Compartmentalize to Avoid Overwhelm

by | Dec 4, 2023 | Entrepreneurship

New founders often find themselves awash in a sea of concerns: revenue growth, hiring, firing, funding, family responsibilities, and lots more all at once. It feels like a murky mess. During the course of a day these concerns swirl around in your head while new tasks get added to the mix.  Overwhelmed and at a standstill, you’re exhausted, and the clock keeps ticking.

Here’s a solution:

I’m a big fan of time blocking/boxing as a visual way to plan your week. “Compartmentalizing” takes time blocking one step further. It is a process of separating conflicting concerns into different mental “compartments” to manage them separately. This is a helpful coping strategy for getting concerns out of your head and on paper. Compartmentalizing concerns is helpful to your mental well-being, particularly in situations where emotions or worry take hold.

Each area of concern can be a compartment. For example, let’s take “funding your enterprise” as a compartment. Compartmentalizing involves breaking down the larger issue of securing funding into smaller, more manageable components. Carve out a block of time in your calendar for each component:

  1. Clearly defining the amount of funding required and the specific purposes for which the funds will be used.

Example: Break down the funding needs into categories such as product development, marketing, and operational costs. This will provide a clearer picture of where the funds will be allocated.

  1. Research different funding sources and methods available to startups.

Example: Divide this task into exploring traditional funding options (e.g., venture capital, loans) and alternative methods (crowdfunding, accelerators). This helps in understanding the pros and cons of each option.

  1. Build a Pitch Deck:

Example: Break down the pitch deck creation into sections such as problem statement, solution, market opportunity, financial projections, and team introduction. This makes the process more manageable and ensures each aspect is well thought out.

  1. Focus on building relationships with potential investors.

Example: Divide this task into smaller activities like attending networking events, reaching out to mentors, and participating in industry conferences. Each activity contributes to building a network that could eventually lead to funding opportunities.

  1. Develop a detailed financial plan.

Example: Break down financial planning into creating a budget, forecasting revenue, and outlining key financial metrics. This allows you to focus on one aspect at a time, ensuring a comprehensive and well-thought-out financial strategy.

By breaking down a compartment into smaller, manageable components and assigning specific times to address them you can make progress on multiple compartments in a more organized and efficient way.

Need one-on-one help compartmentalizing? Contact me at Visit

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Who is Rebecca Shafir? Speech/language pathologist, author, voice and executive function coach
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