Wednesday, September 16, 2015

4 Strategies for Global Thinkers

Photo: JZlomek via Morguefile
Last Friday's post got me started on the topic of global thinking, a topic I continued with Monday's post. where I realized just how pervasive my big picture perspective is. Since taking the counselor out of the school doesn't eliminate her need to strategize, I'm wrapping up today with four things that can help my fellow global thinkers to manage the details when the details seem to be managing them.
  • Empty your head. I mentioned in my last post that I have little notes to myself all over the house. I also have little notepads stashed throughout the house to corral the ideas and "oh, yeah, I've got to do that" notions that pop into my head. Carrying the details around in my head and trying to keep track of them is exhausting; dumping them onto paper is not only a stress reliever, it also increases the chances that things will actually get done.
  • Use master lists wisely. For a big picture thinker, a to-do list that goes longer than, say, ten items becomes a burden rather than a tool. Try creating separate lists by category (household, professional, creative, dreams -- or any other separation that works for you). Because they cover one topic only, they'll be shorter and less intimidating.
  • Map it out. Big picture thinkers are good at visualizing the destination, but sometimes, we struggle with the path to it. Taking time to create a map in the form of action steps, no matter how small, can not only bring the destination into focus, but also help us get there faster.
Photo: Vicky53 via Morguefile
  • Make time to make sense of the details. The temptation is to just keep forging ahead, but for the global person, this can feel like a blind pursuit. Pause every so often to make sure you're focusing on the details that lead to your desired destination. This is especially important when you're pursuing more than one destination at a time. If that sounds contradictory (I mean, how can you end up in multiple places at once?), stop for a moment and think about how many projects you're working on simultaneously. If each carries its own set of action steps, it's really easy to get lost if you don't stop from time to time and assess where you are and where you're going.
Finally, keep in mind that flexibility is a good thing. Life won't always go according to plan, and while this can pose a problem for detail-oriented people who don't like it when their details are disturbed, big picture people often find it easier to step back, reassess and, well, you know...

Look at the big picture.

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