3 min read
Why Beginning Projects with the “End in Mind” is Crucial
Written by: Anne Bach Krog Iversen, Chief DNA & Culture Officer - TimeXtender - October 7, 2021
Why Beginning Every Day, Task, and Project with the “End in Mind” is Crucial to Achieving Success
How many of you have been involved in a project and as you were nearing completion were told that the project really wasn’t what the team, department or organization had in mind?
It happens, and more often than we think, but by setting the stage upfront with proper vision, direction and understanding of goals and expectations, this deficiency can be eliminated before it surfaces.
Here at TimeXtender we place a lot of value in work culture and our focus of being a purpose-driven organization and fully distributed. To that end, one of the programs that we study and practice and that makes up much of the teachings in this blog post is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” created by Dr. Stephen R. Covey, and now part of FranklinCovey. In Dr. Covey’s program, Habit 2 articulates that we “Begin with the End in Mind.”
For those of you who have been with the company for some time this post is a great reminder about setting the stage for success by “beginning with the end in mind” or what we’re calling “Back to Basics.” And for the new and future Xpeople at TimeXtender, this blog post provides insight to help you understand why it’s important to begin each day, task and project with a mental foundation of understanding our expectations upfront for the desired end-result.
Okay, so what does this belief ultimately mean and how does it translate in to helping us become more efficient in our work and daily lives? Let’s take a closer look.
Regardless of what you do be it product development or accounting or marketing, setting the stage for your success begins by mapping out your expected end-result from the start. This is called beginning with mental first creation. From there, we can progress to physical second creation. By beginning with this conscious perspective you set yourself up for success by having a clear and undeniable objective in mind.
We have all been guilty of getting so excited and jumping right into a newly assigned project to “get going.” This eagerness, while well intended, can lead to wasted time and money, and sometimes even project demise. However, if you stop and reflect it´ll give you an opportunity to think “out of the box” and allow you to be creative in your thinking to thereby reach a better result.
So, before we embark on any new initiative, stop, consider and visualize the end in mind. Determine your desired outcome, values, methods, activities and measurement first, and then commence with your work. When all of us adhere to this method, we’re able to operate synergistically as a high-performance organization. Also, doing so empowers you to become proactive and purpose- driven as your end goal and final destination are crystal clear. This mental visualization is step one for any day, task, meeting or project that you are about to begin or what some would even call the “law of attraction.”
Consider this, when you practice “beginning with the end in mind” you methodically orchestrate your future. If you don't make the conscious effort to visualize your outcome, you risk leaving this up to other people and outside influences to shape it for you simply by default.
Oftentimes in business, environmental factors can shift and change, altering the course of our work. For example, new people with various ideas can appear on the scene and try to modify the project you are working on by offering their ideas and viewpoint. Along with being influenced by people, we can easily be swayed by outside businesses, agendas, or circumstances. Engaging life and work with your end goals, values and purpose firmly rooted in place and articulated up front, enables you to eliminate confusion, debate, variables, and uncertainty that may arise. This in turn helps us to secure our timelines and achieve results.
Here at TimeXtender, we even have a Covey Habit 2 well rooted at our organizational level. We have established our Core Purpose Strategy that mark our wished outcome, where we want to go and what we want to achieve as an organization as a whole or what we call “corner-flags.” From there, you can move on to Habit 3: putting first things first. This consists of detailed planning, task consideration, assignees, deadlines and to-do activities.
Interestingly, you can also use Habit 2 for your own personal life. While you are engaged as an individual who is part of an organization, department and team, you also have personal aspirations as well.
Try this exercise: envision yourself years down the road and write down what it is you accomplished during your life time (or what is called your “personal mission statement” in the Covey program or what some would call a “vision board”) … listing all of your successes, accomplishments and dreams that you had for yourself and then use that vision or “end in mind” as your roadmap to attain your desired success in work and in life.
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