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5 Steps To Getting Things Done, Strategy Before Tactics

On rare sunny, summer days at the beach in Dublin, my brother and I would have long, drawn out arguments about how deep and wide to dig the moat around our sandcastle.

Obsessing over the tactics feels like the important work. We can often trick ourselves into jumping ahead to details that don’t yet matter, before we’ve done the real work of understanding the problem we’re going to solve.

It’s fun to think about what colour to paint the walls of your new café, or to spend hours mulling over which font to have in your ebook title.

But strategy must come before tactics, like so

1. Goal
Decide what you want to achieve.
2. Strategy
What are you going to do to achieve it?
3. Plan
What are the steps that are going to get you there?
4. Tactics
What tools will you use to help you?
5. Take action
Start, and more importantly finish.

It doesn’t matter how wide your moat is, if you build your sandcastle in the wrong place.
And the flip side is, you won’t know any of this, until you pick your spot and begin to dig.

Image by sarah-ji.

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