How much time do you spend reflecting?
Time to reflect isn’t just a nice-to-do activity; it’s been proven to improve performance, productivity, wellbeing and happiness and even reduce burnout.
In fact, according to a study by professors Giada Di Stefano, Francesca Gino and Gary Pisano, employees who spent just 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting performed 23% better after 10 days than those who did not.
That’s why throughout your STAR® Manager programme we ask you to spend some time reflecting after each module. We’re not just giving you extra homework – the reflective exercises are designed to lead you to valuable insights and breakthroughs.
Remember, reflection isn’t the same as worrying about something or replaying things over and over in your head – that’s something quite different altogether.
Reflection, rather than being stuck in the past, enables us to learn from our experiences in order to understand them so that we can better inform what and how and why we do things in the future.
So start practising reflection every day: find a regular time that works best for you. It might be during your journey into work, ten minutes before you leave, at the end of your day, when you take a break or a few minutes before every meeting so you can simply take stock.
Worst Comes First on your To-Do List
Is there always ‘one thing’ on your to-do list that just never gets done? Unfortunately, the longer that pesky task stays on your list the less productive you’ll feel – no matter how many easier or more enjoyable tasks you have managed to scratch off.
So, whether you’re avoiding making a difficult phone call or having a meeting with someone who rubs you the wrong way try facing your to-do list head-on. Get the worst job out of the way first and take the weight off your shoulders.
We also have a tendency to put off things that are good for us in favour of more short term seemingly urgent tasks which don’t have the same long term benefits. This can stop us from growing and developing and taking advantage of new opportunities.
For example, you may be putting your operational tasks ahead of your STAR® Manager programme, yet, by investing just a little bit of time on your personal development you could get your tasks done much more effectively and with better results. That’s what your workplace Missions are there for after all.
So, just think for a moment about how much headspace those tasks you’re avoiding are taking up and consider how your opportunities, enjoyment and feelings of accomplishment could increase if you take action straight away. When you get your priorities straight, you may be surprised at how much easier your day becomes.
Start Your Conversations with a Question
We often think we are more prepared for conversations than we actually are. Even if we have a pretty good idea of what we want to say and how things will work out we can never really predict the outcome because we don’t know what someone else thinks.
If we don’t address this, it can lead to one-sided dialogue, disengagement, misunderstandings, difficult conversations and outright conflict.
An effective way for you to have a more positive ‘informed’ conversation is to start with a question. When you start your conversations with a question you indicate to the other person that you are interested in their perspective, opinions and ideas. A powerful question followed by effective listening can completely transform your relationships and can result in much higher levels of engagement, creativity and innovation.
Your STAR® Manager programme will help you to instil powerful questions into your daily habits, so here’s a question for you…what’s stopping you from logging in right now?
Little and Often
What’s the best way to eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Or so the joke goes. If you are put off by the size of the task ahead you may be tempted to procrastinate over it. But, with every day of inaction, the size of the task increases both tangibly and psychologically until you feel quite overwhelmed by the prospect of ever starting.
Breaking a task into bite-sized chunks will make your task seem much more achievable. You may make slow progress, to begin with, but you’ll soon build the momentum you need to get you over the finishing line.
Fortunately, we have structured the STAR® Manager programme so that you can complete it in small doses when it best fits into your schedule. Doing as little as 10 minutes a day can go a long way and your ‘little and often’ commitment will garner results in no time at all. Perhaps working through your STAR® Manager programme little and often could be one of the daily habits that will rocket your success.
Celebrate Your Successes
When someone says congratulations for a job well done, how does that make you feel? Pretty good, right? So what’s stopping you from giving yourself a pat on the back? You don’t have to wait until the end of a long and arduous project before you recognise what you have achieved. You can recognise all of the little successes along the way and celebrate them too.
However small the win, let it motivate you and galvanise you into taking future action. It will help you to enjoy the journey so much more. As you move through your STAR® Manager programme, there will be lots of chances to record your successes and receive some virtual rewards.
Still unsure about how to make this a daily habit? Well if you take a bit of time every day to reflect on what you have achieved…oh look we’re back to where we started!