Start Reflecting. It's Good for You.
As solo-preneurs and business owners, we’re constantly sprinting. Whether we’re trying to beat a deadline, support our team, or take care of our daily tasks, it can be incredibly difficult to stop and take a moment to reflect on the day’s events. Even though we live in a fast paced world where eating lunch at your desk and working longer hours has become the norm, studies show that breaks and time away from one’s computer is absolutely necessary for maintaining energy and productivity levels, especially if it involves reflection.
The Design Sprint.
Back to sprinting. Google Ventures created the “Design Sprint” which is a 5-day business strategy model used to test out hypotheses before committing to production. The model is extremely effective as it requires teams to collaborate on building out a prototype, gather data, problem solve, and then reconvene to discuss outcomes. Many companies use the sprint to accomplish large scale projects as they are essentially doing their homework in full before setting out to launch a product or program, and are less likely to run into roadblocks due to lack of resources or information.
Whether or not you incorporate GV’s sprint model into your own business processes, we’d like to highlight one of the key pieces of the strategy: reflection. A true design sprint isn’t complete without reflection and evaluation of the data gathered – the whole point of the sprint is to take a good hard look at the results and based on whether or not they meet expectations, learn from them and move on to the next reiteration.
Reflection is a pillar of growth.
Business owners are more likely to label reflection as not being a priority, but must accept that it’s one of the best things you can do for your growth as a leader. Reflection allows us to take a small chunk of time to pause, sort through conversations and new ideas, and create meaning out of all of the things that happen in a day. Reflection time is easy to brush aside but is a pillar of learning as it helps leaders form better judgments and stronger decision making abilities. When you work at a fast pace and don’t pay attention to the peaks and valleys in your performance, you’re letting opportunities for development slip through the cracks.
At the end of your work day, try asking yourself the following question: “What could you have done better today, and why?” This classic reflection prompt will allow you to assess crucial moments in your day, and how you can tweak your performance to improve moving forward. It also forces you to turn inwards for a moment to really get to the root of why you do the things you do, and why you react the way you do in certain situations. By slowing down and taking time to reflect, you’re giving yourself time to relax and gain clarity. All in all, reflection is a healthy exercise that forces you to scan your experiences and assign meaning to them so you can get a better grasp of where you are and where you want to go.
Learn from your experiences.
There’s a famous quote by John Dewey that goes as follows: “We don’t learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” When we’re constantly on the go and operating at lightning speed, the majority of our experiences end up blending together. With Dewey’s quote in mind, remember to always stay active with your reflections so you’re growing instead staying stagnant. Learn through your failures and achievements so you can come out on top!
We built Paras to help business owners manage their projects, teams, and time better. Paras has a deep feature set that also allows you to reflect on your progress, in addition to your team’s progress so you can work together to achieve more. Try Paras today!