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  • Jo Clubb

Mini: Your Maker Mix

It may be mid-season for many sports and teams, but the start of a new calendar year still presents an opportunity to reflect as both a practitioner and a person. Being intentional with your reflections and goal setting is key to living a purposeful life. While many set New Year’s resolutions, few see them through. In fact, one study found only 19% of subjects maintained their pledges after 2 years.


There are many, many different methodologies to reflecting. In this Mini Insight, I would like to introduce one thought experiment I recently came across.


The Maker Mix

I recently read the book “Designing Your Work Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. As per the book’s subtitle – how to thrive and change and find happiness in work – this book is of most use to those currently unhappy in their workplace. It provides methods to reframe your thoughts and find ways to make positive changes at work. As designers, Burnett and Evans emphasise the need to become a design of your own life, including your worklife.


Regardless of your current contentment with work, one tool that stood out to me was “The Maker Mix”. They use the analogy of a sound desk as their so-called Maker Mix and challenge the reader to reflect on three areas of life using volume sliders from 0 to 100. They propose three dimensions of life from which we receive a form of “payment” (not necessarily financial); money, impact, and expression.


There is no absolute ideal mix, it allows you to design YOUR ideal mix. Your ideal mix will also change over time and with your circumstances. I found it useful to not only think about the present and future, but first to reflect on previous roles or times in my life, and draw what my Maker Mix looked like in those periods. Personally, I found that gave me the background to think more clearly about my present situation, as well as what my ideal Maker Mix would look like in the future (say, by the end of 2022).


Of course, taking steps towards your ideal future requires more than just the dream alone. However, knowing what you're aiming for is important to direct those steps. I found the Maker Mix a simple but useful exercise to consider what that direction might look like for me.


For more exercises from “Designing Your Work Life”, a free workbook is available online.