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    Women Business Leaders: Look at the Big Picture and the Little Picture, Too

    photo by: krossbow

    I have been struggling with my to do lists lately. I have one for groceries, birthdays etc. And another one for work  must-dos, phone calls, writing proposals, letters, preparing for meetings and more. But the most important one–and one that I never seem to get to–is preparing strategies and big picture plans. Whether these tasks are coded by quadrants, colored pens or any other organizational tools, the bottom line is that I never seem to get to the bottom of the list.

    Here are some ways to ensure that you are staying on track to accomplish both your big picture and little picture goals, condensed from a great article by Vic Lawrence.

    Big Picture Productivity
    The following are four dimensions of big-picture productivity that fit firmly into the realm of personal development. Keeping an eye on how you’re doing with these will keep you heading in a solid, forward-moving and very productive direction:
    1-Taking initiative
    If you have developed a pattern of merely reacting to situations, circumstances and other people, you need to start looking for opportunities to take initiative. You can’t just wait for things to get better, you need to actively start making it happen.
    2-Envisioning your future
    What kind of person do you want to be? What do you want to accomplish in your life? When you answer those questions, then you can map out goals and objectives and an action plan for getting there.
    3-Saying no
    Another critical thing to develop is the power to say no to those things that aren’t helping you move forward.  When you say no to the things that hold you down, you’re automatically saying yes to a whole new world of possibilities.
    4-Seeking common ground
    To keep yourself moving in a positive and productive forward direction, you need to cooperate with others in the areas upon which you can agree. By emphasizing what you have in common with others, the differences and disagreements that remain won’t hold both parties hostage.

    Little-Picture Productivity
    Now that you know what to pay attention to in the big picture, there are also all kinds of things you can do to be more productive when you actually start working on any given task or project. Things to try at this level include the following:
    1-Work on the tough stuff first
    It can really help to start tackling the thorniest problems when you’re at your freshest. Once your energy starts to drain, take a break or switch to another task that’s less difficult. Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean first thing in the morning, it means figuring out your most productive times of day.
    2-Eliminate distractions
    This can be tough in the digital age when various social media, websites and email keep demanding your attention. This also means making sure you’re working in a physical environment that helps you be productive. A change of location once in a while may need to be explored if you get stuck.
    3-Get the tools you need
    A cook that doesn’t have any pots, pans, utensils or raw ingredients is going to have a tough time preparing a meal. If you don’t have what you need for a task or project, re-schedule it until you do, otherwise you’re wasting valuable time.

    I admit that although I have the best of intentions, I don’t follow all of the suggestions all the time.  I think I need to buckle down with pen and paper and follow these tips. I know that once I get it done, I’ll be better prepared to follow through on my intentions.

    One Response to “Women Business Leaders: Look at the Big Picture and the Little Picture, Too”

    1. Alex Dail says:

      Based on your tip number one I also found that doing the harder mental tasks is best in the morning when the brain is clearer and less likely to be distracted.

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