Compartmentalizing isn't all bad, it can help establish a break from work or other engagements and allow you to learn to set boundaries. I work diligently at compartmentalizing, as I have been known to be a 'yes' girl in my past and spread myself too thin. Losing sight of your priorities while trying to do it all isn't where most of us want to be.
Here are a few tips to help you start compartmentalizing:
1. Choose your priorities.
What actually matters most to you? Imagine a circle. Put the items that are priorities in the center. These items you will work around and integrate into your daily life and routine. Items of interest or want are in the next level of the circle. If you can fit them in here or there, you will make time for them. Then push the items you don't want or no longer have a purpose for you to the outside of the circle. These items no longer need to be part of your routines.
2. Be your true self.
When you are your authentic self, you remove a lot of stress from your life. We are used to being 'professional' at work, 'funny' at home, 'outgoing' in a crowd...you get when I mean. When I finally started just being myself fully, in every situation, it helped me to feel more connected to the items that are priorities to me. I don't change who I am in each group I am in, I only change the topic of conversation (sometimes meaning less cussing).
3. Schedule and mini-task.
Create a schedule and schedule your priorities first! Add some 'want to' items in the space you have left and always create areas of downtime. Having a schedule can keep your time managed, your stress down, and help you to focus and be fully present in the moments you have with others.
When it is time to work, mini-task. We all know that multi-tasking can actually hinder our focus and performance. Mini-tasking is the opposite. You set aside a short amount of time to hyper-focus on a task. Officially known as the Pomodoro Technique in which a timer is used to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.
When you know your priorities, live your truth, and allow time to focus singly on important tasks, you will become more productive, less stressed, and fully engaged and present in the moments which truly matter in your life.
If you need something more visual, use a Venn Diagram template to write our your priorities to start the process. Here is an example of the diagram I made for myself two-years ago as I was searching for my dream career (which I currently have).
Charmaine N. Houck
Advocate of Adventure