Using An Alter Ego To Help Find Work-Life Balance

using an alter ego

When I started working from home, the divide between work and home life didn’t just get blurred. It pretty much completely disappeared. And I really struggled with setting boundaries.

One of my colleagues who I was working with when this really started to affect me, suggested the idea of alter egos to help divide or compartmentalize your day.

Alter Ego Vs Personality Disorders

Just to be clear when I talk about alter egos, I’m not talking about dissociative identity disorder or multiple personality disorder. Those are genuine, serious psychological conditions. I’m talking about something that’s much less serious than that.

I’m talking about trying to find different sort of modes for your mind within one personality or within one identity.

So like Superman and Clark Kent, or Batman and Bruce Wayne, or Iron Man and… okay actually Iron Man’s not a great example because he just owned the fact that he was Iron Man and Tony Stark, but let’s stick with Superman and Batman.

I’m trying to make sure I choose my words carefully because talking about alter egos does start to lean towards or overlap with the idea of multiple personality disorder.

And that’s very definitely not what I’m talking about. Like I already mentioned, I’m talking about sort of having different modes to shift your mindset at different points throughout your day.

How Can You Use An Alter Ego In Your Daily Life?

Bruce Wayne doesn’t forget he’s Bruce Wayne when he puts on his bat suit. He knows he’s Bruce Wayne in Batman mode and that’s kind of really what I’m getting at here.

So for example, in work mode, I don’t sit with my phone on Instagram and I remember to switch off my laptop at the end of my workday.

I in workout mode know to start with a few breathing exercises and a little bit of mobility to warm up. I in blogger mode know to plan script and schedule all of my content.

In outgoing extrovert mode (which is very rare) I know to try and hold conversations and try and be engaged and try and be present.

And then me in downtime mode kind of covers everything else, just letting me recover, letting me recharge. The downtime version of me is a little bit selfish and just 100% focuses on self-care.

But having those separate modes kind of helps me keep myself compartmentalised. It sets some boundaries, but then it also means that I’m very purposeful and very deliberate with every mode that I’m in.

How I Switch Between Modes

My work mode is super efficient and super focused.

My fitness mode focuses on my nutrition and trying to get the most out of every rep of every workout.

My blogger mode is constantly thinking about how we can improve processes, starting to look at traffic, starting to look at promotions and reading up on that without other distractions.

As I already mentioned, my downtime mode is 100% focused on self-care.

And then I also use rituals to switch between different modes.

So switching my laptop off ends work mode.

Breathing and mobility start fitness mode.

You may have noticed that I wear the same t-shirt and jacket every time I am on video. So wearing this is kind of my blogger mode.

Getting ready, putting on a certain fragrance and leaving the house. That starts my outgoing mode.

Deep breath, super comfortable clothing is my downtime mode.

I don’t know if maybe alter ego wasn’t the right word, but the Batman/ Bruce Wayne alter ego idea is what struck a chord with me. So that’s kind of why I ran with it.

Try Using An Alter Ego

Try having different modes for different shifts that you need to make during the day. Set boundaries and rituals in between each. So that’s going to help you keep a work-life divide.

That’s going to help you focus more on the thing that you need to do at the time you want to do it.

And also the book that my colleague recommended that really got me started on this was called The Alter Ego by Todd Herman. I strongly recommend checking it out.

So think about different modes you can bring to your personality or to your mindset and how you can use that kind of switching and those different kinds of modes to get the most out of every area of your day-to-day life.

using an alter ego

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