End with the beginning in mind

Yes, the title is correct. I heard Todd Henry use this phrase, in the context of maintaining momentum. He quotes Ernest Hemingway:

The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day … you will never be stuck. Always stop while you are going good and don’t think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day.

I can see how this would work for a writer. But what about the rest of us?

I think this approach would work for any project (an activity requiring more than one task to be completed). As you approach the end of a productive session, take the time to ask, ‘And then what?’. Clarifying the next step should guarantee that you get straight back into the rhythm/flow of the project. I’m not talking about a complicated PRINCE2 Gantt chart technique (unless you’re in charge of a civil engineering project).

Keep it simple, keep it clear, keep it moving.


2 thoughts on “End with the beginning in mind

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