Momentum Podcast: 820
Compartmentalization Creates Competition
by Alex Charfen
You have probably been told that compartmentalizing your life will help you get more done. I know I’ve heard this over and over again. When I was younger, I heard it so often that I thought it was true.
These days, when I hear someone say that we need to compartmentalize, I cringe.
Not only is successful compartmentalization near impossible, but compartmentalization also creates unhealthy competition in our lives.
If you have been trying to compartmentalize your life, I suggest you stop.
In this episode, I share a more productive way to prioritize and achieve the outcomes that are important to you. And it won't drive you crazy the way the compartmentalization will.
Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast. During our last Billionaire Code Summit, I got asked a really interesting question during one of our Q&A as one of our members said, Alex, how do I successfully compartmentalize? Because there's stuff that I want to do personally and there's things that I want to get done as a mom. There's things that I want to get done as a business owner, and I'm having trouble compartmentalizing and getting them all done. And I answered her pretty immediately. And then it opened up a conversation that we had for quite a while. And I think this will be insightful for you. I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast made for Empire Builders Game Changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Should we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will? We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority. The few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution. And we always will be. It's interesting, this podcast, this topic of compartmentalization creates competition has been tough for me to record because it feels so important. You know, sometimes I find that when I'm going to record a podcast or a record information that feels really important, it feels like it's something that I've struggled with. I tend to procrastinate because I wanted to just be perfect and I wanted to be right. And I sat down this morning when I was going through my to do list. I'm like, You know what? I just need to record this. I need to take a fresh shot at it. I need to share this information with you because I feel like it's so crucially important. You know, for most of my career, I've had people in one way or another tell me that they compartmentalize. In fact, I can remember a conversation that I had a long time ago back when Katie and I lived in Florida. This was probably 16, 17 years ago, and we were talking to another real estate investor and he had like I think, four or five kids, and he was a real estate investor and he was doing a lot of different things. And I asked him like, how do you get it all done? And he goes, That's easy. I just I compartmentalize everything. You know, when I'm at work, I'm at work when I'm at business and, you know, when I'm when I'm working as an entrepreneur, I'm working as an entrepreneur. When I'm a father, I'm a father. And I don't really think about anything else. And then, you know, when I go to church, I'm, you know, in church and I'm with the people that I'm surrounded by. And, you know, sometimes those those lines are hard to cross. You know, sometimes there's stuff that you do in business that I don't know that I would talk about in church. And I remember. Having this pain in my chest for him. Like, what do you mean? There's stuff you doing business that you wouldn't talk about in church. Like, I don't have anything that I do on business. I wouldn't talk about it in church. It was like kind of a really weird exchange, but because of the type of person I am, I'm like, Did that thing that we're told to do as entrepreneurs, like take what you think will serve you and leave everything else? And so I'm like, Okay, how do I compartmentalize? And I remember trying and failing miserably. I was really bad at compartmentalizing. And so I started to like dig into this subject and I wanted to understand this subject of compartmentalization. And it's been a quest. You know, I studied this for years. I thought about it for years. I talked to other entrepreneurs about it. I looked at successful people. And here's what I found. The more we try to compartmentalize in our lives, the more we get into a place where we create competition rather than integration, where we can create challenges for ourselves rather than making things run smoothly. And, you know, I'll go back to that conversation that we had in our event, you know, as soon as the person as soon as a member asked, you know, how do I compartmentalize? I said, you don't. And this comes from from my own experiences, comes from working with tons of wildly successful entrepreneurs. What I've observed in the people who are successful, the people who are happy, the people who are at peace with themselves, the people who actually love and care about themselves, is that they stop compartmentalizing because here's what happens. As soon as we say, I'm going to compartmentalize my business from my family, we have our business and family and competition. As soon as we say I'm going to compartmentalize my self-care and being an entrepreneur, we're now competing with ourselves for two outcomes that we want. And so compartmentalization in any way creates competition for the two things that we are separating for, the two things that we are trying to compartmentalize. And when we do that, we get into these arguments with ourselves, we get into these conflicts with ourselves. We actually and there are conflicts and arguments of our own making because we are trying to separate things. And what I shared in our event and the discussion that followed was you don't do that when you you know, when I sit down these days in the morning with my to do list, there is a ton of stuff that I want to get done every day, you know, on a daily basis. For myself personally, I want to work out, I want to pull a sled, I want to get into the cold plunge. I want to get into the sauna. I want to do qigong. I want to make sure I'm using my red line, my PM abs. There's other stuff that I do here in the house. There's all kinds of biohacking that I like to do on a daily basis. And if I tried to do all that stuff every day, that's all I would get done. And then every day that I sit down for the business, there's things that I want to do. Like right now, I'm working on scripts that we're reshooting some of our product, or we can reshoot the whole product. You know, I want to work on marketing. I want to work on a sales letter. There's things that I, I want to put my energy into, and all of those things feel really important. There's things that I want to get done. And if I was to try and separate those things and