5 Benefits of Longer-term Thinking. (2024)

Most people are geared towards shorter-term thinking. It’s easy to see why – our brains are constantly bombarded with new information, and we only have so much energy to think about things. It’s much more efficient to focus on the here and now, rather than worrying about what might happen tomorrow, next week or even 5 to 10 years ahead.

While shorter-term thinking is useful in certain situations, it can also lead to some major problems. For one thing, it can cause us to make bad decisions based on short-term gains or losses without considering the longer-term consequences. Additionally, it can lead us to become stressed out and overwhelmed by all the things we need to do in a day, which can hamper our productivity and creativity.

Here's 5 benefits of longer-term thinking:

1. Improved decision-making.

Longer-term thinking helps businesses to make better decisions. When businesses take a long-term view, they are more likely to consider the potential implications of their decisions and make choices that will benefit them in a range of futures.

2. Greater clarity and direction.

Longer-term thinking also provides businesses with greater clarity and direction. By thinking about futures, businesses can develop a clear vision for where they want to be and what they want to achieve. This can help them to focus their resources and efforts on the most important goals.

3. Improved planning and execution.

Another benefit of longer-term thinking is improved planning and execution. When businesses think about futures, they are more likely to create detailed plans that take into account all of the potential risks and opportunities. This can help them to avoid problems and seize opportunities when they arise.

4. Increased competitiveness.

Longer-term thinking can also help businesses to become more competitive. By thinking about what futures may appear, businesses can develop innovative products, services, and business models that give them a competitive edge.

5. Improved stakeholder relations.

Finally, longer-term thinking can improve relations with stakeholders such as funders, employees, customers, and suppliers. When businesses take a longer-term view, they are more likely to make decisions that are in the best interests of all parties involved. This can lead to increased trust and cooperation between businesses and their stakeholders

The benefits of longer-term thinking are clear. By taking a longer-term view, businesses can make better decisions, achieve greater clarity and direction, improve planning and execution, become more competitive, and improve relations with stakeholders. If you want to reap the rewards of longer-term thinking in your business, start by considering what futures may appear and developing detailed plans that take into account all potential risks and opportunities.

Learn more about how to think longer term for impact and future growth at insight & foresight blog: foresights.

5 Benefits of Longer-term Thinking. (2024)


What are the benefits of long term thinking? ›

Long term thinking is a valuable skill that can help you achieve more in life and career. By thinking long-term, you can create a vision that inspires you, plan a strategy that guides you, and take action that moves you closer to your desired future. As with most skills, starting out is not always easy.

What is the meaning of long term thinking? ›

Long-term thinking is the practice of intentionally considering what may happen in the future. It requires vision, and it involves questioning the consequences that choices and decisions made today will have on the future. If done well, then long-term thinking can help us build a better future.

How to improve long-term thinking? ›

6 Ways To Improve Your Long-Term Thinking
  1. Write out new ideas. ...
  2. Incentivize team members for the long term: make them owners. ...
  3. Follow the “two pizza rule.” ...
  4. Dedicate time to think about the future. ...
  5. Routinely “check in” on long-term goals. ...
  6. Work backwards.
Apr 16, 2013

Why is long term thinking important in business? ›

Long-term thinking in business not only supports sustainable growth and responsible practices but also provides a significant competitive edge. By planning with a long-range view, companies can anticipate market trends, adapt to emerging technologies, and position themselves ahead of the competition.

What are the advantages of long term? ›

However, long term assets have the potential to generate excellent returns due to the power of compounding. The longer an investor remains invested in an asset, the higher returns the asset will be able to generate. Saving and investing in retirement schemes is also considered a long-term investment.

What are 4 benefits of critical thinking? ›

Some of the most important benefits of using critical thinking include:
  • Better decision making. ...
  • Better self-reflection. ...
  • Being well-informed. ...
  • The ability to identify misinformation. ...
  • Building creative problem solving skills. ...
  • Curiosity. ...
  • Research. ...
  • Pattern recognition.
Jul 24, 2023

Why you should always think long term? ›

To push our thinking towards the longer term is to cultivate the ability to anticipate and prepare for unpredictable futures. Doing so can prevent us from being confined to our immediate surroundings and short-term concerns, which often lead to reactive rather than proactive solutions.

What are the principles of long term thinking? ›

Independence, curiosity, and resilience are key to long-term thinking. We have to be willing to do hard, laborious, ungratifying things today — the kind of things that make little sense in the short term — so we can enjoy exponential results in the future. Big goals often are impossible in the short term.

What is the long term thinking work? ›

A key element of long-term thinking is understanding that there will be vast stretches of time when it's not clear if something is working, isn't working, or isn't working yet but will work soon. You have to be willing to plow through that uncertainty and persevere!

What is a long term mindset? ›

What does long term thinking mean? Long term thinking means you're comfortable envisioning and consciously working towards the future. It's a viewpoint that brings to life the exciting possibilities of what's to come, and each decision you make is made with an expected timeline in mind.

Why are long-term solutions important? ›

Balancing short-term and long-term solutions is essential for sustainable success. Short-term solutions address immediate challenges, maintaining stability, while long-term strategies ensure future growth and adaptability.

What is a long term focus? ›

It allows you to shut out distractions, so that you can work persistently to achieve a desired state or goal. To develop long-term focus, set meaningful goals that you'll enjoy working towards and that really matter to you; and, write them down.

Why is long-term success important? ›

Setting long-term goals helps turn your daydreams into concrete objectives that you can work towards with intention. Aside from helping you achieve difficult things, they're also a useful tool to prioritize your work and decide what success looks like for you.

Why is long-term more important than short term? ›

Long-term goals provide purpose and direction. Things may happen differently than you plan them, but you gain more control and confidence in your decision-making when you set long-term goals. Use them to shape your evolution over time.

What is long-term strategic thinking? ›

In today's fast-paced and complex business environment, the ability to engage in strategic thinking and long-term planning is more crucial than ever. Strategic thinking involves the analysis of key drivers within a business and the external environment to set achievable long-term goals.

What are the benefits of long term goals in life? ›

Long-term goals provide purpose and direction. Things may happen differently than you plan them, but you gain more control and confidence in your decision-making when you set long-term goals. Use them to shape your evolution over time.

Why is long term thinking better than short term? ›

Short term thinking doesn't necessarily think about the repercussions of the future. It wants that dopamine hit now. Unfortunately, too much short term thinking leads to a life of putting our fires and thinking all too often of what "I should of done". The future is no secret, at least it shouldn't be.

What is the benefit of future thinking? ›

Helps us make more prudent decisions

Perhaps one of the most fundamental and important functions of prospection is that it helps us decide how to act: Thinking about what the future likely holds helps us decide what course to take in the here-and-now.

What does long thinking enable? ›

It's a viewpoint that brings to life the exciting possibilities of what's to come, and each decision you make is made with an expected timeline in mind. You'll be more able than others to see, hear and feel the future as if it was the current reality.

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