How to Restore Your Work Motivation: From Tactical Thinking to Strategic Thinking

It’s easy to get stuck in your weekly rhythm and eventually find yourself just going through the motions of your job. You might find yourself disconnected from your tasks or lacking the motivation to put forth your best effort in to your work. It’s normal to have these types of days, but when the days become weeks and you can’t find your way out of the mental weeds, then it’s time to reevaluate your mindset.

There’s a monumental difference between tactical and strategic thinking. If you’re spending your workday thinking tactically, you’re focusing your attention and energy on the small or individual things you need to get done. This is what most of us tend to do, as the work you’re doing each day seems like the most important thing to focus on. However, if you switch your mindset to think more strategically, you’ll find yourself with a much better vision and line of focus than before.

By definition, strategy is “the art of devising or employing plans or stratagems toward a goal.” So, to put it simply, tactics are the individual pieces put together to create your strategy.  Strategy is the big picture, so when you think strategically, you are acting with your big-picture goal always in the back of your mind. By shifting to a strategic perspective, you are allowing yourself to break free of the small-task trap, which is dwelling on the minuity of each project and having feelings of insignificance or boredom, and shift to a more fulfilled position. When you think strategically, you are thinking about how each one of your seemingly-small tasks adds up, and how each of them gets you closer to reaching your end goal.

Additionally, having a strategic mindset gives you the ability to decipher which tasks require your attention, and which ones aren’t worth your time. If a project doesn’t in some way launch you closer to your end goal, then you shouldn’t be spending your time on it. This new sense of decision making will be vital to you reaching your goal, and it will keep you aligned with your leaders and organization.

Shifting from a tactical mindset to a strategic one isn’t too strenuous, either. It’s as simple as being more aware of the impact your position has on the organization. One way to do this is by detaching yourself from your department.  When you view departments as individual groups working against each other, and you make decisions in the best interest of your department, you aren’t putting the organization or your big picture goals first. Get to know everyone in your organization so that you can see how their role affects your goals, how your role affects theirs, and how everyone’s roles come together to help achieve the organization’s goals. CEO of Potential Unlimited, Carey-Ann Oestreicher, says, “When we take the time to listen to our customers, peers, direct reports and leaders, they feel seen. This validates the relationships you build. Then strategic thinking becomes about helping set each other up for success.”

If you don’t think you’ll be able to change your tactical thinking in to strategic thinking on your own, contact us today to learn more about our Take Back Your Life! 1:1 program. We’ll work with you to help you find your way out of the mental weeds, so that you can spend more time on your vision.