A year ago I wrote a blog post called “Top 5 tips to keep you focused on the big picture” and it came into my head again as a good topic for a blog. January obviously highlights the need in me to take stock and make sure I’m focusing on things that are really important not just urgent.
I spend a lot of time working with my clients on their time management and prioritisation, in the fast-pace world we all live in, there feels like that there is never enough time in the day. So it got me thinking, do I follow my advice or am I just as poor at seeing the big picture?
Last January, I told you all how you should look at hiring the right team, schedule meetings for big picture discussions, automate where you can, manage your momentum and trust your team. In 2018, I want to make some tweaks to these tips.
1. Write the big picture
You are 42% more likely to achieve them! There has been loads of fuss made about journaling in 2017 and I was one to jump on the bandwagon. I can’t be dealing with the journaling books like Bullet Journal. However, I have written down in the front of a diary my aims fo r the year and I make a point of reading them every day. So it means that every day, I have to ask myself, have what I got planned for the day, help me achieve these aims? It’s such a simple thing to do but it really makes me realise when I’m doing things because I’ve been asked to rather than what is of benefit.
It helps with prioritisation, when my clients are feeling overwhelmed, I get them to write down all their tasks for the day onto post-it notes and plot them onto this chart. Simple but effective. Change Important to Big-goal orientated and think about your day, how would yours map on it?
2. Ask people close to you what your big picture is
It’s a good exercise to ask other people what they think your big picture is. Those friends and family that you know you will get an honest answer from. They will be able to tell you what you talk about all the time, what you cancel on them for, what you talk about and get stressed. Then see how that maps onto what you think your big picture is. Do you spend time focusing on insignificant things?
3. Momentum creates movement
Now this one was on the 2017 list, keeping the pace will help keep you moving forward. I still believe this to be key, stopping and relaxing, taking stock is good every so often, but the more action you take, the more progress you make towards that big picture ideal. Every day, make sure you are doing one key thing that helps you towards your big goal, and that’s far easier when you have it written down. It might be as simple as researching something, making one phone call, writing one email. If you take mini steps everyday, it doesn’t matter how much distraction there is, you will always be moving forwards.
4. Have the right people around you
Last time we talked about trusting and hiring the right team, well this is that but combined. The right team should be people you trust. If there are people in your organisation or your life that you don’t trust, why are they there? The people should have your best interests at heart, now they might not be their best interests, and that’s fine but if they’re actively pushing against you, and there is no alignment, then support will be minimal.
5. Multi-tasking is so passé
There’s been a big push recently about how multi-tasking is not the best way to make progress. Apparently you lose 40% of productivity when you switch between tasks. Now I’m not so sure on this, I love jumping from task to task to keep my brain engaged however it all comes down to how you write your things to do list and how long those tasks.
I always encourage my clients to never put something on their list that will take them more than an hour, and if it’s on there, it has to be important and ideally, helping towards the big picture goal.
We all have been known to be on a call, checking Instagram and watching a ted talk at the same time, and I’m sure my ability to retain all that information is lessened but do I feel good from doing it, most the time yes!
Now these 5 tips sound more personal than the last blog but actually, they work just as well when you are a business. Making sure you write down your goals/objectives, asking your team and your clients/suppliers, what they think you are focusing on. These insights help you focus on the big picture. Just make sure your big picture is right for you or your business in the first place.
No More Ifs Or Buts.