compartmentalize those things, I get into a place where I'm arguing with myself, where I'm fighting with myself. So what I do instead is I integrate, I look and I think to myself, okay, so what's the best way to do this stuff? You know, I like to walk at least a mile a day and I love to do a cold plunge because it increases dopamine. It helps me in so many different ways, makes me more grounded, more rational during the day. And so I'll get up in the morning. I go for a mile walk, I do a cold plunge, and then I go to my daily huddle and I'm refreshed. I've walked, I've moved. I'm integrating those activities so that I'm getting what I need to get done. You know, today, Katie, my wife, is integrating activities and we love to spend time with our kids and our daughter. Reagan is 15 years old and she's really interested in real estate. And so as I'm recording this podcast, Katie is at one of our properties where we're doing a remodel because we just had a tenant move out. And Reagan's there taking notes and understanding the remodel and spending time with her mom. And there's not compartmentalization that's actually integration so that we can get what we want to get done. And Katie can spend time with her, with with her, with my daughter, with our daughter and still get what she needs to get done with the property. And so on a daily basis, I sit down and I ask myself, what are the priorities for me? See that to do list for me? I don't make it to do list for being a dad and then a to do list for being a business owner and then a to do list for me and a husband and then a to do list for myself. I write down the things that I want to get done and then I prioritize them based on what can I integrate, what can I put together, what order will I do this? And that's going to work the best for me. And then that's how I get my work done. In fact, right before I started recording this podcast, I just want for an hour walk with a neighbor. You know, personal connection is so important for all of us. And my neighbor Colin is really an incredibly close friend of mine. I spend a ton of time with him compared to how much time I spend with other people. He's three houses away, so it makes it really easy. And I actually plan to do I'm like, You know what? I'll go for a walk with Collin, I'll be refreshed, I'll be able to talk, I'll be able to get some community, some connection, and then I'll come back and I'll record the podcast that I need to record. I'll write down this or I'll write out the scripts that I need to write out, and it'll actually work well for me because the timing works, right if I put it together like this and as entrepreneurs. I think this is a skill that all of us should look at and start considering, like, how do we integrate what we really want out of our lives? So we're not trying to compartmentalize. We're not creating this competition, this this struggle, this pain of our own making. And when it comes to prioritization, if you compartmentalize, here's what happens if you separate being the person in my my event, being a mom and being a business owner while. Now what happens is you have priorities as a mom, priorities as business owner. We stack those up against each other and we see what wins. And in my experience, unfortunately, most of the time for us as entrepreneurs, because there's a sense of urgency in our business that usually is greater than the sense of urgency around us. We put the time into the business. The other things that we want to do don't take time until there's an urgency created because we've been neglecting the people around us or neglecting the other things that we need to do due to time. It's the same thing with staying healthy and being a business owner. You know, I am obsessed with being healthy and it's because I was so unhealthy as a kid and I've had periods of time in my life where I was incredibly unhealthy. You know, when people look at me today, I get comments like, oh, you know, you just have great genetics and you were born with it. And you know, you're so lucky to still look like you do. That always makes me laugh inside because I have pictures of myself at 30 years old, £300, 44 inch waist that I barely could squeeze into everything. Everything that I did was hard. Everything that I did was worth going. Upstairs was a struggle. And having that time in my life where I was completely in the wrong direction showed me that I was doing something wrong. And if I really think about how I got there, it was because I was in that place of compartmentalization. I was going to have a successful business. I was going to run a successful business. I was going to do whatever it takes to have a successful company. And what ended up happening was I neglected myself. And it wasn't for a short period of time, it was four years. That's how I got into that situation. It was years of neglect. It was years of trying to compartmentalize. It was years of not integrating and instead creating competition in my life. And it almost killed me. You know, I listen to some of the entrepreneurial thought leaders out there today and they talk about, you know, get up. And before you do anything else, just go straight to work, grab a cup of coffee, sit down and start working and just push yourself on a daily basis and go as hard as you can. And that's how you're going to create success. And in a lot of ways that's true. You know, if we overclock and push ourselves and we work all day, every day, we're going to make progress in places. But we don't realize the places where we're not only not making progress, but where we're hurting ourselves. And I was guilty of that for years. And you know what? Today, I certainly don't want to sound like I have this all perfect. I still am guilty of that. Sometimes I get into rabbit holes and start neglecting other things and start not seeing other things. The good news is, is that these days it doesn't last for years. It doesn't even really last for months. Sometimes it might last for a week or more, but most of the time it's days. And then I'll say, Wait a second, I haven't done anything to take care of myself this week. I haven't done anything to keep myself healthy in the last three or four days. And there will be a day where I sit down in the morning and I plan out my day and I say, okay, I'm going to be intentional. Like, what are my real priorities today? What's most important today? And that's like going on a walk, having an hour long workout, getting in the cold plunge, getting in the sauna, making sure that I'm doing those things. You know, I jump in the sauna and I'll answer emails, so I'm integrating the two activities. I'll go on a walk and I'll listen to a podcast or listen to information or listen to a course that I'm taking. So I'm integrating the two activities, and I'm not in that place of creating competition