Compartmentalization is the ability to block or shut out unwanted or irrelevant thoughts by dividing your brain into separate “sections” with doors you can open or close. It is usually a psychological defensive countermeasure used to protect us from severe psychological strain, but it can also be used to block out distractions and focus intently on our work. Compartmentalization means that you can be focused and productive no matter what other things might be happening. Calendars are powerful compartmentalization tools. It is also important to be able to recognize when you can’t do anything about a situation at the moment, and stop worrying about it when that is true so you can get some work done. You can also choose to hyperfocus in one element or facet of a wider issue. Compartmentalization can save you a lot of stress and help you get work done.

Key Takeaways:

  • People are not born organizers, they learn to be organized, save compartmentalizing.
  • Using a calendar will help a person to better and accepting issues when they happen can help compartmentalize.
  • Reframing a problem into a question will also help with compartmentalizing.

“You choose to keep your stuff organized or you don’t. You choose to get on with your work and ignore distractions or you don’t. But one skill very productive people appear to have that is not a choice is the ability to compartmentalize. And that takes skill and practice.”

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