We all pack a lot into our workdays. Some days are seemingly non-stop. So, the suggestion I’m about to make, that you add something to your schedule, may make you cringe. But stick with me for a minute. What if that something allowed you to do your job better, provided insight into your work or helped you be a better colleague?
I’ve been reading The Agility Shift by Pamela Meyer. In her book, Meyer recommends implementing the practice of reflection. This can be as little as a few minutes done daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. It could be part of how you wrap up a project or how you transition each quarter or year.
Reflection is slowing down and pausing to look back and make sense of our experiences. It switches us off autopilot. It stops us from just going through the motions. Reflection allows us to look for insights that might otherwise be glossed over or missed without intentional time to review and process.
Reflection can be done by yourself or with those you’ve worked with on a project. Take notes to capture your thoughts and ideas. Think through recent projects. Look at your calendar. See where you are investing your time. Look for things that didn’t bring value or weren’t the best use of your time. Learn from your experiences, evaluate your successes, and look for opportunities for improvement. Be curious, not critical. Ask yourself how to challenge the status quo in how you work and what you do.
In The Agility Shift, Pamela Meyer asks us to intentionally and continuously ask ourselves the following:
- What is happening? (or has happened?)
- What can we draw from the experience?
- How can we incorporate this info into our attitudes, beliefs, and actions going forward?
Other questions you could ask yourself:
- How do I do my best work? Where was I most focused?
- How could this have gone better?
- Is there a better way for this to be done?
Once you’ve reflected, consider how you could do things differently on your next project to be more efficient or bring more value to your internal or external clients. Or maybe reflecting will help you as you work on your career journey and bring clarity to what you most love to do!
I believe the practice of reflection could be quite insightful for us as we become an agile organization. Yes, it requires intentionality and a little time, but I believe that investment could be quite impactful. Each project we work on is an opportunity to grow, learn & improve.
How could implementing the practice of reflection help you or your team be more agile and improve the way you work?
Doug Post, Interstates President