Here is an interesting post from Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., on the Harvard Business Review Online. Have you ever noticed that there are many people in this world who are great starters, but not so many who are great finishers. What is the fundamental difference between the two? And why can some people finish some projects, but then fall painfully short of finishing others?
Halvorson talks about a recent study from the University of Chicago regarding the differing effect of focusing on either how far one has already come (to-date thinking) or what was left to be accomplished (to-go thinking). (study abstract and citation number)
The punchline is worth considering: to keep yourself (or your team) motivated to finish a project all the way, keep your (and your team’s) focus on what there is left to do, and do not think about what has already been accomplished. This will keep motivation levels high, and will not lead to rest on your laurels midway through a project.
It is worth the read.