Who's running your diary?



Who’s running your diary?  Unless you’ve got a personal assistant, it’s most likely going to be you.

But which version of you?

Because there isn’t just one version of you – you’re made up of different patterns of behaviour that express themselves in different ways.

We’re more multifaceted than we realise. Within us, we hold different versions of ourselves.

Modern science now proves what theorists have long believed; each of us is a complex ecosystem, balancing interdependent parts in this one body that we call ‘me’.

Science writer Steven Johnson describes this in Mind Wide Open:

“The more you learn about the brain’s architecture, the more you recognise that what happens in your head is more like an orchestra than a soloist, with dozens of players contributing to the overall mix.”

The key to managing your diary effectively starts with managing yourself effectively.

It starts with a negotiation with yourself – which version of you needs to take the lead in managing your diary?

The different versions of yourself can be distilled down into what Erica Ariel Fox calls the Big Four:

  • The Dreamer
  • The Thinker
  • The Lover
  • The Warrior

different versions of yourself

Self-mastery involves a process of gathering all of these Big Four together and practising how to use their strengths to balance each other.

We each will have members of our inner team who are absent or underutilised.

Planning your diary using the big four:

Dreamer – using imagination, passion and hope:

  • What’s most important to you – what’s your mission, vision and purpose?
  • How can you align your diary commitments with your vision?
  • How can you create the time to focus on your strategic priorities?

Thinker – using reason, clarity, reflection and analysis:

  • What are your most critical immediate priorities?
  • What are the pros and cons of spending time on this?
  • What are the implications of putting this in your diary?

Lover – using compassion, connection and interdependence:

  • What impact will putting this in my diary have on my relationship with others?
  • What impact will this have on my relationship with myself?
  • What would bring me the most happiness and fulfilment?

Warrior – using courage, power and accomplishment:

  • What is the right thing to do even if it feels difficult?
  • What permission do you need to make a decision from your full power?
  • What is the courageous thing to do here?

Your Big Four, like different team members, each has a specialised and valuable point of view. But most of us rarely stop and listen to the views of all of the Big Four, and we tend to hear from the same one or two.

Your Big 4

Perhaps you’ve become too dependent on your Lover and consider others’ needs before your own.

Perhaps you’re over reliant on the view of your Warrior and push to get things done using your willpower to the detriment of your wellbeing.

Maybe you use your Thinker and are missing the space for your Dreamer to have creative and innovative whitespace in your diary?

In her book ‘Winning From Within‘, Erica Ariel Fox encourages us to develop our awareness and capacity for all four. Being able to see your grand vision (Dreamer), devise a plan to pursue it (Thinker), take decisive and powerful action (Warrior) and inspire and care for people (Lover) you can accomplish amazing things.

How can you experiment to foster better balance among your Big Four?

Let me know what impact this has on managing your diary and the lessons you learn.

I’d love to hear.


We’re genuine, like-minded women, just like you!

We’re a community, reinventing how we combine work and motherhood without sacrificing our sanity and wellbeing.



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