6 Steps for making time to reflect
March 28, 2017 | 12:49 pm| | | Start Conversation
Reflection gives the brain an opportunity to pause amid chaos, sort through observations and experiences, and create meaning. This meaning becomes learning, which can then inform future mindsets and actions. But even if we know how helpful reflection is, most people still don’t make the time to do it.
If you have had trouble making yourself reflect, you can become better at it by practicing a few simple steps.
1. IDENTIFY SOME IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: But don’t answer them yet. What are you avoiding? How are you helping your colleagues achieve their goals? How could you have been more effective in a recent meeting?
2. SELECT A REFLECTION PROCESS THAT MATCHES YOUR PREFERENCES: As long as you’re reflecting, your approach is up to you. You can sit, walk, bike or stand, alone or with a partner, writing, talking or thinking.
3. SCHEDULE TIME: Most leaders are driven by their calendars. Schedule your reflection time and then commit to keeping it. And if you find yourself trying to skip it, reflect on that!
4. START SMALL: If an hour of reflection seems like too much, try 10 minutes. Set yourself up to make progress, even if it feels small.
5. DO IT: Go back to your list of questions and explore them. Be still. Think. Consider multiple perspectives. Look at the opposite of what you initially believe. Brainstorm.
6. ASK FOR HELP: For most leaders, a lack of desire, time, experience or skill can get in the way of reflection. Consider working with a colleague, therapist or coach to help you make the time, listen carefully, be a thought partner and hold you accountable.
(Adapted from “Why You Should Make Time for Self-Reflection (Even If You Hate Doing It)” at HBR.org.)
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