With the rush of things to do and looming deadlines, we often forget to take care of a very important but often overlooked task:

Thinking and planning about the future.

Some refer to this as “big picture” thinking. You spend so much of each day stuck in the minutiae of your work that you forget to pan out and look at the big picture.

Whether you run your own business or you’re a freelancer, you need to spend time thinking about the grand scheme of things and where you’re headed from here.


Do you get enough thinking and planning time?

Set and Revisit Goals. You need this time to look at the long-term and think about the goals you want to achieve beyond this week or even this month.

Space for Inspiration and New Ideas. Like Google with its “20 Percent” time, you need time to just play and be creative to find new ideas. 

Problem-Solving Time. It’s helpful to set aside time for problem-solving where you can work on complex issues that require more careful consideration. 

Be Proactive, Not Just Reactive. When you’re busy with the small details, you’re reacting to things that need to be done. With your big-picture thinking time, you can reflect more on what you want to do and take charge of your work.

Feedback and Reflection. This time can be helpful for reflecting on how something went, and coming up with ideas on how you can improve. 

Managing Your Work. You can use this time to manage yourself, thinking about how you work and spend your time generally, and looking for areas to improve.

Successful people set aside this big-picture thinking time and you should too. Even just a little bit per day can make a major difference.