Take a step back. Breath. Remove yourself from the situation. Just look, watch, observe and try to get an understanding of the big picture. Not that one problem or customer or strategy, but the whole thing. If it doesn’t work, then you have to go back further until everything makes sense.
This is advice which I received from my father many years ago. I use it all the time. I back up and look at things globally until everything becomes easier to comprehend. This allows me evaluate the situation and determine if I agree. If not, I pivot, change strategy and move forward. Quite simple, but it takes some practice.
You want to know why everything on earth looks so simple and calm when you look out of the window on the airplane at 36.000ft? It’s because you have removed yourself from the daily nonsense, and can reflect on your company, strategy, project, customer etc. Nothing but an overview of earth (and maybe pasta or chicken), along with some white noise to keep you occupied. And that’s it! That’s why it works! You literally cannot get caught up with annoying details when admiring a skyline. So often we are distracted at work or in life with focusing on the details. Minute, tiny, sometimes insignificant details. Yes they’re super important, but you still need balance to reflect on those details, otherwise you’ll burn out or even worse, you’ll lose purpose. And you must keep that north star!
So try it tomorrow. Before a meeting, or after you finish writing that 500th line of code, just get some coffee, find a quite space and back everything up until you reach 36.000ft. Give it a try. You won’t regret it.