Reflection Time – Is It For You?
What’s your first reaction when someone suggests a bit of reflection time?
- Are you thrilled and excited to invest some time doing this?
- Do you tut and roll your eyes, thinking ‘that’s not something I have the time for’?
- Do you wonder what on earth for?
- Are you irritated that someone would even suggest that to you?
I’ve got to be honest, I’ve definitely responded with all of these reactions at different times and probably many variations in between. On reflection, in a more calm and balanced state, the more open I’ve been to reflection and review. Whereas the more stressed, busy and overwhelmed I’ve been the more the suggestion would frustrate or irritate me.
I know I’m not alone. I experience this with my coaching clients all the time and it’s become part of my role to find the right way to introduce the opportunity to reflect and review in our coaching sessions.
The Keys To Successful Reflection & Review
The reality is there are plenty of benefits from reflective practice and reviewing how things have gone. I find that the key to doing it successfully includes:
- Having A Clear Purpose – in my mind, the purpose of reflection is a positive one – to help us learn, develop, grow, progress, get more enjoyment from life, and so on. Before you start, have that clarity for yourself.
- Choosing The Right Timing – too soon or at the wrong time and there could be resistance; too late after an experience and the lessons may have been lost.
- Reflecting VS Overthinking – the amount of time we spend reflecting will be proportionate to the subject at hand, but there is a fine balance between reflecting, reviewing, learning and moving forward versus ruminating, over-thinking, and getting far too lost in unnecessary detail.
- Asking The Right Questions – there is a real art to asking yourselves purposeful questions that draw out valuable insights that allow you to take something positive from the whole experience.
5 Benefits Of Regular Reviews
The benefits of reflection and review are endless, and I’m sure you can think of times when such a practice has helped you with key decisions and positive choices in life.
Even taking just a small amount of time to reflect & review can offer benefits on many levels. For example:
- Acknowledging progress
- Helping to prioritise and focus
- Boosting positive thoughts
- Managing and reducing our stress
- Calming the mind
And so many more!
PLUS, there is the opportunity to create time and space amidst our busy lives because we have greater clarity, improved focus, and more motivation.
You may think it’s wasting precious time, when really it’s giving you more.
How Often To Review?
This is the ‘how long is a piece of string’ question. My advice is little and often – 5 mins daily is a really great starting point and gets you into the habit. It can be as formal or informal as you like – from writing in a journal to a chat over dinner. The key is always to take action – just get started.
Personally, I’m a fan of some daily reflection which is fairly informal and I often do that whilst out on a walk, followed by a weekly review in which I write things down and ask myself a number of more structured questions. It’s what works for me and I’m consistent with it.
Of course, specific time periods (months, quarters, years) are always good review points, as are specific events in life or at work.
Your approach may be completely different to mine – just find what works for you – and save yourself some time in the long run by doing so!
The Review Questions To Ask Yourself
It can be hard to get off the starting blocks with a review practice, so using some questions as a prompt can be helpful. I’ve put together the following free guide to give you a little more detail about reflection and review, including a whole load of prompts, questions and discussion points for daily and weekly reviews. Enjoy!
Share Your Nuggets of Wisdom
On a regular basis, I encourage a weekly review on a Friday morning through my social media accounts – the more people share their insights, the more it becomes easier for everyone. Come and join the conversation on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.
… and if you don’t want to share in public, please feel free to drop me a private message on any of those platforms or on email to firstname.lastname@example.org