Planning Backwards

dreamstime_xs_54563294Although we usually think of planning as starting at the beginning and finishing at the end, it can be beneficial to start with the end and continue backwards to the beginning.

Most of us probably do this frequently in small ways.  For example, to determine when we need to get up in the morning to get to work on time, we might plan something like this:

  • I start work at 8:00, so…
  • I need to arrive at work at 7:45 to park the car, punch in, etc. to be on the job by 8:00.
  • It takes 45 minutes to drive to work, so I need to leave home at 7:00.
  • It takes 90 minutes to get ready and take care of the pets, so I need to get up at 5:30.
  • However, it’s snowing, the roads will probably be bad in the morning, so I need to allow an extra 30 minutes to drive to work. I need to set the alarm for 5:00.

This process can also be beneficial for our large dreams and goals, especially if they are very specific.

For example, if someone wanted to design motorcycles for a specific company, good information to obtain could be:

  • Is this an entry level position? If not, what entry level position can lead to the desired position?  What advancement is necessary within the company?
  • What experience is required to be hired by the company? How can it be obtained?
  • What education/degree is required? Where do most of these graduates attend college?
  • What needs to be done to be accepted into that college and that degree program?
  • What needs to be done to be able to attend that college? (For example, would it require moving? Financial assistance?)

The plan, of course, would include the details on how to make this work.  Additional questions might include the following.  Would an internship meet the experience requirement and could that be completed during college?  If the person is in high school, what classes could she take and what grades would she need to be accepted to the college?  If she is already in the workforce, can some of her work experience assist her in being accepted to the college?  Are there classes she needs to take before she will be accepted either into that college or into that program?  What financial assistance is available?  What support, if any, will she need from family?

The next time you need to plan something, try planning backwards and see if it helps you develop a better, more detailed plan.

This entry was posted in Author, Empower, Empowerment, Self Empowerment, Self Improvement, Self Leadership, Women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , by Susan L. Farrell. Bookmark the permalink.

About Susan L. Farrell

Susan has always loved to learn. One BS in college was not enough; she obtained a double major with a minor. Years later, she returned to college for an MBA. Susan also believes deeply in learning everything possible from personal and professional experiences.Her first career out of college was with a national health care company. She quickly moved from the facility level to division, field, and corporate levels. When she left she had been an executive director with national responsibilities for several years.As owner of SLF Consulting & Training, LLC, Susan assisted clients with the challenges of combining customer satisfaction, cost control, and regulatory compliance. Her business acumen made her a sought-after speaker which led to a successful speaking career. This, in turn, led to her current writing career on self-empowerment for women.A normal extension of a love of learning is a love of teaching. Susan has accomplished this in various positions through teaching and training her employees, co-workers, associates, and customers. She has taught as an adjunct instructor at business colleges. She has informally coached employees, associates, and friends in advancing professionally and personally. She now assists others through her books, blogs, and newsletter.She is the author of "Don’t Act Like Prey! A Woman’s Guide to Self-Empowerment," a book on respectful assertiveness as an option to passive or aggressive behavior. "52 Weeks of Wisdom, A Woman’s Guide to Self-Empowerment," is designed to provide ideas to encourage women to think about what they do, why they do it, and do they want to change. "3 Good Choices: Change It, Accept It, or Leave It; A Woman’s Guide to Self-Empowerment" discusses how to make positive choices in all aspects of life.Susan lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband and three cats.

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