What is compartmentalisation?
Compartmentalisation is the process of managing multiple concerns, issues, or tasks by learning to focus on one at a time instead of trying to handle everything at once. It applies to handling various objectives in the workplace, but also to the separation of work and personal life. By allowing the brain to focus all of its energy on one issue at a time, without distraction, it’s easier to find success in all aspects of life.
How to properly compartmentalise
- Remove distractions
The modern world and workplace is jam packed with distractions. There is always something waiting to steal our attention, not least our phones and social media accounts. Therefore, the first step towards proper compartmentalisation is to remove all distraction. This means closing unnecessary tabs on our browsers, silencing unimportant phone notifications, turning off the rolling news TV channel, and so on. With distraction removed, the brain is free to zoom in on one particular task at a time.
- Keep a structured schedule
A structured schedule is essential for compartmentalisation. Having a routine brings order to our day and can help us decide when and where we need to focus on the most important things we need to do. If we know that each daily task has its own slot booked into our schedule, we can clearly focus on one task at a time instead of worrying about one while trying to work on another.
- Separate work and home
It’s vital to leave work at work and avoid bringing it into family or relaxation time. Clearly defining and separating these times of the day is vital and can boost productivity and motivation in both areas of life. It’s about being more present. Present at work, and present at home. They’re equally important and deserve your full attention, one at a time.
- Take time to clear your mind
As well as work and family, we need to find time just for ourselves as well. It might feel selfish to crave alone time, but it’s a central part of avoiding mental fatigue. Whether it’s taking a quiet walk or engaging with a favourite hobby, time to ourselves helps us be our best when we’re with others.
- Set yourself achievable goals
Setting goals for yourself is the best way of making progress, but they’ve got to be realistic. Small steps are better than giant leaps because they enable you to record successes every day instead of every month or quarter. And small, successful steps always accumulate to result in long, successful journeys. If you set one long-term goal that takes weeks or months to achieve, every individual day can feel sluggish and frustrating. But setting and achieving daily goals means every day is a win and job satisfaction stays strong.
- Reward yourself
When you achieve your goals, it’s important to reward yourself. Whether it’s a cold beer or glass of wine at the end of the day, or getting away from the desk for a bike ride through the countryside, it works as a reward and a psychological reset, both of which combine to create better mental health.
- Avoid all day isolation
Even though focussing on work is good and remote working is on the rise, constant isolation can weigh heavy on the soul. Make sure you’re talking to other people at various stages of the day, whether that’s taking a tea break with a colleague or housemate, or simply jumping on a video call, it’s good to talk. Not only will it help you stay sane, it will help your colleagues stay sane, too, all of which boosts productivity.
- Nurture mental health
All of this advice is leading to one important thing – nurturing good mental health. From good communication to allowing yourself to succeed and maintaining a good work/life balance, it’s all helping you be as productive as possible, boosting motivation in and out of work, and ensuring that each day feels valuable and manageable.
George Lineker, Co-founder of YourBusinessNumber, commented:
“One of the main problems with our constantly connected world is that every separate strand of our lives is entangled. With emails and messages coming through on our personal phones or laptops, we can never really switch off, never really relax, and never really take a break from the fast pace of modern work. Compartmentalisation is a powerful skill that can help manage our stress levels and workload in and out of the workplace, bringing balance and harmony to our lives.
“Furthermore, if all of our tasks and concerns are entangled, there is much more opportunity for mistakes and mishaps to occur – by never truly concentrating on one task at a time and never really taking any time off, we can’t work to our full potential.”