Who has time for self-reflection?
I used to spend so much of my time on auto-pilot, that I would forget to change gears.
It wasn’t until I started studying Lean Process Improvement that I began to really understand and appreciate the value of self-reflection for continuous improvement.
While I didn’t set up a consistent self-reflection practice in the beginning, I still noticed improvements in my productivity, performance, and satisfaction when I did take the time to reflect.
What exactly is self-reflection?
I think self-reflection can sometimes be misperceived as a critical exercise. Instead of critical, I like to think of it as an exercise in curiosity.
For me, it is taking the time to make sense of past experiences by considering multiple interpretations.
It is also the conscious consideration of what thoughts and feelings contributed to my actions, behaviours, and energy levels.
Once I understand what drives my behaviours, it much easier to change them, if I so choose.
Why do we resist it?
It’s my experience that, left unchecked, we tend to focus on the negative, be overly critical, and wander down the path of self-judgment.
Since self-judgment feels icky (and usually nothing productive comes from it), it makes sense that we would want to avoid it.
Self-reflection also requires us to slow down, take responsibility for our own results, and accept that the process of change is a minefield of missteps.
Especially for those of us who are accomplishment-driven and have a bias for action, slowing down is NOT our favourite thing.
And finally, self-reflection is an ongoing practice with little immediate or tangible results. Again… uncomfortable!
The Silver Lining
Despite our resistance to it, self-reflection has many benefits.
Not the least of which is the ability to stay more present in the moment and become more conscious of what’s driving our actions.
Indeed, studies show that individuals who reflected for as little as 15 minutes per day, over 10 days, were able to increase their performance by 23%. That’s like saving an entire day in a full-time work week!
In addition to saving time and energy, self-reflection can help you map your accomplishments to the value that you are creating.
Understanding the relationship between your actions and the value that you are creating is the #1 factor in career growth and income generation.
“Follow effective action with quiet reflection.
From the quiet reflection, will come even more effective action.”
~ Peter Drucker
If you are looking for some powerful self-reflection questions check out the following. Just remember to ask from a place of curiosity, not self-judgment…
- What have I been avoiding? What feeling comes up when I think about tackling it?
- What value have I created over the past week?
- How have my actions contributed to moving me closer to my goals?
- How am I getting in my own way?
- What are my top 3 feelings from the past week?
- What is the one thing that would be most impactful to my productivity?
Join us for the next Reflection Sharing Session to leverage the momentum and insights of your productivity colleagues… Come be inspired!