Process creates resilience

Most of us are trying to do many things in each of many areas of our lives, juggling many balls. As Nora Roberts famously said, some of these balls are glass and some of them are plastic. The key to prioritizing is knowing which will bounce if you drop them, and which will shatter.

A good process will make more of the balls you juggle plastic, instead of glass. It can’t make them less important, but it can make them more recoverable, by making them easier to hand off and easier to pick back up after a long time.


Barnes, Jennifer Lynn. “One Time, I Was at a Q&A with Nora Roberts.” Twitter, 23 Jan. 2020,

One time, I was at a Q&A with Nora Roberts, and someone asked her how to balance writing and kids, and she said that the key to juggling is to know that some of the balls you have in the air are made of plastic & some are made of glass.

And if you drop a plastic ball, it bounces, no harm done. If you drop a glass ball, it shatters, so you have to know which balls are glass and which are plastic and prioritize catching the glass ones.