Creative Compartmentalization

Day 323 Week 44 Q4 Monday, November 20, 2023

All creative outliers have too many things going on in their life. They generally have more ideas than time to pursue them. Therefore, they generally have strategies to cope with the incoming wave of stimulus requiring their attention. Sometimes, they resort to alcohol, drugs, or sex to cope with the flow. But this doesn’t work very well for most of the world. For most of us, we cannot wholly distract ourselves, but we can learn to compartmentalize.

We can break the flow up into different types of inputs, and we can break up our responses into different types of responses, and all of this requires contextualization. Creative compartmentalization is simply an act of contextualization that works. 

One way to do this is to contextualize by consciously partitioning our different life roles. We each play many roles. None of these rules require 100% of our attention 100% of the time. Whether you call it interleaving, multitasking, or juggling, they are all the same. They are taking segments of time when your complete conscious attention is not required and putting it on some other task.

If I am driving my car on a familiar route with little or no traffic, there’s certainly time to think about something else.  Not to think so hard about something else that you miss your exit or get into an accident, but you still have to maintain a peripheral awareness of the situation you are primarily involved in.

There can be a lot of creativity in how a person compartmentalizes their life.  Additionally, some lives let themselves much more to compartmentalization than others. Each person has to determine their own recipe for separating the inputs and outputs and what happens between them. No one can tell someone else which compartments they need and how much energy they need to spend on each one, but the need to compartmentalize and the power it brings to an active life is enormous.

This is especially important for creative outliers because they generally need more compartments than a normal person. And yes, I am saying a creative outlier is not a normal person. I cannot define what a normal person is, but when someone is different, then the consensus concept of normal becomes a parent sooner or later. It may become apparent instantly, or it may take some time.

The ability for a creative outlier to appear to be normal is an essential function of compartmentalization. The act of compartmentalizing not only helps you deal with your life, but it also helps everyone else deal with it.

I have found from experience that if you try to expose most people to the number of thoughts I am having at the same time, it does not go well for me because it does not go well for them. Creative compartmentalization is a terrific tool to help a creative outlier better fit into the world outside of them and inside of them.