The blog

Previous article

Next article

04 Mar

Reflecting makes us more likely to succeed

Datum: 2024-03-04 10:45
A thoughtful woman is sitting at her desk with her chin resting on her hand, looking out of the window.

There is a time for work­ing, and then there is a time for reflect­ing on the work we do. Judg­ing by what was being shown in a study led by Francesca Gino at Har­vard Busi­ness School with the title Learn­ing by Think­ing: How Reflec­tion Aids Per­for­mance”, it is well worth our time to pri­or­i­tize reflec­tion — at least if we want to suc­ceed in our work.

Gino and her col­leagues have in a num­ber of exper­i­ments found indi­ca­tions of that peo­ple who reflect on how they pro­ceed­ed to solve a recent­ly fin­ished task are more like­ly to be more suc­cess­ful the next time they need to solve a sim­i­lar task.

For you who pre­fer lis­ten­ing to read­ing, this post is also avail­able as an episode of the Done!” pod­cast:

Putting the present moment into perspective

That in itself is enough rea­son to spend time reflect­ing, but allow me to also add that a moment of reflec­tion gives me per­spec­tive on my whole work­ing sit­u­a­tion, not just a sin­gle task or prob­lem. All the things, tasks, and prob­lems that need to be solved in a work­day are set in pro­por­tion to one anoth­er, and get­ting an overview of how things are going right now” gives me a feel­ing of con­trol over my work situation.

If this makes sense to you, take time off to reflect.

Do this

Give some thought to when it would be eas­i­est for you to con­scious­ly reflect for a few moments dur­ing a typ­i­cal workweek.

  • Is it at a par­tic­u­lar time on a cer­tain day when you with­out much incon­ve­nience can ensure you are left alone for a while?
  • Is it a cer­tain sit­u­a­tion in which you find your­self now and then, for exam­ple dur­ing the first half hour of a long train ride, dur­ing the short domes­tic flight when it is not worth open­ing up the lap­top, or right after return­ing to your desk after lunch when the col­leagues usu­al­ly have not come back yet or are con­cen­trat­ed on their work?

Then think of a way to remind your­self that you are going to reflect when the des­ig­nat­ed time for reflec­tion rolls around. You can for instance:

  • Make a recur­ring book­ing in your cal­en­dar for the moments you will set aside for reflection.
  • For­mu­late an imple­men­ta­tion inten­tion” (which a pre­vi­ous Done! has cov­ered) that almost auto­mat­i­cal­ly makes you do what you want in a cer­tain situation.

Desired results easier

If you reflect on how you work, solve prob­lems and per­form tasks you will, judg­ing by the research I referred to, find it eas­i­er to suc­ceed with what you want to accom­plish. It can con­cern your core tasks as well as refin­ing the way you work — cre­at­ing bet­ter struc­ture, for example.

How do you do it?

When would be a per­fect time to reflect? How will you remem­ber to do it? Feel free to share your cho­sen method with me!

(Did you know that you can put a twist on your reflec­tion?)

There's more!

An ewok listening to a podcast in large headphones in a forest on a sunny day.

If you want more tips on how to create good structure at work, there are many ways to get that from me - in podcasts, videos, books, talks and other formats.

Yes, I want more tips!