When writing goals for the year it’s easy to get caught up in the implementation phase, especially if you’re a one-person department. Even if there are multiple people on your staff, the focus often becomes on the details instead of the overall strategy behind them.

One way to combat this bias is to split your goal planning into two — pretending that one of you/one set of goals is only for the strategy aspect and another would be the implementation work primarily for your deputy (even if you don’t have one). You can then combine the two sets of goals into one holistic list but it ensures that the strategic aspect of the exercise isn’t forgotten.

The same concept works for the to-do list and calendar assessment as well — consider how much time you are spending on the tasks vs. the strategy and then evaluate whether that proportion is appropriate given your role and situation. We live in a world of do, do, do and often neglect to spend even minimal time assessing why we are doing what we are. Use these tools to keep the two aspects of goal setting separate and see if strategy doesn’t win in the process.

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