As much as we can try to automate, systemize, strategize, plan, organize and follow different processes, lists, exercises and formats for getting us to consistently work to grow and develop your business while being able to maintain a constant level of consistent operation or service; in the end businesses are created, developed, maintained, worsened or improved by human beings. In the case of the solopreneur, that person is him or herself, in the case of an investor it will be the people working in the company he or she holds shares in. Therefore it is important that we make the best of what makes humanity unique, placing people in positions they can shine, with environments or structures that work with our nature rather than trying to force our nature into a soulless machine’s standard or by narrowing the scope of one’s duties purely for the sake of supposed efficiency or organization.
My proposed solution for dealing with this is identifying your major modes of operation. Oftentimes we don’t feel like doing a certain task one day, while another task may be appropriate for that time that is just as productive and conducive to where one wants to go, but does not think of doing, limited by a daily routine or structure that expects the same kind of performance from the same person every day. That level of discipline of course is generally necessary especially when it comes to high priority tasks or time sensitive duties, otherwise managing your tasks to manage your moods will have the greatest impact in not only productively getting the job done, but doing so regularly at the highest level of quality, creativity and inspiration.
Once your figure out your major modes of operation, you can classify them in order determine what kinds of tasks or responsibilities are handled by which of your most prominent states or moods. While, as previously mentioned, there will be times when specific duties are inflexible and must be carried out regardless of mood, all other tasks can be organized based on what you will do most effectively that day to reduce wasteful excuses or justifications for procrastinating or doing tasks without the highest level of focus and proactivity possible. Here are 3 main modes of operation I identified in myself:
Alpha/Business/Science Mode of Operation
This is when I’m motivated, waking up early, doing all the morning rituals perfectly, following the ideal and healthy plan I’ve made for myself without excuses. These are the days where I should focus on high priority income generating tasks, the sales process, improving information technology systems for dealing with data, analytics software or providing more means for the success of others. These are the days to talk to clients, partners, reach out to connections or audiences and finalize systems to make access to what you offer better, more convenient and friendly.
Beta/R&D/Study Mode of Operation
This is when I have a tough time getting myself to work on anything due to a slow-paced lethargic state I can get into when I’ve hit a wall with pushing myself to just get things done. These are the perfect times to sit back, listen to a lecture on my field of study, dive into a relaxing read of relevant topics for my business and relevant education, or look over papers, courses, documents or other enriching material, finally going back, reflecting assessing or writing your takeaways, what you’ve learned, your inspirations and aspirations for tasks or improvements.
Omega/Art/Production Mode of Operation
This is just one of those days where I wake up feeling funky, I don’t care about the rules and want to do something different. On these days I don’t mind diving into a creative project spending what seems like an endless amount of hours creating, refining, expanding, experimenting, developing and completing proper production work for internal projects or to share with the world. These are the best days to get right into the creative and art aspects of your business.
Parallels With Psychiatric Theories
The above three, I found after writing and researching similar understandings, parallel the findings of Harry Stack Sullivan, considered one of the most original and distinctive American-born dynamic psychiatry theorists, and his identification of the three forms of cognitive development. The Alpha mode I identify parallels his Syntaxic mode, the beta mode his Prototaxic mode and the omega mode I present his Parataxic mode. He argues each one is a different stage in development where the syntactic (what I identified as alpha) being the most mature. I am arguing that we can leverage the advantage of each of these modes said to exist in all people according to established psychiatrists like Sullivan. In any case, not to be strict to one construct or set of theories, in order to apply this to your life, modifications or starting from scratch are encouraged if necessary. You may have a completely different set of modes of operation, you may have only two or you may even have more than my humble three.
Others yet may only have one mode that they usually operate in, and they’re issue then is working to make the most in the rise and fall of their energy within a specific day, more similar to my other article here on the site “Matching Your Energy With Your Tasks.”
I hope this post has helped you to start to figure out what your modes of operation are and how you can prioritize your work at any given time based on what will allow you to make the most of your time and energy.