Conversations at the Crossroads.

Compartmentalizing

No matter how diligently we strive to stay on course and get things done, we confront what seem to be ongoing threats to our focus and productivity.

In the distance, and at every turn, there is a mental distraction, a competing priority, or an unexpected energy drain. These threats to our progress are persistent and loom large.

Wouldn’t it be helpful if we could separate out and set aside those distractions, so that we might remain focused?

Perhaps.

Sometimes.

Occasionally not.

We certainly do try. We attempt to compartmentalize certain thoughts and emotions, to contain them and put them away, at moments when we feel it is inconvenient to have them demanding our attention.

But how successful is this approach? To what extent are we truly capable of isolating specific thoughts and feelings to deal with them separately, or deal with them later? And what happens when we don’t circle back to deal with them eventually?

There may be times when we effectively compartmentalize, but often it happens that the issues we temporarily silence will emerge again loudly a short while later. When this happens, it’s a signal that we should have a closer look at the distracting thoughts to figure out what’s really going on. Rather than shoo them away, which provides only a brief relief, closer examination might offer a new perspective, which in turn might allow us to resolve the issue directly, and perhaps more permanently.

Next time you judge yourself failing at efforts to compartmentalize, consider a different approach and see what happens. I’d love to hear how it goes.

With support and encouragement for your journey,

Marnie
Founder, The Crossroads Coach

Published March 9, 2015