How Reflection Can Boost Your Team’s Productivity and Efficiency

How Reflection Can Boost Your Team’s Productivity and Efficiency

You’re finally ready to take on the workday. You have your game face on, and you just set some S.M.A.R.T. goals that are neatly pinned up next to your computer. Now all you have to do is work, right?

Goal setting gets you nowhere; goal achieving and consistent optimizations of your approach will. This is where reflection comes in handy.

Reflection has the power to boost your productivity and efficiency.

A study that came out of the Harvard Business school found a 23% increase in productivity from employees that spent 15 minutes at the end of the workday to journal. Harvard Business school also found that people were significantly happier if they spent time to reflect and plan their day during their commute to work.

Reflection can have a dramatic effect on the efficiency and the goal achievement of you and your colleagues. There are a couple things to keep in mind to make sure that you are getting the most out of your reflection.

  1. What is my goal?

Before you start, you have to know what to reflect on. Are you trying to figure something out, plan your day, or address your performance? If you have a goal you have been working toward, you should clarify that as well.

  1. Ask questions.

Good answers come from good questions, so ask the right ones. Questions are the guiding point of your reflections. They help you pick out information from your life that you would normally brush over.

I end every day with two questions regarding my daily goals.

  • What did I do well? – This helps me identify what I should keep on doing tomorrow.
  • What can I do better? – This helps me identify what I can improve and potential opportunities.
  1. Say what is true, not what you would like to be true.

It’s nice to say that I will get up tomorrow at 5 am to go to the gym before I start my day. But, when tomorrow comes, and I don’t actually get up for the gym, there wasn’t really any point to the reflection. I shouldn’t tell myself I’m going to stop procrastinating if I know that I’m not actually going to. It’s much better to address the most likely scenarios and adjust from there.

  1. Write it down to gain clarity.

Your thoughts are a mess. Every time you think of one thing, you forget the previous thing. That is why you need to write it down. Now, you have the freedom to let your mind take you anywhere. You know that everything you think can be looked back at because you have it all documented.

  1. What is my action step?

The most important part of reflection is the takeaway. What now? What did you learn? If you didn’t learn anything from the reflection, either you are perfect, and I want to get some pointers from you, or you didn’t do the reflection correctly. Ask yourself…

  • What can I do tomorrow?
  • What can I do right now?

Reflection has so much power. Make sure to set aside time to reflect on your past day, current projects, and future goals. Now, when you set S.M.A.R.T. goals, you know you can’t just say them and be done. You need constant improvement on your approach to get there.

If your whole team does this, your overall productivity will skyrocket. Everyone will be improving. You can even have reflection sessions with each other and help one another brainstorm. Each one of you can hold each other accountable for reflecting and taking that action step. Maximize your reflection and maximize your team.

 

Elon Kline
elon@swiftkickhq.com