If you’re a small business owner who is having trouble coming up with ideas, moving forward, or just getting everyday work done, you may be suffering from “big picture paralysis.” Don’t worry, many suffer from this condition at some point.

What is it? How do you overcome it? Here’s what you need to know!

What Is Big Picture Paralysis?

First, the basics: These days, everyone talks about the “big picture” when it comes to business. And if you’re a business owner, 90% of your job is keeping that overall view of the company in mind, including its goals and mission, so that you can move your business forward and please your customers and investors. But if you’re stuck in the mindset of when you were an employee, such work can be difficult.

As an employee, you likely had a very focused, narrow sort of job – even if you oversaw a large department. In general, people who flip burgers, manage an IT department, or even drive the marketing of a huge corporation don’t have to think through the whole big picture of their business’s goals, development, and message. Someone else was responsible for doing that.

But as a business owner, you have to do all those things – plus the little things that keep your business running on a daily basis!

The problem is that for many entrepreneurs, seeing the big picture and then working toward it can be challenging – paralyzing even. So if you’re struggling to make choices and get things done because of big picture paralysis, take these three steps to break the spell:

1. Figure out the big picture

Think about what your overarching business goals are – and it can’t just be to make a million bucks. What do you want to offer to the world? What kind of a difference do you want to make? How do you want people to see your products and services? How do you want to interact with your customers? All of these answers will play into your business’s big picture.

Then think about a timeline for your business. Where do you want to be in six months? A year? Five years? A decade? By writing down the answers and taking notes, you’ll end up with the big picture of your business.

2. Break it into pieces

The next step is to break that picture down into pieces – sort of like a puzzle. In the end, you should be able to reassemble all the pieces into the big picture, but it will always be easier to deal with the picture piece by piece.

For instance, if one of your major goals is to establish a long-term relationship between your business and the community at large, figure out what steps you need to take to pull off such a feat. Charity work and donations? Partnerships with other local businesses? Excellent customer service?

Then, you can think about all those pieces separately. Instead of working toward the overwhelmingly huge goal of creating a community-oriented business, you can strive for the disparate goals of developing charitable relationships, offering amazing customer service on a daily basis, and partnering with other local businesses.

Once you’ve broken down each step, you can set workable goals for this year, this month, and this week. Having weekly, monthly, and annual goals is a great way to know you’re making progress. After all, it may be difficult to see your business moving toward the goal of becoming a household name in your community. But it won’t be hard to see your progress as you check off smaller milestones that will get you there.

3. Make the right decisions

Finally, you’ll need to make decisions that will move you toward your big picture goal. One interesting TechRepublic article shows the difference between making choices based on a situation and making choices based on consequences. When you make choices based on a situation, you’re really just flying by the seat of your pants. Even if your choice turns out to be the right one, you may not see immediately how it fits into the big picture.

But if you have specific goals in place, you’ll be able to look at the potential consequences of your decisions to see how those consequences would play into the larger goals you’ve set for your business. Since you already have smaller and larger goals, you’ll be able to screen every single business decision you make – from whom you hire to which credit card you use to finance your business expenses – in the light of how much closer it will put you to your goals.

As you can see, breaking big picture paralysis can take some thinking and some time. So if you’re a sufferer from this common entrepreneurial condition, set aside next weekend. Spend some serious time on Saturday thinking about what your business’s big picture really looks like. Then, take Sunday for writing down your business’s goals. Keep those written lists in plain sight so that you can always make choices for your business in the context of your big picture – without being paralyzed by it.