Try this Tuesday: Take Five Minutes to Pause & Reflect
Did you know that taking time to pause and reflect on our work is critical to learning and improved performance?
Harvard Business School researchers found that “… purposeful reflection on one’s accumulated experience leads to greater learning than the accumulation of additional experience.” This means that to learn, we can’t just consume information and then turn around and implement it. We have to stop and ask ourselves how our efforts are progressing, why and what we should do differently to learn and be more effective.
The video embedded below references a study conducted on employees in a 30-day training program. The study found that employees who took 15 minutes each day to think and journal about what they had learned during that day’s training session performed 23% better on an evaluation than the control group, which did not spend time reflecting.
We often feel we are too busy to pause and reflect on our work, but not reflecting and making necessary changes can affect our performance and ultimately prove more costly. Because reflection translates learning into better decision-making, it can help organizations operate more effectively, leading to better development results.
So, before you power down for the day, take five minutes to reflect on one or more of these questions:
- What went well today, and why?
- What did not go well? What should I do differently next time?
- What did I learn about my operating environment or technical area? Who should I share this information with?
Or, plan to take fifteen minutes during your next team meeting to discuss one or more of these questions with colleagues:
- Are we collaborating with the right people/organizations in order to achieve our goals? What can/should we do to adjust our work accordingly?
- What have we learned from examining our project/activity data? What can/should we do to adjust our work accordingly?
- What has changed in our operating environment or technical area? What can/should we do to adjust our work accordingly?
How did this pause and reflect exercise help you? We want to hear about it! Let us know in the comments how this bite-sized activity helped you and/or your team collaborate, learn and adapt.