In work and business, tunnel vision could happen without our knowing it. Medically speaking, Wise Geek says that it is “a loss of peripheral vision” and can have a number of causes. In the workplace, we allow our world to shrink and focus on the small group of people we normally see. So how can we avoid tunnel vision in the workplace?
We get tunnel vision when we get very focused inward. Within an organization, it is easy to get involved in our own little world and forget to stretch ourselves. To help avoid this syndrome, collaborate with someone from another organization or field of expertise on a personal or a work project. It is amazing how much joy you’ll get from it and how fun it is to get to know someone else. People we don’t normally associate with can teach us new things.
We get tunnel vision when we fail to connect with others in personal development. Conferences, learning new languages, or learning a new craft all help our mind focus in other areas. Sometimes I find that I learn as much from the people I connect with as I do the new learning. It is the connections we make in these settings that give us a creative edge in our own business and workplace. Check out Dan Burrus’s article about building trust in long-term relationships. This kind of networking is gold for us, and great business connections help us get out of the tunnel vision syndrome.
We get tunnel vision when we consider detours a waste of time. I remember watching glucose drip when I held my baby girl who was dehydrated. The monotonous drip, which I don’t normally see, sent my brain in a number of unusual directions. To avoid tunnel vision, consider making a detour on purpose. Your brain might surprise you if you allow it to ponder.
Whatever we do, we learn more if we consider every obstacle an opportunity to be creative and seek new ways to do old routines.