How many roles do you have in life? I have at least 8 roles which I have to
juggle and separate, when I say separate I mean mentally separate each role. At
the moment I am a Father, a husband, a support worker, a coach, a counsellor,
a website creator, a blogger, and consultant.
I didn’t really take notice of the different roles until a few weeks
I usually get up at around 5.30 ish and work on the blog or a website. I
usually wake my kids up at around 7am. So, 7am comes, I walk upstairs
wake them and come back downstairs to cram a few minutes more work. I
then shout at the kids for not being ready, or not brushing their teeth after
me telling them for the 5th time. I then cram another few minutes in. At
around 7.30am I wake my wife up for work or university and then cram another
few minutes into work. Then when I know the kids are ready and had breakfast
and their lunches have been made I then have a cold shower and get ready for
work. I have a cup of tea with my wife and then get the boys ready for
going out to school and off we trot at about 8.15am.
So, from 7am until about 8am I have slipped between roles of blogger, website
creator, father, husband, and getting ready for support worker; 5 roles in
all. What happens is that I get grumpy as hell as sometimes, mentally,
I am not finished one role before I slip into another. So I take it out
on my family, not realising why I am being a bit grumpy.
What is happening is that I am not mentally finishing one job before trying
to go into another job and then not finishing that one before going into another. It’s
like reading 8 pages of a book, you start one page, don’t finish it,
go on to the next page, don’t finish that one and so on and so forth. Nothing
really gets finished. This is mentally frustrating and can cause stress
and anger. I hate starting something and not finishing it, even if I
don’t like the task. I don’t like things being left undone.
Due to the blog and a few website commissions coming in I am much busier than
normal the past few weeks. It was my wife who pointed out I was being
a bit grumpy, which wasn’t like me. We spoke about it and nailed
it down to the mornings and nailed it down to not being able to concentrate
on one role at a time.
A tip for switching between roles
This may seem extremely simple but the trick to switching
between roles successfully is two fold:
- Recognise what roles you play in life and note down when you play them
- Set times for changing between the various roles. This has to be
a conscious thing. For example if you work in the morning set a time
for finishing that work and don’t go back to it. I now finish
my blogging and website stuff at 7am and am a father and husband until
8.30am; then I am a support worker until 4.45pm then I am a father and
husband until about 7pm and then I am a blogger and website creator until
about 10pm. Obviously this changes at the weekend and on holidays, as my
father and husband roles greatly increase in time.
This has helped me tremendously over the last few weeks, I am a lot calmer,
less stressed, and I am getting more things done in life and am procrastinating
What I also found useful was to create a pie chart of what roles I play and
the percentage I play them. The pie chart shows a typical 120 hour waking
week for me. It was interesting to see how much time I spend in different
roles. Doing the pie chart a few weeks ago made me realise I needed to
spend more time with my family so I rearranged a few hours to make more time
for my family. I would like to get rid of the 25% I spend working as
a support worker for the homeless, but money dictates. However I like
my job but spreading the 25% around some of the other roles would be great.
What roles do you have in life?
Why not create a pie chart like the one above or simply note down the percentages
of each different role. I think you will be surprised at the number
of hours spent in each role; it may let you look at life in a new way. If
you do work out the percentages why not post them and I will create an overall
pie chart for everyone.