I spoke to a guy a while back who told me he never keeps a to-do list. That way, he said, he only remembers the 1-2 big things that he needs to do, rather than having a long list of inconsequential (to him) items. “Those smaller things will just happen— and if they don’t, it probably doesn’t matter. But if my big items don’t happen, that matters.”
This was such a brazen example of big picture thinking. This man didn’t get up in the morning and concern himself with lots of little to-dos — he got up and focused on the things he knew would make a difference and that would get him closer to his goal.
How many of us fritter away our hours on the small things? How many of us have a long task list and then handpick the easy ones to start on, never making it to the harder ones that will actually have more impact? This is a prime example of creating “busy-ness” and using all our hours in the day, but not using them wisely. I don’t need to tell you how big I am on doing the right things in the right order — it’s pretty much my catchphrase…
So while we’re talking about using time wisely, let me ask you: how often do you think big picture? Not just about your business, but about your life as a whole?
This year is the year to think big picture and I’ll tell you why…
As business owners and leaders, we can find it quite easy to get consumed by work. Often workaholics by nature, we can fall into the trap of long work hours – both on site and when home. There is no “after hours” for most of us. And that’s understandable and ok, especially when building a business or navigating growth mode.
However, what I want you to consider is the other facets of your life that are important to you:
- your partner, if you have one
- kids, if you have them
- wider family
- your fitness
- your health
- your hobbies.
Now, I challenge you to put them in order of importance to you, including work/business in the mix.
Now ask yourself: how much time do you allocate to these other parts of the puzzle? Given how important they are to you, how much time do you give them?
Here’s why 2022 is the year to be really focused on getting this balance right: Covid.
We’re probably in for another challenging year so it’s really important to remind yourself about what really matters. To keep perspective, to improve your wellness and to give you some respite when those stressful times hit (and they will). It’s easier to deal with the stressful times when your foundation is strong, and that comes from the stuff outside of work.
So be like that guy with his pared back to-do list. Remind yourself of what’s important to you and do your best to fit t in each day/week/month, rather than being side-tracked by firefighting or social media or things that really don’t matter. For me, it’s about making more time for my wife Sip and kids, about giving myself time away from the computer with a game of golf each fortnight and my three PT sessions a week to work on my health. What about you?
Beyond Covid, thinking big picture is a good practice to continue with. I’d hazard a guess that none of us want to spend our life focused on work, only to hit “success” or retirement age and realise that the world has passed us by — the partner has left, kids have grown up, and friends have drifted away.
So tell me, what does your big picture look like this year?