5 Tips for Looking at the Big Picture & Improving Your Overall Effectiveness By Karel Murray, CSP, DREI

Have you ever concentrated on something so hard that the world seems to recede into the background? Like when you see a blemish on your chin and it begins to take on the dimensions of a quarter? Or when you are shuffling through a business proposal that you must deliver that day to an unsupportive group of peers?

Each, in their own right seem to gobble up every inch of computing brain space as you mull over advantages, consequences, causes, and reactions of others. Our level of anxiety over the mind numbing details might eventually increase to such an extent that other areas of our life run out of control. It gets to the point where nothing in business and in life is getting done. You are no longer productive!

When I allow myself to drift into single minded focus, my husband will look at me with an incredulous expression on his face and announce “You are just not seeing the big picture!”

You see, I was taught that the devil is in the details and consequently the big picture will take care of itself if I address every single little nuance – such as correcting a spelling error in a love letter sent to me by my fiancé’. I think that was the first clue to my husband Rick that our marriage would take on interesting elements.

When You Become So Focused On One Particular Thing – You Miss Other Opportunities in Business and in Life

A classic caution in driving is to avoid highway hypnosis where the driver’s eyes are so locked onto the road ahead that they don’t see what is developing around them. This is a ripe condition for accidents to happen. Well, we are doing the same thing when considering the changes we want to make in our personal life, careers or businesses.

When we do strategic planning, all of the elements related to our business need to be evaluated through a non judgmental process. Awareness of our surroundings can actually help us prioritize and focus on “what is” and “what needs to be” in our business decisions.

To achieve productive focus, try following the tips below before you make any short or long -term decisions.

5 Ways to Look at the Big Picture and Improve Overall Productivity While Reducing Stess and Anxiety…

1.  Figure out what  your present economic environment looks like? Has there been a downturn or growth in your area of expertise? What have other businesses like yours experienced and does that mirror what is happening to you? Once you have an accurate depiction of how your business arena is developing, you can begin to address areas to update, change or enhance.

2.  Evaluate how your business is impacted by turnover? Is your time taken up in orienting new hires or actively working to maintain key employees in terms of running your business? Is your staff working at optimum levels and enjoying the work they do? If you are a single entrepreneur, are your physical and mental resources charged up and in good working condition? Often our personal energy overrides the physical or mental exhaustion we may feel and you may not even be aware your engine is slowing down. Take a personal inventory and do what you must in order to retain your vitality.

3.  Take a solid look at your current financial situation. What amount of funds or business do you need to survive through an economic downturn and how much do you need in order to thrive? What resources do you have available to you to shore up your financial portfolio? Once these questions are answered, it will give you the foundation you need to establish business decisions.

4.  Realistically evaluate your product or service offering and determine if the marketplace still wants it. Even though you feel the public needs what you have, a fickle public will purchase what it wants and may leave you behind. Consider taking active steps to interview other entrepreneurs and professionals as well as current and past clients for real-time information. Decisions made in a vacuum are never a good thing.

5.  Assess what steps you need to take to catch up to the technology changes occurring in social networking, online meetings, and communication tools. Even though technology continues to evolve daily, you can utilize resources that meet your needs currently and through the next couple of years. Understand how your customers and clients relate to you and act accordingly.

Perspective is a wonderful thing. We may not like what we see (like an expanding waist line in the mirror.) But once we understand what is really happening, we can then take the necessary steps to fix it or build upon the successes that are already in place.

Focus on the big picture while enjoying the nuances of the individual elements that make up the image and environment. You will improve your overall productivity and at the same time reduce your stress and anxiety.

I think I hear my husband cheering. Sweet.

Karel Murray (http://www.Karel.com) is a Certified Speaking Professional, author of “Hitting Our Stride: Women, Work and What Matters” and business trainer who helps women entrepreneurs and executives balance their work/personal lives AND improve their overall productivity. Now, you can listen to her exciting, free interviews that will help you maintain and sustain a healthy business and a healthy lifestyle at http://www.JustForAMomentPodcast.com