Do your strategic planning in eight weeks sprints. Each eight weeks is equal to one sprint. Schedule the time for sitting down and defining what tasks do you need to complete to get closer to your goal. When you list all the tasks, prioritize 20% of the tasks which will bring you 80% of results and allocate time for working on those tasks during the eight weeks sprint. You will also need to plan each week and each day to ensure you understand how to implement each task by splitting it into comprehensible and actionable steps. Here is an example:
Imagine you want to change profession because you do not like what you are currently doing. But, at the same time, you do not even know what you would like to do. Usually, we set a very general yearly goal to understand who we want to be. This is where you get lost and end up doing nothing also because it is a scary goal: what if you identify what you want to do, throw yourself into it but it will turn out to be not what you expected? Knowing that this is a problem, plan out discover and trial sprints. Make an eight weeks actionable plan by posing a question: “How might I find out what I would enjoy doing?” For example:
Search and read for 40 articles on how to find your passions
Identify 10 books about changing profession and read at least one by the end of the sprint
Research if there are courses/consultants on career change and take them
Search for tests on self-awareness and take them
Start a diary on understanding yourself
These are already concrete and actionable steps which call for action. The next step will be to plan each week of the sprint to ensure you reach the stated goals. For example, you can decide to read five pages each day to finish reading a book in eight weeks. You can also set a goal of reading five articles a week.
To make this process easier (and not to forget the tasks you need to do), make an excel file for 56 days (eight weeks), list all the tasks on the left hand side and dates on the top. Tick the boxes of completed tasks. This will help you to see where you procrastinate and need to re-focus on priorities. Daily planning will also help you to be more organised and focused on tasks you need to complete and not to lose yourself in daily routine and distracting urgencies.
Once your first sprint is completed, you can move to the next sprint. In this case, if you have managed to identify some of your passions and interests, it would be a testing sprint where you set up a goal of testing your passions and interests in more or less safe environments. For example, taking evening courses, meeting people with the same interests and trying to understand their routines, etc.
From time to time you will need to look at your yearly goal and adjust sprints as per that goal not to drift from the identified course. Beware though, testing and self-discovery might make you realize that your yearly goal needs to be adjusted to fit your new reality.
Digital strategist at Emakina
Co-founder of Fearless Female Founders