Being Strategic vs. Reactive
One of the most fulfilling parts of my job is providing a tool that allows people to be more strategic and less reactive. I believe this is always a good thing, whether we’re talking about a business, a working professional, governance, or a sports team.
No matter your business, strategic planning helps you prepare for whatever lies ahead, leading to better outcomes.
But when you’re already busy, it can feel impossible to find time to invest in developing the strategy in the first place.
If you find yourself with too little bandwidth, too much to do, and no strategy at hand, how do you break the cycle and develop one?
(TL,DR: We’ve got you covered on everything but Step 5: reaping the benefits).
Step 1: Don’t wait for things to slow down.
…because they haven’t for a while, and that’s probably not going to change. What’s really important to realize: if you don’t have a strategy, building one is the most important thing on your to-do list. Commit to taking the time. (It won’t take as much time as you think.) Your future self will thank you.
Step 2: Simplify your goals.
In simple terms, what are you trying to solve or achieve? Boiling your goals down to the essentials gets you closer to achieving them, but it’s also a great reflective exercise: why are you doing what you’re doing in the first place? Re-connecting to those original motivators is a great catalyst for making a plan.
Step 3: Make a short, realistic list of options. Pick one.
You do not have to foresee every effect of a strategy in order for it to be a good one: you need a practical method that suits your goals. Strategies are always revisable, and perfection is the enemy of progress. Acting strategically is guaranteed to be better than having no strategy at all.
Step 4: Be reflective.
Being strategic should make you more efficient, and leave you with more bandwidth. Using some of that bandwidth to evaluate and reflect on your strategy helps you tweak it so you can benefit from it even more.
Step 5: Reap the benefits.
Good strategies yield more time, greater efficiency, and better outcomes. And having one feels good. If you’re ready to get out from behind the eight-ball and get on top of it, we’d love to hear from you.