Reflection is defined as serious thought or consideration.
But how often can we claim that we give our work serious thought or consideration? It’s easy to go through the motions, clicking from email to email, moving from meeting to meeting without really thinking about what has happened throughout the day. And while this might get things done quickly, it might not end up so effective.
“We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.” — John Dewey
Reflection can be a powerful tool, in and out of the workplace, providing insight into your actions and decisions that you may not otherwise consider.
So, what are some of the benefits of reflection?
- Builds a connection between experiences and learning
- Puts a measurement on something that might be initially unquantifiable
- Helps with staying on track and achieving goals
- Learn and improve from your mistakes
However, putting it into practice is easier said than done. While everyone can set intentions to implement reflection it requires dedication and persistence to make it part of a routine.
What might stop you from reflecting?
- Not having spare time
- Not fully understanding how to reflect
- Not feeling motivated
The solutions to…
‘I don’t have time’
- Set aside a manageable chunk of time – start with 10 minutes at the end of the week.
- Make a habit of it, once you commit to reflecting on your week for a month or so, it will become part of your routine.
‘I don’t know how to reflect’
- Start by learning more about reflection.
- Find out when the best time to reflect is for you – are you an early bird or a night owl?
- Find a breakout space at work where you can have time to yourself.
‘It won’t help me’
- Have one to ones with your manager – sharing your reflections with someone else can make the process feel more tangible, encouraging you to look back on previous reflections when you next speak.
- Write things down – when you look back, you can measure your performance and see how you’ve improved and what areas need more work.
Working on reflection can be a powerful tool to see how you feel about how you’re getting on at work and what you need to focus on. Our previous article about Work/Life Balance, is the perfect accompaniment if reflection leads to realising you need a bit of time out.