There are many ways to organize a work portfolio. Gleanings from planet Briarpatch have revealed a simple portfolio model based on the activities required to become and remain visible to your potential supporters and fans. A majority of these activities involve communications in support of increasing trust, building relationships, and delivering meaningful, value-rich products and/or experiences.

A Simple Model of Seven Activities for Creating the Good Work Lifestyle

  • Think About It

  • Write About It

  • Speak About It

  • Teach About It

  • Coach About It

  • Consult About It

  • Productize It

These activities generally proceed in the order listed, though there may be variations among some of the activities in the list. For example, it’s unlikely that you will proceed with any of these activities without having started by “thinking” about your “it.” After the thinking, however, you may find yourself speaking about your “it” before writing about it. Or, you may do the speaking about “it” as part of a course you teach and do some writing as you prepare the course content.

Managing Your Work Time

The Five Types of Work Time

[Influenced by “five types of work” exposition in Charles Handy’s The Age of Unreason, 1991, Harvard Business Review Press.]

Employment Time

  • Handy’s “wage work.”

    • An exchange of time for money

    • Focuses on a job description and/or task list.

    • Can include milestones, results, outcomes, and deliverables but these are usually assigned to the “worker” and predetermined by the source of the money or a representative of that source, such as an administrator, manager, supervisor, or team leader.

Self-Employment Time

  • Handy’s “fee work”

    • An exchange of services for money.

    • Focuses on milestones, results, outcomes, or deliverables that are part of a project proposal and/or project-by-project contract.

    • These are negotiated between the source of the money or its representative and the “worker” and incorporated into the proposal/contract.

House-holding Time

  • Handy’s “home work”

    • The work involved in the maintenance and development of a home/homestead.

Community Time

  • Handy’s “gift work”

    • Work done for minimal or no fee outside of the home or source of employment/self-employment.

    • Usually focuses on “giving back” to the community or engaging in charity work.

Learning Time

  • Handy’s “study work”

    • Time spent on self-improvement, education, training, reading, non-job-related skills acquisition, and so forth.


As with so many of life’s facets, the key to feeling good about the time you spend working is to craft a balance among these five types of work time, making sure to include sufficient time on each to live a satisfying lifetime.

Using this view of work time can be a powerful tool in building a meaningful life and finding your own right livelihood or good work.”

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