Compartmentalizing Our Lives

I am in the process of doing the latter as there are things that I will have to do differently. For example, I will have to focus on my health and well-being a lot more than six months ago. Also, being summer, I have to recalibrate my time in the office. You see my office is upstairs which is in the attic. So, it is blistering hot in the afternoon. So, things will have to be re-calibrated for me to face my new realities.

So, what is compartmentalizing anyways? Well, I like to think of compartmentalizing like containers. We all know what containers are. They usually have lids and in most cases there are no overlaps between them. Well human life is rarely that simple. But, by creating some compartments in your life, you could really organize your life even more.

So, compartments are the different aspects of your lives. In other words, each of us has different duties and functions that we must fulfill. Some of us work outside to make a living. All of us have families. Some of us also have kids and grandkids as well as nieces and nephews or relatives. Then we have our health needs and concerns. We have to cook healthy food and exercise. We have to take time to rest and regroup. All of these are necessities to make a life whole and healthy. And for writers, we also have to make time to write.

So, here are a few of my compartments:

Health
Spiritual/Religious
Family
Work/teaching
Wife
Writer
Research

So, every day, I have duties in each of these compartments because even these compartments are divided up into further sections. Here is an example.

Health:
Prepare healthy meals
Follow a diet
Exercise
Sleep well
Take time to rest
Minimize Stress
Spiritual/Religious:

Do Bible Study
Go to church weekly
Pray daily
Do yoga and meditation

Wife
Cook
Clean house
Do shopping
Visit MIL
Do washing
Spend quality time with husband
Do recreational activities a few times a week

So, the clearer we can become of all of our duties and how we can put them into compartments, the more balanced our lives will be. Here is how…

Once you have your compartments in place, and you have labelled what you have to achieve in each of the compartments like I did above, you have to schedule these activities in your planner. To do so, you should decide when you will prepare your meals, when you will exercise, when you will spend time with hubby, when you will rest, when you will meditate, when you will write, and so on. That is the hard part and it can take a lot of time to prepare most effectively.

Here are a few tips to help you out:
1. Decide when you can write, given your other duties. Make sure it is a time that you can be quite certain that you won’t be disturbed. So, for most of us that early in the day or later in the day when everyone is asleep or watching sports.
2. Decide when you will prepare your meals and exercise. These times have to be regular and put in place too.
3. Decide when to spend time with your spouse—then put that on your schedule…as strange as this sounds.

4. Put in any other duties that you have, such as Bible study and going to church. Put those times on your schedule.

5. And follow the same procedure for each of your containers.

Note: Each of your containers contain other duties too. You could picture the big containers containing the other smaller containers. That is what I do and I find that it really can help a lot.

Whatever you do, don’t overschedule yourself. Cut yourself some slack, and see what happens.

So, let’s all go off an create containers for our various tasks and duties, and then let’s also have a container for leisure too. Don’t forget to take time to be creative and regroup.

Irene S. Roth

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