Compartmentalizing helps stress management as it can reduce anxiety and tension. It’s an approach that is commonly used to avoid mental discomfort and helps with the conflicting views of those around us every day. It allows you to divide up the tasks, responsibilities, and thoughts you have into different areas, so they don’t overlap and fight for your attention all the time. Here are some ways to practice compartmentalization:
1. Practice Compartmentalizing Through Visualization: One approach is to visualize yourself going on a journey in a car taking on board what’s going to help you achieve your goals and not taking on board what isn’t serving you. Anything that you don’t want on your journey at all, say no to it and remove it. You’ll soon feel more in control and calmer the more you practice this approach.
2. Focus on ONE Thing at a Time: This may sound obvious but knowing you should focus on one thing at a time versus actually doing it are two very different things. Multitasking doesn’t work and impacts your focus and productivity. Pick one task. It doesn’t matter if it’s large or small, then set a timer which is a little promise to yourself that you won’t be distract during this time. Entirely focus on that task until the timer is finished.
3. Write it Down: No matter how focused you’re and well-practiced with compartmentalization techniques, thoughts and ideas will still pop into your head. To prevent these thoughts from repeating themselves, write them down by keeping a small notepad with you at all times. Just a word or two is needed. By doing this, you stop the repeating thought in your head by acknowledging it with the action of notetaking.
4. Set Rules for Yourself: Lookat the behaviors that could create stress, lack of focus or put yourself in situations that don’t serve you. Then create rules to either prevent you from acting this way or help you recognize the situations that make you behave this way.
5. Recognize What’s Really Important vs What’s Urgent: For the majority of the time, emails may seem urgent, but few of them are important. Recognize what’s important versus urgent and then work on those important emails first as these will have a more significant impact. When a request comes in, ask yourself do I need to respond to this now. Can it wait, is it more important than what I’m doing at this moment? You can also put yourself in the requester’s shoes and think if they don’t get a response for another day, will that make much of a difference?