I’m trying something new. I haven’t been doing a great job of making the switch between my second life (things I do for myself and for passion) and my day job (that which pays me). When I sit at the desk for my day job, I’m consumed by the million things that need doing for the second life.

I tried doing a brain dump, but that alone wasn’t really working. I couldn’t get everything out of my head and into GTD. So here’s the new method.

  • Mail- work
  • Brain Dump- second life
  • Mail- second life
  • Do – execute

By following this method, I clear away the few emails of value in my day job account. I then move into getting the things I came up with on the ride to work into a format that I can use them later (I use 37 Signals Backpack to hold my brain dumpings). I go through my personal email quickly, scanning for things that require immediate attention, and “starring” the rest for follow up later. And finally, I settle into doing what needs doing.

The result, so far, seems to be working. The only crack in the armor seems to be blogging. I seem to want to blend that in with all the other things I’m doing, and that’s not fitting into my day job timeframe so very well. I’ll work on that.

What’s your ritual for separating what you do for passion from what you do to earn a dime? How do YOU center before starting the day’s work you get paid to do? What are your systems?

–Chris Brogan is working on a system called Small Boxes, and open-facing his implementation as he goes along. He’s also working on podcasts like The Great Big Small Business Show in his second life.

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