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Simple Ideas for Daily Reflection

Whether writing in a journal, talking to a loved one about a long day, or sitting with your own thoughts for a few minutes, the act of reflection is something that everyone participates in at least occasionally.

But reflection has more benefit than you might think. In fact, studies suggest that purposeful, daily reflection actually has the ability to improve your cognitive abilities and increase your overall performance.

In a 1995 study from McCrindle and Christensen, 40 undergraduate students were randomly assigned with ‘learning journals’ and asked to reflect back on their school assignments at the end of each day. McCrindle and Christensen found that the students who utilized their learning journals demonstrated more cognitive strategies, utilized more sophisticated concepts of learning, and performed significantly better on their final exam than those in the control group.

A different study from Giada Di Stefano, Francesca Gino, Gary Pisano, and Bradley Staats, found that employees who spent 15 minutes at the end of their day reflecting on lessons learned during the day performed 23% better than those who did not.

At the Nebo Company, we believe that one key to happiness at work is the ability to see yourself as a lifelong learner, with the office being one of many classrooms. So, what would happen if you incorporated self-reflection into your daily life so that you could learn from your own experience?

Here are a few ways to incorporate self-reflection into the workday:

  1. Add reflection into your planner. There are many planners out there that have a designated space for self-reflection. Like this Panda Planner. In your calendar, schedule ten minutes at the end of each day to reflect on how the day went, what you learned, and what you’d like to change or focus on going forward.
  2. Have lunch with a colleague. Recruit a colleague who also wants to benefit from the act of self-reflection, and use each other as sounding boards. Utilize lunches or short breaks from your desk, and talk to your colleague about how you’re doing in your current position, what goals you’d like to achieve, and what roadblocks might be in your way. Make sure to switch off!
  3. Utilize your commute. Whether you commute by car, bus, train or even on foot, your commute is a great time to do a short reflection on the day you just finished. Spend a few minutes thinking over your day from start to finish, and ask yourself if there is anything you’d do differently, or take a moment to think about what went well.

 There are many opportunities in a day to reflect. Whether it’s while walking to get a cup of coffee, talking to an old friend, or washing the dishes – take the time to reflect on your work, or even your life. Identify the moments that have brought you joy or success, and reflect on why that may be. Also take the time to think about where things went wrong, and again try to seek out the root cause. Growth and learning both begin with reflection.

If you’d like to identify more strategies to incorporate reflection into your life and career, contact us!

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