How to separate strategy and housekeeping

Sydney Outsourced CFO Thomas Taylor - Friday, November 03, 2017

Those mountains aren't going to climb themselves and you need a good base camp or your best-laid plans will fail. Absolutely make it a cool base camp, life should have some fun, but make sure basic infrastructure doesn't take up any more time than it needs to.

We all know the difference between the two but it's hard to stop them getting mixed up. When that happens quite a bit of clarity is lost. 

The first steps for undertaking worthy adventures should be to make a plan. And the best first step for separating strategy and housekeeping is to make sure they are separate plans.  At least clearly separate parts of your overall business plan. 

Ideas and lists of things to get done should pile up in separate buckets. Housekeeping is critical but should always be focused on elegance, robustness and efficiency. Just like a good house. Strategy requires the mapping of tactics to help you achieve big hairy audacious goals. You need to be able to join the big steps with the small ones.

Like most things, some simple habits can go a long way to helping us with this stuff. 

Putting some time aside each week to focus on strategy is a great idea but you have to make sure you don't let housekeeping issues swamp you during those times.

I've found a great way to handle this is to have two separate task/project management systems. One for housekeeping and a completely separate system for strategy. To make a decision each time where you should enter something and how you plan to tackle it.

It's taken me a while but I think I have a good process to do this these days. I've used Xmind for years, and it's great for getting your thoughts out and down, but I often found myself reinventing the wheel each time I'd start a new Xmind sheet. Now, I'm transferring the high-level strategy ideas from Xmind into Trello. And the housekeeping into Toodledo. I find Trello is good for visualising big plans while Toodledo is better for small recurring and time critical tasks.

It doesn't really matter what systems you use but if you are currently using one that you feel is crowded and a bit daunting, that you want to throw out the window like Eddy on Ab Fab screaming "give me my life back", maybe carve out either housekeeping or strategy onto a different platform. It's probably going to be strategy as our to-do lists naturally fill up with housekeeping tasks because they just have to be done. If that's the case check out Trello

Happy climbing

 

 

Photo by janer zhang on Unsplash


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