Today I’m going a little into psychology and how to diversify our Notion workspaces according to different part of our lives.
In the last period I’m reading a fascinating book called “Istruzioni per la Psiche”—“Instructions for the Psyche” that unfortunately is only in Italian. The book is written by the psychologist, psychotherapist specialist in Therapeutic Psychosynthesis, writer, and teacher Alessandro Gambugiati, that happens to be my therapist and coach when it comes to the development of my potential.
According to Alessandro, the “cathedral” of your Psyche is formed by the division in different personalities, the dis-identification from them, and the willingness to embrace whichever is needed at the moment.
Think about your life, what are the different duties that you are doing every day – what kind of activities are you pursuing to do? Can you identify a personality that does those activities? Name that “persona” with a clear name, better if using a metaphor. To better understand this concept, as it’s written in the book, think of yourself as an orchestra’s director: you’re the one that dictates the tempos to the whole group of instruments. You can easily name those instruments: the joyful piano, the dark sounding viola, and so on.
If you’re someone that gets angry frequently, you can call that part of you “The Hulk”, or if you’re working in a shop, you can call that part of you “The Shopping assistant”.
As the maestro move the wand willingly to dictate the music tempo, you should activate or deactivate a personality as you see fit, and not (only) go with environmental forces.
Now I will try to explain in few words a long therapeutic journey, so take it as it is: one of the reasons you might be unhappy or unrealized in your life is that one personality, maybe one that you don’t like, takes “advantage” or is being played more than any other. In this case, you should:
- identify which one is it
- correct yourself according to your goals and dreams
- execute willingly the solution.
How can you solve this? One of the solutions is to write down on a paper all your personalities, better with the help of a Psychologist. That’s where Notion comes in: you can write down your personalities in a database, and connect them to your projects: in doing this, you can easily see which personality is “taking over”, or being used more than others.
You can think of the “Personas” as Areas of your life, that includes Projects within themselves. In this case, the PARA Method (Project Areas Resources Archives) can become “PPRA”, a sort of raspberry 😄.
For starters, look at this Persona’s Database:
In each of these databases I described for me what that persona does, what each is doing for me, or not doing. Gamer is a personality linked just to my hobbies and the wet dream to become a Twitch Streamer.
As I described before, it would be better to give descriptive names, as detailed as possible, and describe metaphorically what each persona does.
The next step is to “measure” how much a persona is influencing your life, and we can achieve this in Notion by measuring the tasks that you are doing, divided by persona. This is a rough scheme of how the database works:
To be able to do that, I followed these steps:
- Assign to each Project a Persona: in every University project I assigned the Persona “Researcher”, and in every programming project I assigned the persona “Programmer”. These can sometimes overlap.
- Create a Formula to get a name of the Persona as string in the Project database, from the Roll-up. In my case, I called it F-Persona, containing just
- In every task, I calculate which Persona is assigned to, through the project. This part is a little annoying just because you need to “hard-code” each persona with checkboxes, for example
if(contains(prop("Personas"), "Programmer"), true, false), and this for each Persona. I’m doing this because you cannot group by a roll up in Notion (yet?).
4. Next step is to just check which persona is true, then create a string for that task. I called this property F-Personas. If Programmer is true, print “Programmer”, otherwise empty string. And this is my function, that simply concatenate each string.
What to do now?
Take this as a mindful technique, to be present and realize that you are looking and controlling each of them. After that, you should slowly plan what you want or need to adjust with patience and by being careful. At first sight, it might seem easy, but each personality you have wants to “survive” and not being taken down.
If you are pursuing a side-job, and you want to work more on that, your “daily-job persona” might come back at you very hard by saying “you need food on your table and your side-job doesn’t or barely bring any food!” or “how can you work more than your daily job? It’s good to recharge, don’t work more!”. You can argue that this reasoning is your Persona just trying to survive and take lead of your life.
Each one of us is a different being with different needs and dreams, therefore I can’t suggest what persona or how you can change your life for the better. All I can say is that after I discovered this concept and I talked with my therapist, I could make this template and look at my life with other lenses, with a new perspective that helped me rebalance slowly, to pursue what I would like to be.
This is intended to be a slow-rather long process and not a quick solution. In addition to that, in case you feel lost, you should be followed by a therapist. This Notion Template is meant only to easy your work, when you want to work on your personas.
Which persona is the most prominent in your life? Is it the one you want?
Hope this article was helpful to you, have a nice day!