How Many Hats Are You Trying to Wear?

Many hats

The other day, a co-worker lamented, “It feels like I am trying to do a dozen jobs at once.”

It turns out they weren’t too far off.

Between work, home, community, kids, and more, they were trying to fill almost a dozen different roles. Each one a different “hat” they had to wear during their week.

That’s a lot of responsibility for one person to juggle and keep in order.

So, how many hats are you trying to wear at once?

How Many Hats Are You Wearing?

Early in my career when I was a Naval officer, I once had 13 collateral duties.

These were additional responsibilities that I had to perform, above and beyond my main job. Each was a different hat that I had to wear at different times in my work week.

My additional duties became such a widely known issue that my peers actually made me a hat that was emblazoned with all 13 collateral duties across it.

In hindsight, it was quite amusing. At the time, you can imagine how challenging it was to juggle so many jobs.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, maybe it’s time to take an inventory of the hats you are trying to wear.

Here are some key areas of responsibility to consider:

  • Your Job – This is your main work hat. It is the main area of responsibility in your day job.
  • Collateral Duties – As many companies went through the recent economic downturn, everyone was asked to do more with less. This resulted in many people taking on multiple jobs (often for the same compensation.) Make a list of all of the extra job duties that you have to perform outside of your main job.
  • At Home – We all have jobs at home. Maybe you are the home repair person, the family cook, or the pet caretaker. Of course, if you are single, you wear all the at-home hats.
  • In the Community – What community involvement hats do you wear? Consider your responsibilities at church, your homeowner’s association, and more.
  • For Your Kids – When your kids are doing 18 different clubs and activities… you are too. Make sure you consider the load that your kids’ sports teams, clubs, etc. will have on the entire family.  
  • Other – There is always at least one more hat that resists categorization. Yet, this can be the one that takes up a lot of your time. What other hat do you wear that doesn’t fit into the previous categories?

Hats of Responsibility

So, what hat of responsibility are you wearing today? And how many more do you have to cycle through during your week.

The next time someone asks you to try on just one more hat, keep in mind that you only have one head.

You might need to say no to that new hat, or even reduce the number you are already trying to balance.

Question: How many responsibility hats do you wear in your work and life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

12 thoughts on “How Many Hats Are You Trying to Wear?

  1. I didn’t find this article helpful. I leave my home duties (at home) I need information on how to handle multiple duties at my job. One day I am doing taxes, the next mopping floor. In between I’m doing the gardening, billing customers, purchasing, shipping and receiving and the marketing and sales calls. This happens on a daily basis not weekly or monthly but I have to switch gears in between a thought and its literally killing me. My job originally was office manager, the company is me and my boss (my boss who is 78 years old, a tight wade and spends more time reading articles in the paper than working). I don’t get paid but $33k a year, but I like my “real” job just all all this petty crap. He keep opening up businesses like a dance studio, hall rental, catering and expects me to run it all. The company I am suppose to work for is industrial supply. Then he expects me to find ways to market it, create ads and sell industrial products. I just can’t take it anymore. What is your advice on that?

  2. Good article to make us think about how many hats we are wearing. For me, marriage, work, several ministries seem to be a bit much and have to say no alot to one of them. Have considered stepping down but when I am involved I find it very rewarding. Tough to let go!

  3. This article about hats is very actual and represent the life of the majority of people. In my case, specially living abroad and starting a new life in a different country, where you don’t have your family to support you and friends around. Honestly I am wearing more hats than I should and It has been way hard to deal with several tasks at the same time; family, business, personal, home, social. etc…

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