Compartmentalize

I had not written about this concept in previous blogs and it came up during a podcast I was blessed to be a part of with Scott Welle, the creator of OUTPERFORM (you can check out the podcast interview here).

And while some out there have looked at “compartmentalizing” your life through a negative lens (i.e. where you are caused to separate your life, your work, your friendships, etc, that is not what I am contending). This is the narcissistic mindset.

If you know anything about me, or about my book, then you know that I come from the school of thought of work-self-life fusion (for more on this concept of fusion check out my friend Derek Deprey’s work.) And I offer using compartmentalization as a way to get what you want and desire in the most efficient manner.

Compartmentalizing is no easy feat. Like most things that can have a long-term impact on your growth and or success, it takes work and repeated practice to master and or at the very least achieve a level of positive returns on your investment. Its premise was ingrained in me early in my adult life by those men and women that had previously received the coveted “Wings of Gold” after graduating from US Navy Flight Training. The idea was brought up over and over again until the word was etched into the brain matter of my classmates and I, and made a part of our vocabulary, much like the combination of ink and needle upon the skin.

What it ultimately led to was the ability to push thoughts out of my mind that were not helping me to complete the task at hand. It allowed me to focus on what was immediately in front of me. A skill that in my view becomes a prerequisite for a certain level of success…or so I thought…until it became clear to me that it is a skill that is important to general life and well-being as well.

It is the direct enemy of procrastination and indecisiveness. It causes us to get rid of waste. It enables us to determine what helps and what hinders. It sets us apart from suffering and despair.

If you break your life down into segments, (not the groups mentioned in the picture above), priorities, minutes of the day, and learn to focus, to really practice being mindful of the task you are engaged in, you will realize its value.

Don’t worry if it takes you awhile. You did not get to where you are right now because you rubbed a magic lamp with a genie in it (although, you should check out Disney’s latest version of Aladdin). No, you got here because of your Process. Your effort and your ability to overcome, and they all took lots of habitual practice, whether you were cognizant or not.

So jump on the compartmentalization bandwagon. Use an excel spreadsheet and break your day down into 10 or 20 minute increments starting with the time you wake up in the morning and ending when your head hits the pillow. Do it for just 7 days, or perhaps 14. I am confident you will get more done, feel better about yourself, and be energized to do even MORE — which my friends is what we are supposed to do with this life we have been given. We are not meant to grow old and go to the grave in pristine condition. We have a body and a mind for a reason.

Have an amazing day!

One Comment on “Compartmentalize

  1. Compartmentalization and focus, two very important skills in living. The opposite of it is called thrashing. Like a computer program which has too many task to accomplish and spends its time jumping to the next, not getting much if anything accomplished.

    But, focus is being within a task, and working at listening, keeping eye contact, processing what is being said, and screening out all but the person of interest. It is hard work. This can be applied to a scientific paper which needs reading, understanding, and fitting into old knowledge.

    Compartmentalization, as Jason explained, is taking the day and deciding upon the tasks on which you will focus those minutes. Once within the task, it is focus which is the work, the hard work.

    Both are worthwhile skills to make habitual.

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