Conscious Productivity: Seeing the Forest, Not Just the Trees
Tunnel vision is probably one of the best ways to create unproductive time. At a certain point it’s not focused concentration anymore. It’s just ignoring everything else and a lot of better opportunities. And it’s also limiting the angles and creativity you can apply to the current task.
Now surround yourself with a whole flock of tasks like that. It’s like being in the middle of a forest but you can’t see the forest or anything beyond it. No matter what direction you look in, all you see is trees.
Each one of those trees wants your attention. You have to get through one tree only to be greeted by another. And you have to clearcut valuable trees out of the way just to get some help in there.
Taking Strategy Breaks
Without a strategic plan; without seeing the whole forest from 20,000 ft up, it’s really easy to stay lost in the trees or to hack away without really getting anywhere.
This is where taking strategy breaks throughout the day comes in. A lot of people talk about how task-switching is a big time killer. And it can be. If you’re checking your email constantly or putting out little fires or losing your rhythm, you can lose a tremendous amount of time.
But I’m not talking about task switching. That’s just going from one tree to the next. Strategy breaks are about leaving the forest. So you can look at it from a different perspective.
Walk away and get unstuck. See everything. See all the trees and notice the ones that really stand out. The gems. See the ones that don’t matter. See the ones that will one day grow tall and strong.
The Trees Aren’t Always Green, But the Forest is
It’s those ideas you get in the shower that are gold. Those flashes of clarity when you’re sitting there mindlessly strumming a guitar or kicking back to cool down after a hard workout.
I’ve generated more revenue just staring stupidly at the mountains than I ever have hammering away on a mountain of tasks.
Trees are easy to see.
It’s seeing the forest that takes vision.