The Different Types of Phases #PIOS

TL:DR | Phases are what I contain goals, projects, and everything else under. They are a focus for a period of time, dependent on how long that phase needs. Here are the different styles of pursuing phases.


6 min read
The Different Types of Phases #PIOS

In your life and/or career you'll encounter many different focuses, niches, and interests. These are what I call your Phases, each phase focuses on a particular topic or endeavor, and they can overlap or be serialized. It is up to you.

However I find that there are some patterns involved that I think it would be really helpful if I wrote them down in this post. I got a big surge of ideas when it came to this topic all at once, so let's hope this comes out concise!

Phases are like layers to your life, and eventually you'll die with multiple phases under your belt. Each career, perhaps each decade, or as little as a year. They all add up to who you are.


The Single Phase Focus #Serialized

This is what I initially would conceptualize the Phase system under. You focus on one thing then move onto the next one. This allows you to try and do the best you possibly can because you aren't splitting your focus. Now I have experienced the opposite end too, where I juggled many phases at once. I know it is possible, but I think that for quicker success.

Then you have to treat the phases as if they are "Micro-Specialties".

By focusing on just one, then you can spend most of your time on that one endeavor. Allowing you to have a bit more speed when it comes to this focus. I will say though that the Interleaving Phases 80/20 I think works better, than just 100% on one thing alone. See that section in this post.


Every Seven Years Activate the Vacation Phase

Think of this as a repeating phase if you will. A phase of inaction, as if you are constantly go go going without proper rest. Then you're inevitably going to burn out.

This is also a factor to get you to take some vacations, as you may always say "I don't have the time, or money". However by planning it out on the seventh year, then you can save up for it.

Every Seven Years, This Man Takes a Year Off To Travel. Here’s How It Made Him More Successful.
Stefan Sagmeister argues that it’s better to retire for a while every few years, instead of all at once.

Interleaving Phases 80/20

These are what I would consider to be the "normal" phase allocations. As you spend 80% of your time focusing on your main niche/topic. Then the remaining 20% gets split towards previous endeavors, future endeavors, or both. Sometimes I may do a 70/30, but that would be a rare situation.

This allows you to not neglect a previous endeavor, while also planning ahead/sowing the seeds for the next one, all while still maintaining your main goals.

Sadly, I think some of my years where I thought it was going to be 80/20 ended up not being so. It was either far more scattered like 30/30/30/10 or all centered on one so like 95/5.

Ideally you would be able to balance out the level of effort you employ in the year.

I talk about this in this post:

Interleaving and Juggling
A polymathic approach to content creation, and overall the structure of my life. Hence the phases, they are like different focuses for various periods of time in my life.

Multi-Focus Phase Years #Juggling

This is part of the reason why I was motivated to make this post, as I feel that I am finally reaching one of these years.

Between the external world slowing down some of my phase endeavors, as well as unforeseen changes to my plans happening over the past few years. It has caused me to get ahead in some areas, while simultaneously behind in others.

Using ChatGPT got me so extremely motivated that I jumped ahead to my game development phase. It was such a powerful drive that I couldn't ignore it. A good example would be that it was the same level of drive that I had when I started doing PolyCast interviews. I was so determined to get them going thanks to everyone being at home, that I had to postpone my other phases.

Now that I finally can say that the first phase is essentially "done for now". I can move on without feeling like I left anything behind. All that is left for me to do for now is create content around it. Hence the keeping up with previous phase concept I mentioned earlier. That has to happen over time, and I already am going to focus on my PolyInContent series as one of my main phase focuses. Which entails tons of Modular Education episodes in that series anyways.

Additionally, my main goal this year was to start up the PolyInnovator Gaming phase. Keeping true to my roots as a gamer, and start creating content/livestreaming about that facet of my life.

I sort of saw it as another main dish of mine, rather than a side piece, and so it doesn't necessarily take the place of my current phases.

Meaning that I have my Content Repurposing phase (newsletter and chopping up my interviews), continuing the interviews phase finally, gaming content (slow but steady), and producing my own game. Wow that is a lot, but there is a lot of overlap such as the content repurposing helping with interviews and gaming content.

However I was going to focus on my swimming book this year, and I have yet to make a habit on writing every day. If I don't then I'll probably not be able to do that phase too.

How is this going to work?

Look I get it this section of the post is huge in comparison to everything else, but it is also the main motivator behind it all.

How am I going to juggle all of these different things? Well for one my newly released PolyInnovation Operating System template is going to help. As it is what I use on a daily basis.

Interviews came naturally to me, but I just needed to work on some soft skills. Plus to learn what I didn't already know. I feel like I did that, and made plenty of mistakes to learn from too. Now I feel confident to continue it more slowly.

The gaming content is going to be slow too, but fast on shorts/reels/tiktoks. Luckily I already have a lot of content built up ahead of time.

The swimming and content repurposing newsletter come pretty naturally for me too. The latter taking a bit more effort, but I have plans to review repurposing tools for that newsletter so that task mixes with the other phases.

It all overlaps neatly, and I think the areas that seem a bit overzealous I can handle. The video game development is bound to take a long time anyways.


Temporary or Surprise Phases

Like the aforementioned PolyCast interviews, and the game development phases. These sort of things pop up unexpectedly. This year was already going to be difficult enough, but surprisingly the overburdened nature of having too many phases... I think just might be the push I need to get out of seasonal affective disorder time.

While it may take all of my plans and spin them on their head, it may have been a blessing in disguise.


Each Phase is Different, Each Person is Different, and you gotta balance it yourself!

The way I explained it may or may not have resonated with you. Perhaps you have a completely different phase system altogether. I'm curious to see if you do btw.

Although for the most part I think these different types of phases are applicable to all people.

Just gotta figure out which one you're in at the moment. Your phase as in the next coming year in particular.

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