The Need to Zoom Out and Get Some Perspective

Is what you are doing today going to matter down the road?

Is what you are working on truly important in the big scheme of things?

We often get so focused on our current tasks, that we lose sight of where we are…

…and where we are going.

Distracted by the Small Things

I recently found myself putting all my energy into a small side project.

It was something that I had been determined to make work… no matter what.

I had my Mr. Fix-it hat, as well as my MacGyver creativity turned on.

However, it wasn’t going as planned and I found myself spending more and more time on it.

Then one morning it hit me. That this little diversion was just that… a diversion.

I was spending too much time on something that was not important down the road. Nor was it aligned with my current goals and priorities.

Are you looking at the grass or the trees?

If you are zoomed in too far… it is hard to tell the difference.

Small things appear big when you are too close to them. 

As I took a moment to reflect, I had the perspective that I was concentrating too much time and effort on this small project.

By stepping back, I could see the larger situation and what I needed to be working on.

Zoom Out to See the Big Picture

Sometimes small things appear big.

When we are focused on the details, we can’t see the big picture.

Take a moment to “zoom out” and determine your perspective.

Ask yourself:

  • Is what I am doing going to matter a month from now?
  • What about a year from now?
  • Is this something I need to be doing now?
  • Is there something else I am supposed to be doing?
  • What are my top priorities? Write down your top 5 and use this list as a guide.
  • What deadlines and obligations do I need to meet?
  • What things should I not be doing?
  • What is the one thing that must be completed today?

Find Your Perspective

Today, take a hard look at what you are working on.

Make sure that you are not so close to your work that you can only see the small details.

Step back. Zoom out. Take a break, even.

You may find that you are on target. Or maybe that you need to refocus your efforts.

By zooming out, you can be assured that you are seeing the big picture from the small details.

Question: What do you need to “zoom out” of? Are you seeing the big picture or focuses on the small details?

7 thoughts on “The Need to Zoom Out and Get Some Perspective

  1. Great post, Craig. I am nearly finished cleaning up the aftermath of May’s diversion. What a crazy month it was for me and my family. During this period, I was asked three times by friends to donate to cancer research. Each time I did. Making cancer history is something that ranks pretty high on my list of what matters. On that note, I just love what is going on with The Oatmeal right now. Nice big picture stuff. Love your posts!

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