A great skill for leaders to master is the art of compartmentalizing. I say “art” because there is no one way to do it and the best way is to learn the way it works for you through trial and error.
One of the biggest benefits of compartmentalization is that it helps you manage the myriad distractions that occur daily. Leaders face constant interruptions, client challenges, employee issues, and dozens of other disruptions.
When you learn how to compartmentalize, you focus on one issue at a time and don’t let the others bleed into your attention span.
I learned to do this by modeling the behavior from people who are experts. I observed and asked questions, then came up with my own version. Over the years it has served me well and rescued me from many situations which would have otherwise disabled my focus and concentration.
The best way to get started is with a little task that won’t take much time. Push everything else to the side and complete that task. After it’s finished, go to another item.
As you’re learning, the key is to start with tasks that take small amounts of time and build from there. After you’ve practiced, try your hand at some larger tasks. It’s like developing any muscle: the more you work it, the stronger it will become.
If you’ve never done this and try to compartmentalize for a multiple hour project, it’s probably not going to work and you’ll feel frustrated, so take heed and start small!
I hope you’ll take time to learn this because it’s an invaluable skill for leaders. It’s one which will help you know that you are actually in control of your time instead of time controlling you.
Have a great day!