Focusing is good, but sometimes it pays to take a step back and look at the overall picture. That’s because you can become so focused on the details that you miss seeing things that could improve your situation even more. In other words, it’s the old you can’t see the forest for the trees idea.
How and when to step back
The key is to know how and when to look at the overall picture. Do it too often or too soon and you can become overwhelmed. But do it at the right time and you can move forward even faster.
When you start to chip away at those larger debts, naturally it takes longer to get them paid off. It’s natural to feel frustrated now and then if you’re not making progress as fast as you would like. We all get those “I want to be out of debt right NOW” feelings.
That’s an excellent time to take a look at the overall picture.
What to look for
First, give yourself a little extra shot of motivation. Look back at how far you’ve come. Add up how much debt you’ve paid off altogether, and take pride in your progress.
Then, pretend you’re an outsider looking at your overall situation. Think about your budget, remaining debt, income, expenses, and skills. What could you be overlooking? What frustration points do you see, and what are three possible ways to resolve them?
Often we give the best advice to people that we don’t know well because we are not caught up in their situation. Give yourself some perspective — or even ask for outside opinions and you might be surprised at what you see.