It’s easy to be on autopilot when it comes to life.
Taking action is not enough. You need to remain conscious of how well you are doing to improve. We might get too comfortable in our life when we’re continually taking action and slip into complacency. We get stuck into autopilot without realising that the autopilot system is leading us in another direction.
The solution to prevent this autopilot is simple: Have a system for reflection and review.
Here are four types of reflection that I do regularly:
- Daily Review. I do this at the end of each day, and I reflect on my day. I start by assessing the things I did well, which involves checking off done tasks and crossing my habit tracker. Then, I clean up my work, so I’m ready to work tomorrow. This will include closing tabs and cleaning my inbox. Lastly, I take a look at tomorrow’s calendar and pick my three most important tasks.
- Weekly Review. I use Plus Minus Journaling for my weekly review. It’s a simple journaling method coined by Anne-Laure Le Cunff, and it’s quick and easy to do. Simply divide a piece of paper into three columns, and at the top of each column, write “+” for what worked, “-” for what didn’t go so well, and “->” for what you plan to do next. Simply fill up each column, but don’t overthink it. This is the time for you to celebrate your victories, reflect on your mistakes, and plan your next steps.
- Annual Review. Every December, I reflect on the previous year. I ask myself three questions to reflect on my year: What went well this year? What didn’t go so well this year? What did I learn? Here's my Annual Review for 2020.
- Integrity Report. When June comes, I take the time to reflect on my annual goals. We’re human, and we’re bound to go off track when we make plans for ourselves. An Integrity Report is a chance for me to revisit my core values and see if I’m living according to my values. I also use it to reflect on my current identity and what changes I can make to craft the identity I want.
I ask myself three questions regarding Integrity Reports: What are the core values that drive my life and work? How am I living and working with integrity right now? How can I set a higher standard in the future?
These reflections don’t take much time, but it’s essential for constant improvement. They tell me what to double down on, where to fix my mistakes, and where I should go next.