The Movie Camera Technique
By Virginia M. Kravitz
First, Go Wide
Here is a Breaking Through Overwhelm technique that you can use on any given day when you're feeling stressed, and for long-range planning. Applying the metaphor of a movie camera, it goes like this: When multiple or conflicting priorities make it hard to know where to start, first, go for the wide shot. In movie lingo, it's also known as the long shot: "a camera shot taken at a relatively great distance from the subject and permitting a broad view of the scene."
The way to get the wide shot in your own life is to ask: What will matter one week from now? One month? One year?
Bring it in for the Close-Up
Compared to the long shot, the close-up is "taken at a very short distance from the subject, to permit a close and detailed view of an object or action."
With the vantage point of what's out on the horizon (upcoming events, deadlines, desired goals, and target timeframes), you'll find it easier to determine the priorities of the day.
Once you've put things in perspective you can then narrow the focus, get down to the task at hand, and relax knowing you've chosen well. That's what it's all about. Choosing well is a much more worthwhile skill to practice versus struggling with the paradigm of getting it all done.
Nowhere Else You Need to Be
After you've "gone wide" for perspective and are working on "close-up" priorities, here's a tip I learned from a yoga instructor who noticed she had a class of distracted students. She had us begin with this thought: For the next hour, I have nowhere else I need to be.
Practice the movie camera technique. Take action on what's important today, in light of what's out there tomorrow, and where you want to go ultimately.
© 2013, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved.
Virginia Kravitz, Career and Life Coach founded In the Current® to serve accomplished professionals who want to have more fulfilling careers and lives and start living with greater joy and abandon. Contact her at 480-659-9610, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website at