Can You Compartmentalize?

When re-reading Getting It Done by Andrew J. DuBrin, PH.D., I came to a section on dealing with procrastination. One suggestion is somethingĀ I’d like your feedback on.

He said you can make progress with procrastination if you “compartmentalize spheres of life.” He says that if you have multiple demands on your time that seem overwhelming, “mentally wear the same blinders placed on horses so they can concentrate better on the race and not be distracted.”

Box It Up!

I would love to be able to do that on a regular basis! Are you able to compartmentalize? I agree with the author that procrastination is more tempting when multiple demands are swirling and competing in your mind.

I think that male writers have an advantage here. They seem able to put things in boxes, tape the lids shut, and then deal with one box at a time. (I know this for a fact because I can tell when I am being put in the “wife” box!)

Women, however, mix things up. Our concern for our child’s health or marriage problems or a sibling’s financial crisis “bleeds over” into our writing time. And we tend to feel guilty if we’re happily typing away while a member of our family is in trouble or needs us.

‘Fess Up

So…please share your wisdom with me. Men, if you can explain how to put things in boxes or make blinders work, please advise. Ladies, if you’ve figured out how to push aside your other concerns while you write, please share.

I bet we could all use some tips!

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2 Responses to Can You Compartmentalize?

  1. Susan Nevarez-Marquez says:

    I compartmentalize by using a timer. I set it for an hour and write “new words” for an hour. I set it for another hour and edit. I set it for a half hour and research markets. To me, that is a method of compartmentalizing. Knowing I only have a designated time to finish a specific task keeps me focused.

  2. kwpadmin says:

    I think using a timer is one of the smartest time management techniques available. I’d be lost without my kitchen timer. But I hadn’t really thought of it as a technique to compartmentalize, but it sure is! Thanks for pointing that out. Each time you set the timer, you are making a “time compartment” that should help block out other things for the duration. :-)

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