I have a question for you: When was the last time you looked back at what already happened today instead of looking forward to tomorrow?
Most of us tend to look ahead because that’s the direction we’re moving. But the problem is that if you only look ahead, and don’t take the time to reflect on what led you to this point, then you could wind up going down the wrong path. When that happens, you have to spend time figuring out how you got there, and then try to forge a new path to get to where you want to go, and more.
All of these things that you are forced to do when you head in the wrong direction can be largely avoided if you take time to reflect.
While taking time to reflect doesn’t seem simple, it really is. You just need to make time for it. Find a time every day to do it. Ideally, you should be doing it later in the day (as late as you can before you are too tired to do it well).
Think of each day as a mini-lifetime. Early in the day you’re still brand new to the world. By the end of the day, you’re older and wiser. You can better assess what went well (and what didn’t) so that you can best inform your ancestors – your future selves – what they can do to stay on course.
The best way to do this type of daily reflection is by journaling.
If you like to write by hand, get a meaningful notebook to write in. If you’re more of a digital person (or are too tired to handwrite later in the day), then use an app like Day One, Journey, or even Evernote to chronicle your thoughts and feelings on the day.
If you need help fostering this journaling habit, Take The Productivityist Small Wins Journaling Challenge. It’s worked for plenty of Productivityist readers…and it’s free. If you put the time and effort in, it’ll work for you too. Click here to take the challenge.
Reflection is critical to your personal productivity. If you don’t take (and make) time to figure how you got to where you are, then you are going to waste valuable time trying to get to what you need and want to be doing.