In order to perform, it is incredibly important that we build time into our schedules to reflect on our performance. In fact, FSU professor Anders Ericsson posits that in “deliberate practice…one of the most important self-regulatory skills that top performers use during their work is self-observation.”
In order to improve performance, we must have time to critically evaluate our actions against our stated goals. This is certainly nothing new but certainly something that many of us do not do in during our time compressed days. Here are some things to consider as you figure out how and when you can build this into your day.
- The need to reflect dates back thousands of years as we see the word “selah” in Psalms which indicates we should stop and measure what has been said.
- Professional athletes spend a great deal of time watching film of their performances and critique what they did and did not do.
- Reflection requires a “quiet mind” so can focus on those things that are most important and allow the noise to fall away (this is not a new age, touchy-feely approach…this is about clarifying what is most important and not allowing the urgent to usurp the important – thank you Steven Covey)
- Strength comes from a relaxed muscle (the brain is a muscle)
Finally, time is relative. I am not prescribing that everyone block off 3 hours a day to reflect. I am talking about 5-10 minutes to think about how efficient and effective you were and if there things you can or should do differently tomorrow.
Thoughtful reflection is the foundation of change and Darwin was clear when he said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survive, It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”