Your Roles List

When you meet someone for the first time, one of the very common questions is simply “what do you do?” This query really means the following: what do you do to earn your income?

The expected reply would be to explain you are a primarily a butcher, baker, or candlestick-maker, etc. Yet, this response is not a good summary of who you really are as it only covers one aspect of life. Everyone wears multiple hats in life called roles. Some do try to define themselves solely with their profession title (e.g. Executive Vice President of Odds and Ends); however, this is a less-than-satisfying approach, especially if that career ends or retirement looms in the near future. Do not allow your life to become lopsided!

One of the major complaints about modern life is that there is a definite lack of balance. Certain spheres of existence get more of the lion’s share of attention. This is why you really need a well-defined Roles List. A role is defined by certain duties and behaviors. We would expect a parent to behave differently than a child.

To achieve a real life balance, you must answer these two questions:

1) What are all your current roles?
2) Which roles are most important to you?

Take 30 minutes to think of all the roles in your life and write them down. This can be a free writing exercise and the initial order is not important. Afterwards, review this list and rank each role with the number 1 signifying your most important role.

  • How often are you focusing on your top 3 most important roles? Daily?
  • If it is not every day, why not?
  • If you are consistently fulfilling these roles on a daily basis, then figure out much time per day on each. Is that enough time? Too Little? Too Much?

Bottom Line: Refer to your roles list once a week and make adjustments as necessary to your schedule so your life stays balanced.