430: Reflection

Do you set time aside for reflection?

Full episode script

Reflection – under just about any name that you call it – can be a powerful practice. Meditation, processing, reflection, or even just set aside thinking time – gives you a chance to collate all of the input of active minds. Beyond the general benefits, research tells us that just taking a few minutes can have some very significant impacts.

A paper published in 2016 entitled Making Experience Count: The Role of Reflection in Individual Learning, found that call center employees who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting about lessons learned performed 23% better after 10 days than those who did not reflect.

Quoting directly from the paper’s abstract:

“We argue that once an individual has accumulated a certain amount of experience with a task, the benefit of accumulating additional experience is inferior to the benefit of deliberately articulating and codifying experience.”

A 2016 Harvard Business School working paper that studied commuters in the United Kingdom found that those who were prompted to use their commute to think about and plan for their day were happier, more productive, and less burned out than people who didn’t.

A 2013 comprehensive meta-analysis of over 600 papers on transcendental meditation found that meditation had impacts far more effective than most alternative forms of treatment, and showed marked stress-relief impacts, with the most stressed individuals showing the most benefits.

In other words — giving yourself a mental break, a chance to process, is most likely beneficial.

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.