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March 18, 2021

There are a lot of reasons you might want to be a more strategic thinker—you might want to improve your business savvy, have more focus and direction in your personal life, or be a better chess player, for instance. Regardless of why you want to do it, improving your strategy involves thinking about the big picture around you—when you think strategically, you're able to visualize a variety of different outcomes, making it easier to plan for the future. This can take a little practice and you might have to push yourself out of your comfort zone, but if you stick with it, your strategic mindset will improve over time.

 

  • Block out time for Thinking

When things get hectic, it's easy to focus on small details instead of the bigger picture. However, being strategic means being able to take a step back from those little details. Clear out some time in your schedule where you can just sit and think without any distractions.

 

  • Look for trends around you

 As you're looking at the big picture, like your overall business operations or the scope of your personal life, look for issues that you have to keep addressing time and time again. Once you're able to identify those, it will be a lot easier to create a strategic plan for dealing with those obstacles.

 

  • Be curious and let go of assumptions.

A big part of being strategic means challenging the status quo, so get in the habit of playing devil's advocate with yourself. Don't be afraid to question why things are done a certain way or how they could be done differently and dig deeper if you feel like something is unclear or ambiguous. When you do that, you'll find it a lot easier to come up with different approaches for solving any problems that come up.

 

  • Get other Perspectives

Don't just surround yourself with people who are going to agree with you—build a team of people who are willing to tell you what they think. Then, when you're dealing with a problem, ask those people how they'd approach the situation. When you do that, you're more likely to get a perspective you might not have considered on your own. This doesn't mean you need to let other people make decisions for you, but listening to different points of view can help you come up with a creative solution to whatever you're working on.

 

  • Anticipate problems before they happen

If you're constantly reacting, it's hard to stay focused on your long-term goals. Instead, try to be proactive by anticipating changes that may be coming or issues that could arise. When you're thinking a few steps ahead, it will be a lot easier to plan out an effective strategy.

 

  • Stay focused on your most important goals

When you're a great strategist, you understand that getting tangled up in smaller problems can derail you from your endgame. When something comes up that you need to deal with, ask yourself what solution lines up best with your long-term goals. That can make it easier to decide what to do, without spending a lot of times on things that aren't that important.







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