Last week I wrote about how becoming unplugged lead to such an increase in productivity. This week I would like to suggest that you need to also take time to reflect and review. I used to do this on Friday afternoon or defer it until Sunday morning on the busiest weeks. I now have mini-reviews at the end of each day. Each week I set out a group of action items for the week with specific outcomes for each item. The problem is for a long time I did not go back and examine the results.
When I started taking a look at what I accomplished it helped me evaluate what I was doing. In some cases it was simple; I scheduled too much for the time available. All I had to do was set more realistic time frames or prioritize my work better. This improved results. The second thing that came out of the reviews was that I could find patterns to the things I was procrastinating on and develop an action plan to address the reasons for this. This again brought about improved results and less stress. The huge benefit for me was psychological. While I was getting a handle on what needed more attention it also occurred to me that I was getting a lot more completed than I thought I was. It was kind of a mini celebration of what I was doing this right. This dramatically improves our enthusiasm if instead of always working towards a new goal that we take time to appreciate what we have achieved.
During this reflection ask yourself what you really want. Then ask yourself what you need to focus on to get that. When you determine what it is you need to focus on then you can determine the three most important steps you need to take next. You can also see what needs to be improved to move forward. Do these reflections before you check the email so that you are not distracted. Five minutes spent in reflection each day will improve your results and allow you to take control of your life.