Although the name might make you think otherwise, Futurists can’t predict the future. They don’t spend their days looking into crystal balls or trying to read tea leaves from the bottom of their cups. Instead, they focus on supporting organisations and individuals to become more resilient in the face of uncertainty.
If you ask our in-house futurist, Masha, about what the future holds, she’ll quickly remind you that there is no future singular. In a world of possibilities, multiple futures exist. Nothing is guaranteed, so predictions are almost impossible to make. Instead, futurists prepare for the uncertainties that come with life by evaluating trends, identifying possible and potential changes, defining an ‘ideal’ future and working towards it.
Despite how useful it might be to plan and prepare for the future, on an individual level, the majority of people would simply prefer not to know what’s in store for them. When asked whether they would like to know their future for sure, 80% refuse.
If you know what the future looks like, then you can’t change it. But if you know what you want your future to look like, it’s very possible to work towards it.
That’s what futurists help organisations and individuals do. Using tried and tested tools and approaches, they can map preferred futures, identify trends and help organisations and individuals plan for potential scenarios.
So, what does that look like in practice?
Let’s take a look at how you can make your best future a reality.
Plan your life like a futurist
Planning your future starts with the small details and understanding the elasticity of time. Consider how you spend an average day. Most people probably feel like they’re doing the maximum, especially on weekdays. But when they take a closer look at their day, there are usually 20-120 free or unaccounted-for minutes. Over the course of a week, this adds up to between 2 hours 20 minutes and 14 hours of unaccounted time.
What does this mean for you?
Well, some of these minutes are likely to be taken up by doing regular things, like taking bathroom breaks, but some of those are valuable minutes that could be spent working towards your goals and your preferred future. It’s not always easy to spot the tasks that will help you achieve those goals, so taking some time to prioritise what’s important for you is a good way to help you stay on track.
Spending time on twenty tasks that keep you busy but don’t move you in any direction is very different to spending time on twenty tasks that move you closer to your goals. Prioritising the tasks that move you in the right direction is a great start to achieving goals.
When we break it down, changing the course of your future seems achievable. Here’s how:
Find your preferred future
Take a look at what you want your future to look like and describe it clearly. Using categories can help you organise and prioritise the areas of your life that are most important to you. Categories might include:
Set achievable milestones
It’s difficult (and sometimes impossible) to achieve a goal overnight. Breaking it down into milestones ensures that you can stay focused on the end goal, but also feel motivated by the steps you need to take to get there within a set timeframe.
Breakdown your milestones
Consider the small steps that lead you to your end goal and how you can achieve them. For example, if you’d like to run a marathon in six months, what do you need to do today and every day to reach your goal?
Plan each day
Looking at the small steps you need to take to reach your goal, and set aside some time every day to actually do them. This will help you steadily move towards the goal without being overwhelmed by how daunting it might seem.
Remember that doing a little bit to work towards a goal is better than doing nothing at all. Make sure your daily tasks are achievable and don’t beat yourself up if you’re finding it difficult to put the allocating time in each time you sit down to work on it.
By focusing on the small tasks, you can steadily work towards achieving short, medium and long-term goals in an efficient way. Your preferred future can be achievable with the right planning. Planning combined with a vision for the future will help you become more productive, fulfilled and inevitably more positive.
Don’t hang around for the New Year to create your best life. Start now to begin reaping the real rewards of your usually unspent time.
Interested in learning how you can make this happen at an organisational level? Stay tuned for our guide on how to prepare for your organisation’s futures.