Put it all before you and take a step back

In the digital world, it’s easy to forget one important thing that can help us get clarity in our work — the power of space.

Today, I found myself with 6 documents open, all containing timely information about product strategy, design, and next actions. 6 docs. It’s hard to orient oneself with that amount of information and hard to see the connections even with my 2 large monitors and a tablet. Yet, without those connections I will get tunnel vision, dig in, and end up on the wrong side of the hill. Not a good outcome.

To prevent that, I started writing down the current problems, areas for improvement, insights, and tasks and putting them on the wall as post-its. Within 15 minutes, I saw clearly what the most important courses of action are.

It’s funny how easy it is to forget in the digital era that we evolved in the three-dimensional space for millions of years, and therefore are good at looking around, assessing our environment and orienting ourselves properly.

We can use this highly evolved ability every day by externalizing information, putting it where we can see it and lettting our brain work on it. It will find the connections, it will imagine the solutions, it will highlight the priorities. If we let it.

Maybe you’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed with docs, messages, emails, and more. What if you put a couple notes on a wall with the main points and took a step back? Could that help?

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