Prioritized Compartmentalization

Day 113 Week 17 Q2 Monday, April 22, 2024

When you’re a creative outlier, managing a larger number of projects is the norm. However, this can lead to chaos if not handled properly. Your curious, opportunistic nature can result in a multitude of projects. That’s why it’s crucial to be organized and prioritize effectively.

I have one friend who rented office space with several different rooms so he could have different kinds of projects going on in each of these rooms. He tried organizing by room, and I don’t know how well it worked or didn’t, but I remember thinking it was kind of an amazing approach to have a lot of different things going on.

I myself have fallen prey to trying to organize by briefcases or backpacks. I tended to accumulate books, files, drawings, notebooks, and some sort of a bag, preferably with a strap or a handle, and then I would find myself with half a dozen of these bags in my office, sometimes migrating from my home office to my head off on my office or my living room or my car and I was never quite sure where all my projects were even when they were compartmentalized.

Since the prioritization changed, the locations have changed. Needless to say, this produced some kind of compartmentalized prioritized chaos. I spent a lot of time shifting gears as opposed to actually getting traction in any particular gear on any particular project. It was great fun but not particularly productive. It was also incredibly creative because I had to find the right bags for the right projects, and many years later, I discovered I had an extremely large number of bags, backpacks, and briefcases.

And if you are creative enough, it doesn’t matter how many rooms, bags, or workspaces you have. You will fill them all up, perhaps quickly, slowly, or even immediately. So then, what do you do?

Then, it becomes time for prioritized compartmentalization.

Since you will always have more projects and space than time, it probably makes sense to prioritize not the entire list but just the top two or three projects. It is difficult to work on more than two or three projects anyway.

This makes the prioritization job relatively easy. Which two or three projects can you be working on today, this week, or this month? It does not matter what you may be working on next year or later this year in terms of prioritized compartmentalization. Because she will be changing your priority and re-organizing your space and time before then, so there’s no point in assuming that whatever system we have set up will persist. Because if you are a creative outlier, it will not persist.  

So, make life easy on yourself. Do not try to organize your life for the rest of your life, or even the rest of the year, because it will change. It is, therefore, a waste of time to prematurely converge on an unknowable future.