A Realistic Approach to Compartmentalizing
I was waiting at a client breakfast this morning, having just gotten off a phone call about switching Bodie's class schedule around his new nap timing, while trying to jot down fleeting ideas about Mother Untitled, then remembering to reschedule a doctor's appointment and also intermittently looking at our family photo stream of pictures feeling sad about leaving a very teary toddler at the door. Also, where is my credit card?
If you don't feel a healthy level of frustration just reading the run on above, I'd like some of what you're having.
Compartmentalizing isn't my forté but according to most entrepreneurs who balance multiple business priorities, its the key to efficiency. Some recommend visualizing walking into a room with the sole focus of accomplishing one task against a count down clock before then walking into another room with another focus. My husband, the most efficient person I know, would echo this given that his calendar on any given day is a series of structured hours with different teams and executives. The intentional blocks afford him a short period of time to intensely focus on one challenge before physically moving on to the next.
I don't think I possess that level of mental discipline nor am I convinced that this is as easy for mothers for whom our children's needs reign supreme and can't be boxed into a separate mental compartment. That said, I do love the concept if combined with the idea of carving out "in-between" time. Meaning using the 10-15 minute blocks when I'm walking, or driving or in the bathroom to check the box on the little things. The thinking being that life as a mother is much more hyphenated and so our time needs to be as well. Using the car ride down to my meeting to get through rescheduling the doctor and knowing that I'd have the walk back uptown to handle the other minor to-dos, would keep those from intruding on the mental space set aside for the client challenge. The concept of going into one room, then shutting the door and going into the next may be a bit linear for our lives so allocating ourselves little corners, breaks or passageways for the "trickle over to-dos" feels a bit more doable for my days.
Do you find your role as a mother to add a different layer of background (or foreground)always-on noise? How do you handle efficiency? I'd love to hear your ideas!