for myself. I actually don't ask the question anymore. What should I do for my health? What should I do for my business? What should I do for as a father, as a husband, I ask myself, What are the most important things to do today and what are the most important things for me today? And I write out the list and that's what I prioritize. And I say, okay, these are the things I'm going to do and the order I'm going to do them in. And if you've been in this place of compartmentalization, you might not even know it. You know, you might not even know you were there. I know when I was younger, I didn't know I was there. I didn't know I was stuck in that place. And you also might be one of those people that for some reason, like I was, you've been convinced that compartmentalization is the way to succeed. And. For everything that I've seen, for the people that I've spent time with, for the entrepreneurs that I've helped build seven figure and eight figure and nine figure businesses and have massive exits. What I've seen over and over again is when integration is created, when we create the the ability to do the things that we need to do for ourselves, the things that we need to do for our business, the things that we do need to do for our family. And we look at those things and we prioritize them together so that we are integrating, so that we are really looking at what's most important. That's where I have made the most progress. And over and over again, that's where the most progress has been made with the people that I've worked with. And so much so that I created a system to do this. You know, I use our momentum planner on a daily basis. I sit down, I go through the process that it has. I write down the things I was grateful for the day before where I felt like I won the day before. I write down my intention for the day. I write down actually where I was uncomfortable yesterday. I write out a to do list. I prioritize that to do list. And then I take the top three and I make sure that I achieve those top three, in fact. Recording this podcast was one of my top three today. One of my top three was also parent teacher conferences. Today, Katie and I spent from about nine to noon in 15 minute parent teacher conferences on Zoom with my kids school the whole morning. And so one of my top outcomes was the podcast. One of my top outcomes was parent teacher conferences. And then the last outcome is to sit down and write the scripts that I was talking about earlier. And in looking at things as a whole, I find ways to integrate. I find ways to create benefit around those things. So today I could have worked all day and then gone out and snuck in a really quick walk. And instead I went to the parent teacher conferences this morning. I did some other things that I needed to get done. I went for a walk with my neighbor. I feel refreshed now. I actually feel better. Haven't been outside for about 45 minutes and then I come back and I record this podcast and I'm laying the day out for myself in this way so that I know that I'm getting the priorities for me as a human being done and not trying to compartmentalize the different roles that I play. It's like, what is the most important thing for me today? And so if you're an entrepreneur who is stuck in that place of compartmentalization, here's my. Challenge for you. Here's my ask for you. Here's my suggestion for you is that rather than having competing priorities in your life, sit down in the morning and ask yourself, How do I integrate these things? Sit down in the morning and ask yourself, how do I make these things benefit me? The things that I want to get done benefit me so that I'm getting the things I want to get done throughout my entire life. Not trying to create competition. Not so. I'm in a place where I do one thing, but I beat myself up because I didn't do the other thing. And I'm making progress across the board. Compartmentalization creates competition, and as entrepreneurs, we love competition. We win in the competition. And when we create it for ourselves, oftentimes we're not aware of how competitive we are with ourselves and how we're making one area of our lives the winner. And any time we create a winner, we're also making other areas of our lives the loser. And so rather than doing that, look at your life as a whole. Integrate the activities that you can ask yourself what your true priorities are, what's most important for that day? And I think you'll see a tremendous amount of momentum from approaching things this way. And if you're an entrepreneur who's interested in having a system to do this, check out our momentum planner. It is a the only the only planner system I know of that's created specifically for entrepreneurial personality types, for visionary entrepreneurs who who do have things that compete in our lives, who do have different outcomes that we want to achieve, where we are a person and we have our relationships and then we have our business, and those things can kind of sometimes become convoluted and compete with each other. This system will help you back out of that and start to achieve infinitely more on a daily basis. But what's more important, you'll actually feel the achievement. You'll see the achievement around you, you'll feel better about what you're doing. And I think that this is a huge game changer for entrepreneurs. So if you're interested in a system to do this, you know, I've given you a lot in the podcast. You don't need to have it. But if you're interested in a system that'll give you some shortcuts and give you a routine and a process to use on a daily basis, you can go to Charfen dot com my last name dot com forward slash m p s as a momentum planner system just the three letters so Charfen dot com forward slash NPS. You can read all about the momentum planning system there and it will help you eliminate the competition in your life or at least understand the competition in your life so that you better integrate and you get the things that you want to done and create momentum in your life in a way that if you've never tried this before, it might surprise you how much better things feel, and it might surprise you how much less guilty and frustrated and how much less time you take beating yourself up when you approach your life this way. As an entrepreneur, thanks for spending this time with me today. If you're interested in the momentum planner one more time, it's Charfen dot com forward slash m p s and at this podcast mean something to you. And you know an entrepreneur that should listen to this. Maybe you have a friend, maybe your spouse, maybe a relative who is in that place of compartmentalization and bring themselves up. Send this podcast to him. It may help him. I really appreciate you listening and thanks for being here with me today and I'll see you on the next episode.