Thinking bigger

Five Tips to Start Thinking Bigger

Filed under:

It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day at work.  In any modern workplace, the pace of life is fast and getting swept up in things that need to happen now is the rule rather than the exception.

So how do we avoid moving from one fire to the next? How can we level-up to think of things that are farther reaching than our day-to-day?  Here are some hard-learned lessons I've drawn from my life and time in business.

1. Make Time

Create a spot in your calendar labeled DNS.  This is Do Not Disturb time, which you use to reflect and figure out if you are actually working on the thing that is most important to you, your company.  This is a great time to manage your to-do list (you have one of those, right?) If you find you can't get this kind of work done in the office, find a place that works for you 

2. Connect with Others

I believe strongly that all of us are smarter than any of us individually, so I make it a policy to meet with people everyday.  I rarely eat lunch alone, which means I get at least 5 different opinions/inputs from people a week - and it's often much more than that.  Not every meeting is amazing, or even useful, but the best ideas I ever have grow out of simulating conversation with people, and not always people in my industry or peer group.

3. Take Notes

Except in the most informal setting, I am rarely more than a foot away from a notepad.  I find I listen better when I take notes, and when inspiration strikes or an important to-do appears, I draw a little checkbox next to it so that I can find it later when I'm scanning my notes.  This is important because moments of clarity can - and do - strike at anytime.

4. Stay Focused

The counterpoint to staying open, if you are like me, you raise your hand too often and volunteer for too much.  New ideas are great, but follow through and avoiding becoming overwhelmed are critical too.  Remember not only to make space, but also give yourself permission to politely decline, once you've reached capacity.

5. Publish

No one I have ever met likes to blog.  But think of blogging like going to the gym - except instead of improving your health, you are improving and clarifying your thoughts.  It can be scary to put yourself out there, but unless you write something great or extremely controversial, most blogs go by almost completely unnoticed.

Thinking bigger is important, not just for our sanity and long term sense of accomplishment, but it allows us to act more thoughtfully in our lives and can have a positive impact on our communities and loved ones.

Date posted: April 28, 2016

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • You can enable syntax highlighting of source code with the following tags: <code>, <blockcode>, <cpp>, <java>, <php>. The supported tag styles are: <foo>, [foo].
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Metal Toad is an Advanced AWS Consulting Partner. Learn more about our AWS Managed Services

About the Author

Joaquin Lippincott, CEO

Joaquin is a 20+ year technology veteran helping to lead businesses in the move to the Cloud. He frequently speaks on panels about the future of tech ranging from IoT and Machine Learning to the latest innovation in the entertainment industry.  He has helped to modernize software for industry leaders like Sony, Daimler, Intel, the Golden Globes, Siemens Wind Power, ABC, NBC, DC Comics, Warner Brothers & the Linux Foundation.

As the CEO and Founder of Metal Toad, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, his primary job is to "get the right people in the room".  This one responsibility is cross-functional and includes both external business development functions as well as internal delegation and leadership development.

A UCLA alumni, he also serves in the community as a Board Member for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, and Stand for Children Oregon - a public education political advocacy group. As an outspoken advocate for entry-level job creation in tech he helped found the non-profit, P4TH, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of entry-level jobs in the tech industry, and is in the process of organizing an Advisory Board for the Bixel Exchange, a Los Angeles non-profit that provides almost 200 tech internships every year.


Have questions?