Our ‘Top Skill of the Month’ is a monthly insight into a key skill that will help you with your personal and business development. This month we focus on an often neglected yet pivotal attribute:
In our turbo-charged working environments, the sad indictment is that we don’t often have much time to do anything other than keeping up with the relentless barrage of meetings, deadlines and emails. To the extent that many workers seemingly can’t even take a full lunch break.
But as we spoke about in our article about multitasking, often we want to do too much and end up not managing our time as efficiently as we could. By repeating this cycle, you are restricting your self-development opportunities and limiting your work effectiveness.
Here is my quick and simple 4 step plan you can follow to help you reflect and spur on self-development:
STEP 1: Schedule time out
Saying that you don’t have time for self-reflection isn’t going to cut it. The only way the review will happen is if it has dedicated space in your calendar. Personally, I commit Friday afternoon to this activity, but maybe Sunday evening is a slower time to review your work.
Let’s do it right now. Stop what you are doing, open your calendar and assign an hour for reflection.
STEP 2: Plan your reflection
Design a simple process that will guide your reflection. The process will stop you from feeling daunted by a blank page or your never-ending task list. Plus it will guarantee a deep reflection with actionable action points. I like to use free apps like Evernote and Freedcamp to guide my process and keep all my notes and lists in one place.
I start by reviewing the wins and losses of my week. Then I consider the consequences of these and why certain tasks/activities didn’t take place. It could be anything from a lack of time, knowledge, or equipment. By reflecting on the reason, you then give yourself actionable points for step 3.
STEP 3: Self-development
Make action points, and self-development plans to address the shortfalls that impacted your week. Perhaps you need to create a list of study materials or books to read or speak to your manager about training and development. Make sure these actionable points are written down and assigned deadline. To keep on top of it add this list to your reflection process (Step 2) each week.
STEP 4: Celebrate
Most importantly do not forget to celebrate the successes of your week. Reflecting on the positives will boost your motivation and power you to keep going.
Self-reflection is an important skill that needs to be developed over time. It is only by becoming more self-aware of your strengths and weaknesses that you can truly make major strides in self-development.
Liked this blog? Check out our other Skill of Month articles: