One of the key functions of a successful person is their ability to manage the day-to-day while simultaneously thinking about tomorrow. It’s harder than it seems. There are so many demands on time at the moment that we often become engrossed in it and forget about what comes next.

For example:

>Entrepreneurs need to be thinking about who their next client is even when they are busy working for their current customer.

>Project managers need to plan ahead as to what supplies they will need before they go to reach for them.

>Supervisors must be developing strategy and acquiring resources long before their staff will need to implement the plans.

Consider the techniques that you can use to help yourself think longer term in the midst of short-term busyness. Maybe it’s a desk calendar that displays the following month or a multi-month calendar on your wall. Perhaps it is a Gantt chart or software display of future deadlines. It could be a journal that allows for dreaming, or a weekly planning meeting that shifts the focus to the coming weeks instead of today.

No matter your method, you need to follow the mantra of the West Wing’s President Jed Bartlet and ask yourself “what’s next?” – not just about what is in the next moment, but for the long-term moments after that. If you’re the leader (of yourself or your organization), your job description is the only one that includes thinking about tomorrow.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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