What is reflection?
Why should you include reflection in your daily and weekly life?
And, how do you reflect? This article reveals 7 reflection “best practices” for improved productivity, health, and relationships. You can apply these daily, weekly, monthly, and annually.
What is Reflection?
The Oxford Dictionary defines reflection simply as “serious thought or consideration.” Psychologists add that it is an examination – a serious thought or consideration – of our thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
We would add that looking back, reflection is a practice of learning (appreciating positive experiences and identifying ways to improve). Looking forward, reflection is a practice of hoping, shaping, dreaming, and aspiring (perhaps identifying what you can change). And, it is living in the present.
What's the Measurable Value of Reflection?
A Harvard study shows that taking 15 minutes per day to reflect increases productivity by 22.8 percent. For this reason, Toyota asks each line employee to think of 2 ways to improve each day. To facilitate this, they give each employee 15 minutes to reflect on the day and recognize how they can improve. So, reflection improves productivity and accelerates improvement. Beyond productivity, reflecting also calms the nerves and brings a sense of peace, balance, and control to life.
Seven Best Practices of Reflection
So, how do you look back, live in the present, and look forward at the daily, weekly, monthly, and annual level? Here are seven ways:
Reflect daily by starting the day with three basic questions:
- What is the first task I’ll do today?
- What’s my most important task today?
- What one task will bring me closer to my goals?
At the end of the day you can (1) review your daily priorities and tasks and review what was completed, delegated, cancelled, or rescheduled, and (2) you can take a minute or two to write down your wins for the day and what you’re grateful for (a gratitude journal).
Reflect weekly by following the four steps of pre-week planning (and pre-week planning is perhaps the most impactful exercise of reflection you can do):
- Review your vision and goals
- Write down your key life roles
- Set key actions items for each role
- Schedule a time for each action item
You reflect at the monthly, semi-annual, and annual level when you use this monthly reflection template (which is a part of the BYB paper planner), update your personal vision, set roles and goals, and calibrate your work-life balance with the circle of peace and balance.
So, Now What?
So, how will you choose to reflect at the daily, weekly, monthly, and annual level? Choose some options from the list above and you’ll unleash the power of reflection in your life. That’s becoming your best!
“Self-reflection is the school of wisdom.” – Baltasar Gracian
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