Your schedule is a key tool for optimizing your productivity.
And when you schedule the time to reflect you are NOT being unproductive. In fact, you're giving yourself a gift.
We all have the same 24-hours every single day of our lives... and what we do with those hours defines who we are, as well as going a long way to determining the quality of our lives. Your productivity always boils down to your time choices, and you make better choices when you reflect on them.
Two Time Tips
So, if you'd like to make your wisest time choices, then my #1 time tip is to invest time up front by adding reflection time to your schedule.
My #2 time tip is to not be judgmental as you reflect. If you're looking at your choices with a critical eye, you won't get the full range of information about what you choose and why. In fact, if you approach this self-critically, you simply won't want to do it.
Sample Questions for You
So when you pause to reflect, consider asking yourself questions like the following:
- What are the goals I am making progress on?
- What do I want to enlarge on or follow up on?
- What relationships need tending?
- What are the accomplishments I'd like to celebrate?
Make this work for you. Rather than treating them as one more activity to squeeze into a busy day, try envisioning them as large and comfortable spaces that have room to warmly hold all aspects of your life. Even after just a few moments of this kind of reflection, you return to your day refreshed, with energies realigned.
Scheduling Your Reflection Time
It's entirely up to you when you schedule these gifts to yourself. The most important thing to keep in mind is that this is your opportunity to decide for yourself how to make your life work better for you.
How often you schedule points of reflection may depend on your level of satisfaction with your life. Times of transition or of stress may require more frequent re-tuning, as you work with time challenges or familiarize yourself with a new landscape.
The time you set aside doesn't have to be long, especially at the start. As you grow into the habit, you'll find it so refreshing and helpful, that you may need to limit your reflection time.
Some more thoughts...
Prepare your environment so that it is especially conducive for relaxing and looking within. Have touchstones nearby that inspire you, and a notepad for recording fresh ideas.
Don't fall into the trap of rationalizing that you don't have time to do this. Remember that your time is precious, unrepeatable, and finite. So the best way to refine your time choices is by building regular "reflection points" into the rhythm of your life. There is no greater gift you can give yourself than living in a way that is congruent with your deepest values.