Have you ever heard of the term multipotentiality? It sounds like a mouthful, but it simply means someone with a flair for many things or someone that has many different interests.
People who are multipotentialites usually feel the urge to pursue different careers and interests simultaneously and might face much internal conflict as a result. Especially these days when social media has made it seem like if you don’t have everything figured out, you’re doing yourself in.
For as long as I can remember, I have always been one. I have a lot of things I do: growth marketing, YouTube videos, teaching etc. Some people think it’s cool to be able to do so many things, but it can be challenging, especially if you don’t know how to juggle them effectively.
It was challenging to juggle my many interests earlier in my career, but with time, I have improved. I discovered a few things that have made it a lot easier for me, and hopefully, it will make it easier for you too.
1. Define Your Theme
By theme, I mean the core thing that connects all of your interests. Some would call it their Life’s purpose or mission statement; it doesn’t matter what you call it, as long as you know. Once you discover your Life’s theme, it becomes easier to juggle, focus, and say no when needed.
This is very important because I realize that one thing that overwhelms many multipotentialites is feeling like they are all over the place; like nothing they do connects. Because when there is a disconnect or no central point where all their interests meet, you’d constantly struggle for balance.
For me, my theme is a mix of growth and authenticity. I only do things that feel natural to me and in a way that feels more natural as against imitating others. In addition, everything I say Yes to either helps me grow or impacts others.
Ever heard me say in my videos that my Life’s mission is to grow people and businesses?. Or that my goal is to ensure that everyone who comes across my content or me is inspired and or motivated to get better in their lives, career or businesses?. Or that founders connect is to tell stories that inspire the next generation?.
Precisely. From growth marketing to my YouTube, speaking, teaching, writing, etc. Everything is true to me and all about my or others’ growth. This helps me stay centred.
When I discovered my theme, it changed many things about my life. By understanding it, I could do everything I do without feeling like a stringless kite. Now, when I feel stressed or like I am expending much energy, I don’t feel displaced or out of sorts because there’s a bigger picture; everything connects and makes me make sense.
So it’s essential to ask yourself why. There has to be something—a connecting dot for it all.
2. Learn to Prioritize
You’re human, and it is tough to give each of them equal attention when you do so many things simultaneously. That’s normal. After all, there are only 24 hours a day, and you’re just one person.
I prioritize and plan to get through every day and every week. What is most important today and why?
You have got to learn to prioritize effectively. On some days, the most important thing is your salaried work; on others, it is fun, no work; on other days, it is your creative journey. On some days, it is a mix, but you tick off each one in order of priority per hour.
I base my high-level priorities on two factors: what makes me the most money and what makes the most impact. These two things are crucial (to me). One keeps me alive, and the other keeps me in line with my purpose. And then the work is juggling my to-do list based on these daily.
I think that if you focus only on work that feeds you, you might end up feeling dull and uninspired. But focusing only on fulfilling work might not be very financially rewarding, making it unsustainable in the long run. So until your creative journey begins to pay, juggle effectively by planning. Making to-do lists every day and ticking them off in other of priority. On weekends/evenings, your priority tasks can be personal stuff; during work hours, it should be salaried work. Do you get?
3. Have Smart Systems
A vital lesson I learned from a friend some years ago is to do all you can while you can, now, instead of waiting for the right time. But to do that, do it smartly.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, doing everything you can now is better than living with the regret of “had I known” or starting when it feels too late. Please do it now, start small, and let it compound over time. You don’t have to quit your job to go into music or full-time content creation (if you can afford to, do it; but if you also can’t, then instead of completely holding up your creative side, start small).
It might be not easy, but systems help. Your system can be people or planning based. Planning like setting priorities, having to-do lists, managing your time effectively etc. People like outsourcing, collaboration, and employing a P.A etc., Or, more effectively, a mix of people and planning.
For example, outsourcing: If you’re a creative like me (which usually is the case for multipotentialites), you might be overly concerned with wanting to do everything yourself. You might even feel like it makes you less creative if you pay someone else to do it, or you are just too much a control freak. But dear, you are only one person and have other things you need to do. To make good progress, you must learn to outsource - to great people. You can also collaborate with others, so they supply you with their strengths, and you provide them with yours. This makes the job less stressful and more enjoyable for all parties. Remember that smart work is almost always better than hard work.
Another system is in how you manage your time. For instance, I only shoot videos on weekends so that I can focus my weekdays on my 9-5 and other non-creative work. In addition, I batch create, so I don’t have to shoot videos every weekend because I want a social life too.
4. Enjoy the Journey
Maybe your issue as a multipotentialite isn’t how you can handle everything you’re currently doing. Perhaps you’re more concerned with finding what to focus on because you’re tired of having your attention divided, and you’re worried that the people around you think you lack focus or should settle down. You’re not alone; I’ve been there too! And that’s fine. Learn to embrace your uniqueness; not everyone can be interested in and excel in different things at the same time as you. I think it’s enough cause for celebration. If focus is not your strength, do all you can to ensure you excel with the many things you have your hands in and enjoy yourself while at it.
You also do not need to have all your answers immediately. So don’t sit down waiting for the right solution to fall on your lap. Instead, as you show up daily, you’ll figure out what exactly you want to focus on and how, if at all.
Need more tips? Watch this video of I and Joyce Imiegha discussing the topic.