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Dr Mani Pavuluri Blog

Let’s be Kind

Compartmentalization: A Word For Parsing Out ‘You’

# Parents # Balancing # Time Management # Work Ethic # Reality Check # Big Picture

The word compartmentalization was originally designated by me for myself when I had to balance and keep up with the efficiency of my many roles when I became a new mother in Australia. Especially as, I went back to work in 2 months after my son was born and such practice was scorned upon in Australia as it was not a cultural norm to go back to work so quickly! I had to work and raise my young son, later on, sons.

One thought I strongly hold till today is that the folk hired me to do what I am supposed to deliver at the work place. They are investing to get my time. As much as I want empathy from others regarding my own issues of being spread thin, I compared myself to a man in what I can deliver in every way, or any woman in that work role for that matter. My work hired me to do the job fully and competently. I was not going to get anything come in the way of being present for the job that requires my help. And in turn, my family benefits from the yield. I get the big picture.

The intensity of pulls in many directions has deliberately led me to put boundaries between work and home at least during the peak times that either place needed my full attention.The designated or compartmentalized peak times are different at work and home if kids are cared for at home/day care while I had to work. My dictum is while flexibility is the key buffer, the amount and quality of work must not alter at either the home or at the work place. We simply cannot do two things at once.

Subsequently, I must have taught this to my sons at various points. I overheard one of them say recently, ‘You just have to compartmentalize,’ when he had to balance the potion of times across subjects, home work assignments, ongoing projects, multi-test preparation and so on. I was glad he caught on to it! This compartmentalization routes back to mindful commitment to the work at-hand knowing you will return to the other sections, and quite fully, per your plan (Yes, of course, I know, only to the extent that we can!).  compartmentalise-1424097

The checklist for each day such as exercise, down time with family, dinner time, and connecting with special people besides work- can be accounted for- hopefully on most days. I say checklist as some things that are critical do repeat in a routine. Whether you are working (i.e., working outside of home) parent  or not, this can remind you that we all struggle, but can work towards a tangible solution. If you cannot fit in, then you will make the decision that something got to go. Writing out the  checklist or jotting down a plan might help if we need an external reminder that stares at us to get us to compartmentalize, and keep moving forward. Hope keeping that word accessible will remind you to compartmentalize.

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2 Responses

  1. Delectible….Able to connect with it. This is also a lesson learnt for me….Could have done better with compartmentalization in life….

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