Making Time for Our Most Important Roles
I often talk about ‘the suits we wear’, or: the different roles we play, depending on the context we’re in, or the task that’s at hand.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to create a sense of purpose, achievement and well-being - and to actually make results happen - is to get very conscious of these roles, and get very deliberate and intentional with them.
Because as we go about our day, we constantly need to adopt different roles, or 'wear suits': That of the seller, the writer, the listener, the bookkeeper, the courier, the self-carer, the student, the manager…
All kinds of responsibilities and roles, and we can't avoid having to swtich between them. And this can be either massively helpful, or dreadfully destructive - and the difference lies in intentionality.
Because most of the time, we jump from one role to the next as the situation seems to demand - like we’re multitasking our way through different ways of operating and showing up.
And that switching from one role to the next, that’s very costly in terms of our mental and emotional energy.
And it slows us down, because with each switch or role or identity, we need to adjust and settle in, which can easily take 20 or 30 minutes.
So if you need to switch roles three of four times in a day, and you lose an hour or more of your day just to do so (and most of us are switching all the time…) it's no wonder we feel so drained and ineffective at the end of a day!
So to get the most out of all you got, consider the three main roles, and plan time for each:
There’s the Maker, who executes on tasks, gets jobs done, checks things off. That’s the creative, productive role, the one that produces output and tangible assets.
There’s the Strategist, who analyses the status quo, assesses the playing field, and who creates and schedules plans, develops hypotheses and tests in order to improve operations. And, very importantly, the Strategist lays out the work for the Maker, who loves that because the Maker doesn’t want to think, plan, or decide - the Maker just wants to know what nail needs hitting next, so that he can get on with it and get jobs done.
And then there’s the third main role, which I’ll call The Performer. The Performer is the one who shows up, delivers a talk or a pitch, who publishes videos and articles, who writes books and teaches and coaches and trains: It’s the public-facing side of your brand and your business, it's the communications-interface. So when I say 'performer', what that really means is: The role you play where you deliver a performance, whether that's formally on a stage with a mic, or simply a conversation with your co-owner or a team-member.
Each of these core three roles need attention, and space blocked out in your calendar.
Because these fundamental roles are essential for building and growing a business.
If one of them is consistently missing from your schedule, know that you're limiting your results. You need to spend time wearing each of these three suits, ongoingly.
That’s why I like to see these roles as distinct identities I can step into, and I make sure I plan time for each of them.
And if ever you find yourself struggling, or annoyed that things aren’t working, ask yourself:
Is my Strategist getting enough time, and doing a good job?
Is my Maker supplied with outlined workplans, and provided with time to execute and make things?
Is my Performer (or Artist, or Teacher, or Coach, or whatever is your ‘show-up’ archetype) getting out there enough, and am I creating enough time for him or her?
You’ll notice that each question includes ‘time’, and you’ll likely find that one or more aren’t getting dedicated, intentionally planned time, but instead are being given the scraps of the calendar.
Switch that up. Block out time for that role, and watch what changes.
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