientific research here. So, if you are looking for new ways to enhance your work performance, think about juggling!
Before you read further, check out this inspirational video:
How did I start juggling and why?
Back in college, my computer broke down. Since I’m pretty technology savvy, I lost my main source of fun for a week. How I always wanted to learn how to juggle (but never found the time), I decided to spend that one week learning how to juggle. I turned on my mobile phone and YouTube. I picked a few random juggling clips and just started practicing. At first, I was throwing socks, lemons and oranges, then I turned to some balls (and anything round) I find in my apartment. Today I can juggle with 3 or 4 balls or 3 juggling clubs. I also know a lot of tricks that look great for the audience (for example clapping while juggling, back tossing or doing a yo-yo effect). Basically, I started juggling because I was bored. But I stuck to it because juggling challenges you with every trick. Every time. And that is what I love about juggling.
Part of my juggling equipment at the moment:
If you are always ready for a new challenge and always want to be better at something, keep reading!
„Juggling is sometimes called the art of controlling patterns, controlling patterns in time and space.“ Ronald Graham
Why should you start to juggle?
- Juggling is a quick stress-relief exercise you can have during any work break (you just need 5 minutes!) – As I have a set of juggling balls at work, from times to times I just start juggling during my work breaks. It calms me down and it is definitely a great stress-relief. While you are looking at your juggling pattern, you need to focus. When in the zone, you forget about any panic situations at work and clear your mind.
- It brings a sense of accomplishment – Every time you juggle and try out new tricks, you have a new challenge to beat. Juggling is actually quite complex – you have to start from basic moves until you are skilled enough to move to another step. You have to repeat it multiple times, each step at a time. And this happens with every new trick or with every new equipment you try out. Imagine every new trick as a goal. And you have at least 3 steps in your goal funnel before you reach the goal. When you finally make it, you feel like a ruler of the entire world! And like nothing can stop you. Something that looked really complex at the beginning somehow starts to look so simple to you. Until you move to the next trick, at least! 🙂 So, we can say that with juggling you work on your patience, persistence and self-discipline.
- Left and right brain hemispheres work together – Juggling uses left side of your brain to keep the speed, pace and pattern while using the right side for creativity in creating and practicing new tricks. Every day I take at least half an hour before going to bed to do my main juggling routine. I put some music on and try to match it with my juggling tricks. Each day I also try out some new tricks I previously haven’t tried. This is a great workout both for the logical and creative side of your brain.
- Juggling is an aerobic exercise and it improves hand-eye coordination, reflexes, balance, rhythm, peripheral vision and concentration – It is said that you can burn 280 calories per hour while juggling, about the same as walking! This actually makes sense. Regular juggling ball weights 120 grams and juggling clubs can weight between 140 and 240 grams each. So, when you are throwing 3 or 4 juggling balls (360 or 480 grams), or 3 juggling clubs (let’s say around 600 grams) for an hour, you make quite an exercise! Legs also receive an exercise since they handle the balance all the way. Also, you train both of your hands and that can influence your ambidexterity. So, don’t be surprised if you can suddenly use your weaker arm better! Juggling also engages your problem-solving skills. You can’t just throw all the balls up in the air and hope everything comes together! Juggling is excellent for helping you master the art of concentration.
Tips to get you through your first juggling practice
If everything you read so far sounds good, check out my tips for your first juggling practice.
When you make a decision to start juggling, just be prepared that, in the start, everything you throw up will actually be on the floor a lot often then it will be up in the air. But that is the process of how we learn. Be prepared to pick up the balls a few hundred times per day. Just stick to it and don’t give up. Also, follow the basic steps of juggling. Start slow and move ahead as you get better with each step. Don’t move along as long as you don’t feel comfortable with each step. The worst thing you can do is to skip a step. Steps are there to make it easier for you. Remember, the key to success is practice. With persistence nothing is impossible, so just stay strong and don’t give up!
“Either you can juggle or you can’t. It takes a lot of training to learn, but once it clicks, you don’t forget it.” Jan Scholz
Here is a video with basic 3 ball juggling training routine which you can use for a start:
What are your thoughts about juggling?