The art of compartmentalising can be very useful in deciding where to focus your energy during the course of a stressful day. Let’s assume you just finished a meeting with colleagues in which you couldn’t reach an agreement... Compartmentalising is the skill that allows you to move on to the next meeting without the previous meeting weighing on your mind and affecting your performance. Think about this:
How does a professional going through an emotional divorce proceeding manage to focus on his work?
How does an MD with an ailing partner manage to pull through the day?
The best way to compartmentalise is to focus on only one thing at a time. Don’t try to kill two birds with one stone. Are you having a chat with your colleague while your mind is miles away wondering how to complete your tasks for the day? Folks that find it difficult to compartmentalise often come across as distracted.
To compartmentalise, think of your mind as a set of boxes. Put each problem or concern in its box and bring each one out only when you are ready to deal with it. The stress of dealing with work, family, life and relationships can be challenging. Thinking about all the problems you have or all the things you have to do all at once can get easily overwhelming and reduce your ability to cope on the job. Your ability to prioritise and compartmentalise the issues that require your attention is essential to building a successful career.