You Can’t See the Big Picture When You’re in the Middle of Things 

Tell me if you can relate to this. You’re working away on a big project with hundreds of little tasks that need to be dealt with. You dig in, get busy, and before you know it, you’re forty, sixty, or even eighty hours in.

You feel great. You’re working hard, putting in the blood, sweat, and tears it takes for this to become a smashing success. The only problem is that it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. What happened? 

You Did Busy Work

The problem is that you didn’t work on the important stuff. Instead, you did busy work that made you feel productive but didn’t give you much traction towards reaching your ultimate goals.

Sure, you made some progress, but because you didn’t step back to see the big picture, you didn’t know that it would have been much more efficient and effective to do something else. 

The key phrase in that last sentence is ‘step back’.

You can’t see the big picture and make good decisions when you’re in the middle of things. You need to gain some distance and, if needed, use some tools or even a mentor to see the big picture.

It is why coaching can be such a good way to make a lot of progress fast. Your coach helps you see the big picture and tells you what to do to have the biggest positive impact. That said, you don’t need to have a coach to get to that point. 

Stepping away from your desk, or whatever task you’re in the middle of, helps. Go for a walk, read a book, take a short trip. Do something to get away.

This will allow you to get your head into a place where you can grasp what it is you want to accomplish. Write that down. Be specific. What do you want to accomplish by when? From there, start to brainstorm what you could do to reach the goal. Break it down into smaller goals and come up with something you can do right now to reach that first goal.

Stop and Evaluate your Progress Regularly. 

Here’s an example most of us can relate to. You decide you want to lose 20 pounds. You go to the gym three times a week and you stick to low-fat foods. You get so focused on this one little aspect of your food choices that you lose track of the big picture.

What you don’t realise is that a big part of reaching that goal is measuring success, which means stepping on the scale each day. If you break that goal down and say you want to lose five pounds per month or a little over a pound per week, you can evaluate each week how you’re doing and adjust as needed.

Maybe a low-carb diet or intermittent fasting would be a better strategy for you. Maybe you find that you’re losing weight faster and feel better if you go for an hour’s walk after dinner instead of heading to the gym.

Step away and look at the big picture. At the end of the day, it isn’t about keeping that gym appointment or choosing only low-fat food. It’s about losing those 20 pounds so you can feel better and improve your health.

Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash

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