keep (an amount of) plates spinning

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keep (an amount of) plates spinning

To ensure that a number of different activities are progressing as they should; to deal with or oversee a several different things at once. Rather than focusing on a single project, Tara prefers to keep a number of plates spinning at once. I'm not surprised he's so burnt out—he was keeping way too many plates spinning at the same time. You can't keep all these plates spinning by yourself and expect to stay successful for long; you need to delegate some of these tasks to lower management.
See also: amount, keep, plate, spinning

keep all the plates spinning

If you keep all the plates spinning you deal successfully with several things at once. I like doing different things, keeping all the plates spinning at the same time. Note: This expression is used in many other structures connected with managing to do several things at once. He already has enough plates spinning — consultancies, newspaper columns, not to mention four restaurants — to keep him in London. When you have to keep as many plates spinning as she does, you know something is sometimes going to crash. Note: This expression comes from the idea of the circus act where a large number of plates are kept spinning on tall sticks.
See also: all, keep, plate, spinning
References in periodicals archive ?
The cast features 50 world champion acrobats and performers from 15 countries who will tumble effortlessly down 30ft poles and keep plates spinning as they perform.