Vail Daily column: Compartmentalizing life |

Vail Daily column: Compartmentalizing life

Pick one, any one:

• The tsunami in Japan.

• The rebel uprisings in the Middle East, Libya, Egypt, and other places.

• The political issues and controversies right here in the U.S.

• Foreclosures, unemployment and the economy.

• Family, work, home, childcare, healthcare issues.

• And even the insanity and ridiculousness of Charlie Sheen’s antics.

Pick one, any one, of the above and probably any of the many other things possibly going on in your own life right now. It can literally seem overwhelming, especially when you consider the magnitude and impact that each may have locally, nationally, globally or right inside your own home.

Sometimes we feel like the person just spinning plates, juggling, and performing magic acts all at the same time just to get through each day, just to get through life. Come on, let’s face it, it’s hard, so hard.

Many emails I am receiving lately come from folks asking for advice on how to deal with the burdensome situations surrounding them, their families, or their friends coupled with all of the worldwide devastation. So what do we do, how do we manage this monster amount of craziness, disaster, devastation, and seemingly unavoidable collisions with the influx of information and our own feelings?

We need to find a way to compartmentalize when and where we can. Easier said than done right? Wrong.

Listen, with the never-ending stream of content and information coming at us on our phones, TV’s, computers, radio, and newspapers, it’s hard to avoid the events as they unfold, sometimes even in real time. For me, I have worked hard on compartmentalizing what I want to see and hear and what I will search out on my own. And then determine how I will choose to respond or not respond to each. What’s important at this time and moment in my life and what is not. How I will deal with my personal situations and how I will manage my work and the people who report to me. How I receive and digest current local and global events and what they mean to me personally. I compartmentalize.

If you don’t like the word compartmentalize, how about buckets or brackets? Place each one of the things that are weighing heavy on your mind and heart and bucket them. But the point is that we distill down the enormity of all that is happening around us, focus on that which is the utmost of importance to our personal relationships and personal reality. Not reality TV, but our own reality.

How many times have you heard someone say something like “the world has gone crazy?” or “the world has gone mad?” Well, maybe it has, but guess what? We don’t have to allow that craziness to control us – we can control it.

I would love to hear how you compartmentalize or determine how you deal with it all at and if you can work on “bucketing” the information overload, it will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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