Thinking Strategically: How to be Strategic in Your Everyday Life 

Viveka Melo, UX Team GA, strategizes on white board.

“When scientists analyze people who appear to have tremendous self-control, it turns out those individuals aren’t all that different from those who are struggling. Instead, ‘disciplined’ people are better at structuring their lives in a way that does not require heroic willpower and self-control.” 

– James Clear

James Clear’s quote is a reminder that the person you’ve been comparing yourself to isn’t all that different from yourself. If you’re a self-proclaimed type-B, you may feel disorganized and undisciplined when comparing yourself to others. However, this mindset is something you can change over time and doesn’t have to become your identity. Training your mindset to form type-A tendencies is possible and achievable. 

Systems to Achieve Goals 

Navigating huge life changes like finding a job, obtaining a graduate degree, or going off into the “real-world” is nothing but anxiety-inducing. The future may not seem within reach, however, having a goal is a superb compass. While goals are simple to create, creating a process to achieve your goals is crucial when strategically planning. Finding a system that works for you can change your whole mindset and can lead you down your desired path. 

This idea originates from James Clear’s novel, Atomic Habits. This book discusses any feelings you may have when hoping to change your mindset, or struggle to complete mundane tasks. It’s human nature to be lazy and do things that are convenient for you. Feeling guilty about wanting to make your life convenient shouldn’t be something you feel guilty for. 

Tyler Prendergast, a Specialist on the Communications team at The Digital Corps, shares his mindset when he’s not able to cross off tasks on his list. 

Tyler Prendergast, a Specialist on the Communications Team.

“I have an ongoing to-do list—my goal is to check-off two things daily. When I don’t complete tasks, I feel like I wasted my day and could’ve been more productive. But I always remind myself that goals take time, and I shouldn’t put pressure on myself,” Prendergast said.  

Finding a process that works for you takes time, and a lot of practice. Remember to be patient, and don’t get frustrated with yourself when you fail. Don’t over-complicate your process and keep things simple. Having patience with yourself is the best thing you can do for yourself. 

Changing Your Mindset

Changing the way you think is easier said than done, a great technique is remembering a favorite quote of yours when times feel difficult, or you’re upset with yourself. 

Progress requires unlearning. Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.” 

-James Clear

Unlearning any unwanted tendencies isn’t an easy process, but strategizing your next steps is a great place to start. 

Strategizing blogs for the Communication Team members at the Digital Corps looks different for everyone. The first steps start with creating an outline, highlighting the importance of a topic, and blocking off time to write their blogs. They keep it simple, and find that when they overcomplicate things, it never works. 

Maggie Lewis, the Communications Team Lead at the Digital Corps, shared her structured daily routine and talked about her strategy when joining the office as the first-ever Communications Team Lead. 

Maggie Lewis, the Communications Team Lead.

“My main goal for the first semester of running the team meetings was to have productive and engaging meetings,” Lewis said. “I made sure to use my time wisely and plan ahead for meetings. I spent time researching activities that centered around fields that my team needed to improve on. I asked for a lot of feedback and did a lot of preplanning.” 

Lewis’s first semester as the Communications Team Lead was successful, and she continues to have engaging meetings with her team. 

Believe in Yourself & Just Do It 

Things simply won’t get done if you don’t do them—remember this. If you want to see changes in your life, you must make changes in your life. Thinking strategically in your everyday life is tough, but practice makes perfect. Know that you’re capable of anything and keep trying.  

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