I’ve got two cell phones- one for my corporate work and another for personal calls.
A couple of years ago, my wife overheard me answering my work phone.
When I hung up, she had a twisted expression on her face.
“I don’t know who that was that just took that call but it wasn’t the Ben that I know.”
She told me that I sounded harsh, cold, and uncaring.
In that moment, I realized that I had totally compartmentalized my work and my home life.
Then I started looking around and realized compartmentalizing our lives is an epidemic.
And I began to wonder, does it actually work?
After all, our culture sells compartmentalization.
Have you heard of the Container Store or Ikea?
More than one client has actually expressed that they purposefully compartmentalize to maintain their sanity.
If you are thinking, “yeah…me too. what’s wrong with that?”…keep reading.
Compartmentalizing Keeps You from Bringing Your Best Self
All the time and energy people spend compartmentalizing leads to burnout.
The worst part about compartmentalizing is that it keeps you from bringing your best self to each part of life.
Your day can feel like a slog and you start feeling like you’ve got to hype yourself up to jump onto that next conference call.
You miss out on the synergies of bringing the wit, playfulness, and mojo of your home and social life to the “get’er” done environment at the office.
You also miss out on bringing the courage, creativity, and focus from your favorite hobby or sport into the ho-hum, same old stuff that’s been going on for 15 years at Corporate.
So you’re exhausting yourself and keeping the most creative and fun loving aspects of you from work?
Time to try something different.
How to Avoid the Compartmentalizing Trap
You can avoid the burnout from compartmentalizing by starting to find little ways to bring your entire self to work.
You see, I discovered incredible benefits when I brought the gentle Ben that interacts with his baby, plus the confident Ben that smashes a forehand on the tennis court, and the relaxed Ben from Yoga class; all to the office.
Tackling difficult conversations and challenges at work, all become much easier to deal with and overcome.
Best of all I felt much less tired at the end of the work week.
Sometimes all you need is a little momentum, so here’s a way to get started:
- Think about that person at work that you’re having a particularly difficult time with.
- Consider if you’re really bringing your whole self to that conversation?
- What else could you bring differently to that conversation? focus, passion, fun, humor, creativity, etc…?
- When that little voice in your head says to you, “that just won’t work for me at the office”, stop and ask yourself “Why?”
- Notice what happens
After practicing it a few times, you’ll find that you’re more effective and your work day will be much more enjoyable.
To Igniting your Career!
Your CBO (Chief Burnout Officer)
PS: If you’d like free career inspiring tips sent directly to your inbox each week just provide your email here
- The Burnout Manifesto (Seven Ways to Reignite your Career from Burnout) (benfanning.com)
- The Big Lie about Work-Life Balance (benfanning.com)
- How Happiness at Work is like Getting High (benfanning.com)