A quick recap
Here’s what we’ve covered so far in this series. (You can click here to read the previous posts.) You know how important it is to get some review time, you’ve planned when and where you can do your review, you’ve been for a walk to mull things over, and you’ve tempered people’s expectations or negotiated with them somehow. In this post I talk about your roles and responsibilities and what it takes to ‘download them’ – to get them out of your head and onto a piece of paper. By the way, you can do this during your review time, or as preparation for it. Your call.
Try some visualisation
Picture yourself going through a typical day – do this for your work life and your family life. Now picture yourself going through a typical week. What do you see yourself doing, in your mind’s eye? What roles do you perform? You might come up with things like: Mum, Carer, Teacher, Dog Owner, Manager, Student.
Naming your r and rs
You can be creative with the names you come up with, but don’t let naming the roles and responsibilities (r and rs) hold you back. Give it a straightforward name and move on. In our house, we don’t really ‘own’ our cats – in a way they own us – but I could add ‘cat owner’ to my list anyway. I know what it means.
Your roles and responsibilities
Make a list of your roles and responsibilities – simply get them all down. Don’t forget ‘looking after me’ or ‘Me-Caretaker’ or similar – because if you don’t do that, nothing else will get done. If you have a lot of responsibilities at work, I suggest that you do a list of ‘work roles’ separately, especially if work / life balance is proving a problem. That means you need to do two reviews – one for work and one for everything else – but if you’re employed, hopefully the work review can be on their time. I talk about being a ‘Me-Caretaker’ and about reviewing your work life in future posts.
You can lump roles together for the purposes of this exercise. For example, if you consider that ‘sister’ and ‘daughter’ are roles or responsibilities, then you could put ‘family member’ to cover both. If you volunteer at the dogs’ home and you do the tea at church, you could call that ‘community member’. The only time not to do this is when part of the role is so important that it needs to be on its own.
Try mind mapping
Grab a piece of paper – a large one if you’ve got it to hand – and put any shape in the middle. A cloud, a square, a light bulb, a sun, a smiley face. Draw whatever you like. This represents your review time. Write your name, plus ‘review time’ next to it.
Draw branches coming out of this central image. Make them colourful. Label each one with a role or responsibility. Add extra branches or sub-branches at the end of each, and write on any subheadings within the role you’ve identified. For example, if you manage a household, you could write ‘house manager’ as your role. The sub-roles might be ‘paying bills’, ‘laundry,’ ‘grocery shopping’, for example. This website has some example mind maps on it.
Mindmapping is a way of thinking on paper. It will help you to figure out which roles to include, and which are important.
Top Ten Tips for Increasing Your Productivity
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