Before starting any plan, or performing any task, you have to determine your end goal. The destination. How does it look like when the project is over? You need to have that vision first.
It helps you:
- Find the most efficient, effective way to achieve your goal. Knowing the destination gives clarity—what road you should take, what the fastest route is, what landmarks you'll pass by.
- Make sure that you're moving forward. Because you're able to plan your route (best way to your destination), you know you're moving forward every hour you drive. You're not simply "busy" or moving without purpose.
- Fight distractions along the way. By being clear about your goal from the beginning, you can tell when distractions try to present themselves as good choices. And it'll be easier to say no when you know they won't help you.
I first read about this from the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Stephen Covey talks about it the 2nd habit:
Begin with the End in Mind.