When you complete a project, and I use the term "project" to refer to anything that requires multiple steps to achieve an outcome, what do you do afterward? Do you look back at what you just accomplished and analyze what you created and the means by which you created it? Do you sit back and relax, basking in the sense of calmness achieved as a result of accomplishing something that one sets out to do? Or, do you march perilously toward your next project, forging a trail of accomplishments paved by your own ambition?

Think about it for a minute.

Odds are, you do a bit of each to varying degrees depending on what you just finished and your inclinations. None of the options that I presented are mutually exclusive, nor are they representative of every possible state one might be in upon completing a project. However, I think they do a decent job of defining archetypes that represent the past, present, and future mindsets, respectively.

I recently took a month-long sabbatical from work to give myself the space to indulge copious thoughts around the past, present, and future. During this time, I gained clarity around which mindset I am most comfortable embodying, and which I am least comfortable embodying. Understanding my mindset as I complete a project has provided me with a tremendous amount of insight that I have been able to utilize in my personal and professional life, some of which I hope to share here.

I am going to frame these reflections within the context of my current client work for Rippling, which I talked about earlier. My hope with this approach is that I can maintain continuity between my reflections and the practical outcomes that I have been able to achieve. This approach should make what I am writing about more applicable and less philosophical (I’m saving the philosophical stuff for my memoir anyways).

In the next post, I am going to explore my reflections on the Rippling.com redesign project and the insight that I gained as a result. I will also be including practical strategies that you can utilize to reflect on projects and how to improve your future work by making these reflections actionable.