Think Long Term: Act Now

June 25, 2007 - Get free updates of new posts here

One critical key to productivity involves thinking long term and being able to come up with actions today. A drug addict thinks in hours until his next hit and only performs actions that will get him closer to that hit. In contrast, a private wealth advisor thinks in terms of centuries for his clients, where today’s market news has zero consequences.

In today’s world of instant messaging, tweeting, transworld communications and expedience, it’s sometime difficult to think ahead and make goals, even a month or two, but taking the time to see what’s really important in this hyper world is critical to our survival.

Here’s a few things that I think are critical to focus on in the long term so you can begin long term thinking.

The web it’s here to stay. It’ll be here in five years, and in ten; in some way or another in fifty and one hundred years. Your business plan should have some kind of tie-in to the internet, because young people don’t know a world without the Net. The first step should be getting your name as domain name, like Noah and I have done. The second is coming up with a general internet strategy for the next ten years. Try to think ahead of time.

Personal relationships – with all of the innovations in personal communications, there is a lot of research showing that people are lonelier than ever. Depression is very real even though we are more connected than ever. How can that be? It seems like personal face-to-face relationships can’t be substituted with a text message or an email. How do the top people know each other in almost every industry? By their first names! These relationships take time and in person emotional connections to build.

Building Metaskills – skills are changing so fast, that strong metaskills are required to keep up. You can learn these skills in 7 days. What are metaskills? It’s those larger, critical, underlying skills. They include skills such as fast learning, critical thinking, decision making, being curious and others.

How far ahead do you think? Plan?

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6 responses to “Think Long Term: Act Now

  1. Michael Sitarzewski Reply

    Building metaskills… well put. This ties well to a conversation I had the other day with a colleague. I think that being able to think this way is a gift that not everyone possesses. A lot of people that were around in boom 1.0 (and prospered) have a hard time understanding the meaning of twitter or jaiku. Or of a Facebook, or LinkedIn. Or even simple things like RSS and podcasting. For them, keeping up with now is a challenge, I think of now as the past… the manifestation of what I saw coming.

    Great post.

  2. chris Reply

    I actually think thinking long term will hurt you, in the long term, if you’re chasing things you are not passionate about, but are doing for the sake of catching a trend/fad. Do things you love first and foremost. Catching a trend while you do that won’t hurt. With passion, you will create your own trend.

  3. Jason Walker Reply

    Interesting post, I’m in the same boat as Michael in thinking that now is the past, you cannot build for now as it’s already too late…

    Chris, I think you can build for the long term, and should, yes you need a passion and with a passion you will build your own trend but yes may may fail ten times before you hit the right idea… Building for the now is fine BUT you have to market the hell out of it to make it visible and make it a hit, I’ve seen too many people build for now and expect an instant return and lose all interest if it doesn’t turn a profit on day one… One of the the best ones was a project I worked on for a travel focused social network site, they launched left it running for around six weeks, next to no one signed up although lots of people visited the site, called it a failure and turned it off. Less than two months later social networking was the biggest thing on the net… Lesson? If it’s not an instant success don’t stress leave it there and move on to the next project, NEVER turn it off…

    The name domain name is also interesting, I missed my own name (Jason is a company name here in New Zealand) but I did grab both of my kids names, Josh & Jessie, now the question is when is suitable to give them to them and set up their blog etc etc… They are currently only 6 & 3 so their net use is currently playing games on Cartoon Network/Nick/Barbie etc

  4. Vera Devera Reply

    I finally bought my own domain name: veradevera.com which is my full name. You’d think Vera Devera is unique, but there’s actually another one who is also filipina and lives in LA!

    Back to social networking:
    I know I read this somewhere in Business 2.0, but isn’t there a site that centralizes all your social networking into one? If not, how do you all decide which one to stick with? I’m getting overwhelmed trying to maintain all my profiles…

  5. NakedBiff Reply

    Chris and Jason, you’re both hitting the nail on the head there.

    Vera: I tend to try out anything new that I find. Stickiness comes only from activity in the social networking ball park…at the moment I spend more time on Facebook as there’s a lot of activity from people I know. A couple of weeks back there was a flourish on Pownce, but now I only seem to get a couple of messages a week, and so only go on every now and again.

    There are always shifts, it’s whether or not the shift is to or from, or becomes a short-lived fad. For me personally, profiles are kind of similar to Jason’s travel network site – best left switched on.

    You might also want to think about the fields you’re maintaining…can all your profile photos be maintained through a flickr widget, music through a last.fm widget etc?