Do you feel high on energy on some days and demotivated on other days? These feelings impact our productivity and the quality of work. Productivity can broadly be categorized into two different modes: robot mode and planning mode. In robot mode, you execute the plans you have made for yourself. Most productivity hacks focus on robot mode and ignore the planning mode. However, proper plans are crucial to paint a picture of success.
One of the best ways to make plans is to think strategically. But if you have not tried it before, you may find the process challenging. Before delving deeper into the concept of strategic thinking, let us understand what is strategic thinking, why is it important, and how can you use it in your daily life?
What is strategic thinking?
Strategic thinking is a mental process that helps an individual achieve their desired goals or objectives. However, proper planning is crucial to understand how to use this mental process for your benefit.
Why does strategic thinking matter?
Strategic thinking prevents you from focusing on present moments. Many times, we are so much involved in the present that we neglect the future. For example, if you are constantly thinking of completing your targets, you might end up neglecting other crucial skills and updates. If you ignore organizational changes and new technologies because of focusing on your current work, you might end up narrowing your opportunities. Therefore, giving equal weightage to everything is crucial.
If you don’t know how to develop strategic thinking and plan for your future, you may follow the tips mentioned below.
4 ways to think more strategically
Using your thinking abilities for planning is crucial for your personal and professional life. A proper plan not only keeps you connected to the future but also gives direction to your ambitions and goals. Here are a few techniques you can start using right now to achieve new heights and enhance productivity.
- Think long term
The first step toward planning is looking at things from a different perspective. Take the long view of things but do not neglect the current situation. Give equal weightage to the existing and future scenarios. For example, many teachers are so engrossed in their daily tasks that they do not pay attention to the new developments in the education system. As a result, they lack information and face difficulties upskilling themselves. In a nutshell, do not focus much of your time and effort on planning small and specific things by keeping your future at stake.
- Use the “what-if?” analysis
You can boil down the effects of strategic planning to one question-how would any change in the current situation affect your goals? This is called a “what-if?” analysis and is among the most powerful tools for planning. However, this tool does not predict the future; instead helps you prepare better for the future. You can consider different scenarios that may affect your goals and then plan accordingly.
- Keep updating your plans
Consider dynamic planning and leave room for corrections and improvements. Also, consider how new information can affect your plans. If you are not flexible, you may end up wasting a lot of your time, opportunities, and effort. For example, if a teacher plans to provide the best education to students, they should come up with new and improved lesson plans. They can make changes to the lesson plans or learning modules according to the education policies stated by the government. If they are unaware of the changes in the policy, they won’t be able to provide the best to their students.
- Consider black swan events
A black swan event is an unpredictable, outlier event with extreme consequences. However, predicting such events is out of the question as no one can provide a judgment on unforeseen circumstances. Try considering how a major unexpected event can impact your plans. For example, the education sector underwent many unforeseen circumstances in the last two years. Consider how such events can impact your career as a teacher. Moreover, you should plan for events that are unlikely to occur but can harm your potential.
The points mentioned above may have given you the clarity to frame better plans. Moreover, it would have guided you on strategic thinking. However, remember that no plans are perfect, and your planning might fail, but you can frame “less wrong” plans with strategic thinking.
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