Categorised Strategy & Action Lists – Step 5

Your strategy list after step 4 may be a bit long and cumbersome and a more manageable strategy list is going to be required to a) keep your focussed and b) stop you losing heart.

By looking at your full list you should be able to group things together into similar areas.  Try moving things around into about half a dozen groups max (small enough to remember, big enough to encompass everything). It is also going to be a useful way to decide which and what you are going to do moving forward.

Example of organising strategy list

Pulling from my own strategy I was able to lump things into these 6 more general category headings: Training (i.e. new skills), Research (expanding knowledge), Relationships (developing them), Strategising (re-vamping or creating new assets), Flexibility (things to do out of the norm) and Reading & Watching Others (not the same as research, more about obtaining information).

Under each of your headings as per my example above move everything from Step 3 and Step 4, with their partnered skills/qualities/principles/assets etc. into the relevant category section. I’ll refer to this as your Categorised Strategy list. This organising all elements of the main strategy makes each step more manageable.

Now review each one and decide on an action (or related actions) you are going to take to accomplish each part of your categorised strategy. These are going to be your tactics. Your ‘WHATS’.

When thinking about your tactics (actions) make sure you don’t just add things that you know you can do standing on your head or find easy.  You need to challenge yourself otherwise you are just going to stand still.  Think about what action would definitely accomplish that part of your strategy even if you hate the thought of it, it makes you go ‘do I have to?’ or even makes you go ‘eek’!

Under my category of Relationships, I knew networking was key to developing more.  I absolutely loathed and detested networking meetings and, up until then, had successfully managed to avoid them in the main.  Knowing that if I wanted to reach my big shiny goal I would have to network my first action was to put myself on a networking training course.  It worked. Because a much better networker than I taught me how to be more comfortable, natural and open to them.  I now actively watch out for them and, dare I say it, actually enjoy myself at them.

At the moment, only write 1 action against each part of your categorised strategy but try to make it the most important first step you can imagine.

Organising strategy list into actions

Once you have done this take one thing from each of the general category headings and move that categorised strategy point with its associated partnered skills (see steps 3 & 4) ) and the first action you have decided on into a new shortlist. I’ll call it your Action List. You should now be able to concentrate on these areas and begin to work on them exclusively.

Beside each action in this new action list write down your ‘WHEN’. Starting right from today write down when you will complete each action by.

Some, like mine, may be ongoing daily or weekly actions in which case write ‘daily’ or ‘weekly’ down and then from tomorrow morning start and make sure you do them every day or week. After about 6 weeks they should become routine and you won’t have to keep treating them as conscious actions.  Once this happens they can be considered completed.

With the others you need to say and commit to when you will finish them by.  Don’t get lazy and allow yourself too much time.  You need a short deadline that you are not even sure you can accomplish that action by but are going to do your absolute damnedest to hit that deadline.

If your action is a bit more long-term such as obtaining a qualification then break this particular action down into smaller chunks (e.g. fill out the application form, attend the interview, start the course, sit the exam, get the qualification) and write down the first chunk as your action with a deadline to have done it by.

As you complete each action congratulate yourself, then score it off your list. Be ready though, it is going to be replaced…

If you would like to read the whole series in Finding Your Purpose and How to Achieve It here is the startstep 1step 2 , step 3 and step 4

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