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Reachback

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Eric Berne, the founder of transactional analysis, coined the term reachback for the effect an impending atypical event can have on a person's schedule as well as his or her mental state before the event begins. He talks about this in his book What Do You Say After You Say Hello?

For instance, a person who has to leave on Monday starts getting irritable and worried about the trip on Friday itself. He may start trying to clear his overflowing inbox, cut short his evening relaxation, start preparing and packing for the trip, worry about what clothes to take, and so on.

Berne differentiates reachback from forward planning, which is done to mitigate negative effects such as reachback.

The flip side of reachback is afterburn, which is defined as the effect a past atypical event continues to have on a person's schedule, activities and mental state even after it is materially over.

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