I guess it is important if you want to keep from going emotionally crazy. Oh, Merriam-Webster's definition is" to separate into isolated compartments or categories. " That definition is not really in-depth enough unless you think about it in context.
I found this on the web which has a bit darker definition: "In psychology, compartmentalization is a defense mechanism our brains use to shut out traumatic events."
Wikipedia- "It may be a form of mild dissociation; example scenarios that suggest compartmentalization include acting in an isolated moment in a way that logically defies one's own moral code, or dividing one's unpleasant work duties from one's desires to relax. Its purpose is to avoid cognitive dissonance or the mental discomfort and anxiety caused by a person having conflicting values, cognitions, emotions, beliefs, etc. within themselves."
"Recent Examples on the Web
Candace has that ability to compartmentalize and sort of dissociate from the things that are bothering her.
— Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2022
After an intense ending to the Halloween party, Spencer tries his best to compartmentalize everything and focus on the big Homecoming game.
— oregonlive, 23 May 2022
His attempts to compartmentalize are further complicated by interactions with grieving families. — Washington Post, 20 Apr. 2022
I think we may lose this skill as our lives get longer with more complicated events and actions by us and as we become less flexible in changing approaches. Are we more sure of what our actions should be? What do you think? I also think I have trouble falling asleep at night due to my inability to compartmentalize. Hubby closes his book, turns off the light, says "goodnight" and in 5-8 minutes is breathing deeply in his sleep and is out for the next nine hours. He is great at compartmentalizing.
Are you good at it? Do you have some trick that works?