Role a Day Keeps the Joker Away

- Mocking up a presentation? Enter Designer mode.
- Crunching figures on a spreadsheet? Enter Accountant mode.
- Tweaking your code base? Enter Programmer mode.

It's not the physical adoption of an identity that is exhausting. When I'm in a certain role, I am in a zone, focused on my specific task and nothing can distract me. But ask me to switch identities and my brain goes into shut down mode and I want nothing more than to procrastinate, anything but to don a new identity. The act of switching identities is simply exhausting.

I imagine that it's very much the dilemma Bruce Wayne faces every time he changes into Batman.

Actually being just Batman? Or even billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne? That's simply kick-ass. It's the changing process that's time consuming.

Think of the amount of work involved in slipping into your private study, finding the right book to trigger the secret entrance to the Bat Cave, removing your tuxedo, donning 100 pounds of protective gear and armor, ripping nylon tights on over your hairy legs, remembering to stop hitting on the ladies, remembering to start hitting on Robin...

It's not like Bruce Wayne can just slide down a pole and instantly turn into Batman, right?

<a href='http://youtube.com/watch?v=D12ynaqjMwA' class='author' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'><b>flash video</b></a>

On second thought... strike that.

So how does a small business operator cope? I think the best thing you can do is to force yourself into a majority role-a-day mode. Don't try to change your identity too many times in one day, unless you absolutely have to. If you designate specific days for specific tasks instead of chunking your day into smaller pieces spent on multi-tasking, you begin to spend more time in the zone and less in mental transitioning.

Friday for me is the day I pay my bills and do accounting; Weekends are for thought process and planning; Monday's are for networking follow-up; Tuesdays and Thursdays are wild cards, usually used for programming, UI testing or design.

And Wednesdays? On Wednesdays it's business time.]]