Troy Dunn - The Compartmentalize Success Template

By Troy Dunn

I’m always willing and excited to come and spend time with Donny and his team. While it requires a small sacrifice of time away from my family, (and people who know me know how

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protective I am of family time) I believe that time spent with Donny’s audience is a good investment in others. I always leave after his show, uplifted and inspired by the callers into the show, the emails Donny shares with us from viewers and of course the extraordinary guests!

Tonight’s show gave me the opportunity to be on the panel with two insightful and motivating men- Dr. Terry Lyles and Richard “Mack” Machowicz. Meeting them was worth the trip from my home in Florida to Donny’s studio in New Jersey. These two men taught me a lot just in the time we spent together on set and in the greenroom. I wish you could listen in to the conversations we have during the commercial breaks- such a treat to be with such inspirational people. It’s always a motivation party at Donny’s place!

When Donny asked me to blog for his website, he specifically asked me to expound a bit more on a topic I brought up on the air tonight- Compartmentalizing. This is a topic I am passionate about because I consider it to be the skill/tool that saved my life, or at least gave me back the quality of life I was missing.

People, who don’t compartmentalize, allow their personal life to flow into their business life and vice-versa. The result is almost always a muddy disaster of confusion, chaos and eventually…. Failure. It is CRITICAL you embrace this success tool and use it each and every day in ALL aspects of your life.

During a tragedy, those who can compartmentalize, generally survive and those who don’t…well, they don’t. If a loved one passes away, someone in the family needs to possess this skill so that logical decisions and actions can be taken such as funeral arrangements, insurance paperwork submitted, travel plans scheduled, etc. The time for the emotional processing of the tragedy is placed into a compartment (after the arrangements are completed) and dealt with then. Easy to say, very difficult to pull it off; but essential for a successful journey through tragedy.

So it is with all areas of life. When trying to strike balance with your marriage, your children, your career and your self (never forget yourself) you must carve out the compartments for each area to dwell. I know that sounds good in theory but difficult to implement. So let me sketch out a sample layout for you to modify to your own life:



Troy Dunn’s Compartmentalize Success Template

- THE CLOCK: Schedule out a day with compartments of TIME. For example, if you have have young children in school, then the first part of the morning and the afternoon after school should be blocked on your calendar and clock for pure child time. It isn’t even optional to schedule any calls, meetings or errands during those times. When people ask for time that conflicts with this, you simply say, “I am already booked. Whats another time that would work for you?” Require people to respect your schedule by not being flexible on the important things. Schedule in the time for just you and your spouse. My wife and I have a standing appointment each Friday night for a date. The sitter knows she has a gig at the Dunn’s house every Friday and shows up each week. That compartment is non negotiable with me. If my marriage isn’t solid, nothing else in life will be solid. The best thing I can do for my children is to love their mother.

The next compartment I carve out is my work time. (I work from an office in my home now days. (I had the big office building gig for 11 years and sold the company in 2002 so I could be the “at home” guy. I am so digging it!) The work time is broken down into sub categories: Email, return phone calls, writing my new book, manage my investments, conference calls with partners, etc. Each one has a start and finish time. THAT is the definition of compartmentalizing time; start and stop! If you don’t stop, you have just broken down the walls of your compartment! Even if you haven’t gotten done all you had hoped to do, when it is time to shift compartments, STOP and make the shift. Make this a habit!

- YOUR SPACE: Every time compartment you created above should also have a physical space to be done in. Carve up your space to match up with your priorities and to help you keep focused on the task at hand. For example, create a work space at home for office type of stuff and KEEP all paperwork, business calls, files, etc in that one spot! Do not allow it to get scattered across the dining room table, your bedroom and the back seat of your car. Make sure that your bedroom is the space for you and your spouse. Let that space be peaceful and clutter-free. Allow it to be an environment of romance and friendship. Not a space of chaos and stress. Be sure that you carve out family space and then USE that space as often as humanly possible! When was the last time you spent one hour in your child’s bedroom? Play with his little toys, read his books, compartmentalize that time and space to be about him or her. When in there, don’t you dare answer your cell phone or suddenly start typing an email on your blackberry! That destroys that compartment.

- YOUR THOUGHTS: Train yourself to not allow your mind to wander- stay focused on the task at hand! Don’t think about one challenge while addressing another. When talking with someone, keep eye contact and focus on each word being said, not what’s happening off in the distance behind them, their clothing or hair, or what you plan to do after this conversation- no! Stay in the moment. Same goes for business meetings, writing emails, etc. Four words to live by when compartmentalizing your mind- Be Here, Be Now.

- Your Sleep: Until you find the secret to immortality, keep reminding yourself that you are mortal and your mind and body do require sleep! Some people pride themselves on surviving on minimal sleep, but that’s pure foolishness. There is a huge difference between surviving and thriving. You cannot function at full capacity on just a few hours sleep. Hundreds of years of science back me up on this. So stop trying to do it all today. At the appropriate time, hit the pause button on your life, lay down and recharge!!!

- Rinse AND REPEAT! The key to successful compartmentalizing is doing it consistently every hour of every day. You will see immediate results in your business, your personal life, your income and most importantly… your happiness! I promise you that success cannot be obtained, kept and enjoyed until you embrace this powerful success tool.

May you find success in all you do, may you be surrounded in success by those you love and may you remember this; no success in life compensates for failure in the home.

Be well my friend!

Troy Dunn