Reflecting on your project and work processes helps you to learn. The more you think about the concepts and issues in work environment or projects and connect them to what you know and see around you, the more you remember and learn. It also helps you to think about what next you have to do.
What do I observe (and write about)?
This process of plan-act-observe-reflect is useful in everything you do – both projects and daily work obligations. Some really useful questions are:
- What’s going well at the moment? (it’s always good to start with positive things)
- What’s not going well?
- What could we be doing to improve things?
- How will we do that? (process)
Be aware of your habits
Being aware of your habits is vital to your success. Bad habits can hold you back and, unless you analyse what you are doing, you might remain unaware of better ways of doing things. Reflection could be described as thinking with a purpose, being critical, but not negative, analysing how effective your tasks/projects are, questioning and probing, making judgements and drawing conclusions.
Planning and prioritising
You may find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer range and number of activities you’re expected to tackle. Figuring out how to plan your time and prioritise tasks, and how to juggle all your other commitments can prove quite challenging. It’s worth thinking ahead to organise your time and reflect on why, what, how and when to prioritise.
Setting and achieving goals
Your motivation can be improved if you reflect on your goals and relate them to the broader goals in your life, both personal and professional. Reflection can help you to define immediate goals and then devise strategies to achieve them.
Dealing with procrastination and anxiety
Procrastination, the art of putting things off until they absolutely have to be done, is both a cause and a symptom of anxiety. It can lead you to miss deadlines or fall behind with your schedule and can severely affect your confidence. Reflecting on how, when, where and why you procrastinate can help you to recognise and challenge your routines and habits.
Recognising and overcoming obstacles
How often do you make negative assumptions about your abilities? These beliefs can undermine your confidence and motivation but by reflecting on the assumptions you can make positive changes.
Therefore, if you are able to analyse yourself, identify problem areas, plan a strategy, and resolve issues just by spending some time reflecting on your work and tasks, don’t you think that deserves at least a few minutes out of your day?