Choice 2: Go For Extraordinary, Don’t Settle for Ordinary®

What are the most important roles in your life today?

Roles are where life happens. Roles are so fundamental to human identity that when we ask people to tell us about themselves, they always answer in terms of roles: “I am an engineer;” “I am a spouse;” “I am a parent.”

How can we keep them all in balance? By applying the principles of the Time Matrix (from Choice 1) to each of our roles.  Otherwise, our most important role might get crowded out by the urgent demands of lesser roles.  For example, our work role might take so much of our bandwidth that there’s little or nothing left for family and self-care.  Being intentional about each of our roles can provide the balance needed in all of our roles.

One of the most effective ways is to identify the few most important roles in your life today, evaluate how you think you are doing in each of them, then define what success looks like in each role. This provides a framework your brain needs to decide what really needs to happen each day.

Making Your Roles Extraordinary

After identifying your most important roles, they need to be upgraded from “ordinary roles” to “extraordinary roles.” This switch will provide guidance and help you make better decisions about where to invest your attention and energy every day.

Create a new role title that reflects the “extraordinary” view.

First, decide how success in this role will look and feel.

Then capture it in the title of that role. For example, change the role title of “Marketing Director” to “Business Catalyst,” or “Photographer” to “Visual Artist.” The extraordinary role title should reflect the energy that will come from an expanded perspective.

Craft a Q2 Role Statement for each role.

Second, craft a brief statement for that describes both the outcomes you want and the key activities or methods that will help you achieve them. This statement will guide your planning and decision-making as you move toward your goal using this formula:

“As (role title) I will (extraordinary outcomes) through (activities.)”

Extraordinary roles become a catalyst for our brains to motivate us and move us toward the deepest purposes we have in our lives.

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Succeeding in something hard is more pleasurable, gives greater satisfaction and happiness, and increases your overall sense of well-being.

— Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson

Free Guide

How to Manage Your Time: 7 Tips for Doing What Matters Most

Hard-working professionals should be spending more time on their long-term goals. We can help.

The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity


Discern the important from the urgent and not important and increase your ROM (Return on the Moment) in the midst of fierce distractions.


Redefine and prioritize your roles in terms of extraordinary results to achieve high-priority goals.


Use tips and tools to schedule your priorities (instead of prioritizing your schedule) and execute with excellence on your most important options.


Make your technology work for you, not against you, and turn it into a productivity engine.


Increase your energy to think clearly, make good decisions, and feel more accomplished at the end of every day.

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