Have you ever seen photos of something really close up and been asked what you think it is? The photo is zoomed so far in that it's unrecognizable. It may look like a cosmic storm in another galaxy and then the photo is zoomed out and it's really just an ice cube. I was always fascinated by that. It's really just another cliche about perspective and perception but as a human, it's a hard lesson to learn.
I've tried to always keep this in mind and use it as a general practice in my life to retain any sanity I may have. Imagine this: I'm having decision anxiety over what to cook for a friend's baby shower that I'm hosting. I'm going over and over every option in the world and making myself crazy. This is when I choose to “Zoom Out”. When I zoom out and look at the big picture, I realize any of the options I have are wonderful and would be just fine. Why? Because at the end of the day, we're here to celebrate my friend and her bundle of joy. Focusing on such a minute detail was acting as my thief of joy and distracted me from seeing the big, wonderful picture.
And alternatively, and just as important sometimes, there's times when I'm facing a HUGE project. You know those days when you look at something and think…. Where do I even start? You can get stuck in the conceptualization, logistics and planning and let the big picture bury you and cripple you, unable to take action. Time to “Zoom In”. Understand the big picture, now slide it to the back burner in your mind and really get in there and just start. Just take ACTION and start. Even if you start small, make a move. We hear it all the time, but it's true: Starting is the hardest part. Once you get started, you'll be ‘zoomed in' and get the big picture dread off your shoulders.
The same is true with our business operations: you must zoom in and zoom out to remain sane and be successful.
Zoom in when you start documenting processes and feel overwhelmed. Stop thinking that you have to document the whole business and feeling overwhelmed. But just document as you work and that way you are taking action and not having to worry about how or where to start. As you do something in your business, take the time to write a process document which lists each step you took. You'll be surprised how quickly your processes stack up and how beneficial it is for your current and future team.
When to zoom out? How about now! It's the start of a new year. Zoom out. Don't think about the day to day minutia of your business that is sometimes a heavy burden to carry. Think about the BIG picture. Who are you? What is your business? What are your core values? Does your actions and the actions of your business respresent what you believe and who you are? Where do you want you company to go in the next year? 5 years?