Just like starting a diet, breaking change into small pieces can make starting a possibility and worrying about failure less. I know I need to slow down. This is what I am going to try. I wrote the questions out and will paste them on my monitor and think about this.
The Best Way to Use the Last Five Minutes of Your Day
There's a simple reason for it: we rarely take the time to pause, breathe, and think about what's working and what's not. There's just too much to do and no time to reflect.
I was once asked: if an organization could teach only one thing to its employees, what single thing would have the most impact? My answer was immediate and clear: teach people how to learn. How to look at their past behavior, figure out what worked, and repeat it while admitting honestly what didn't and change it.
Every day, before leaving the office, save a few minutes to think about what just happened. Look at your calendar and compare what actually happened — the meetings you attended, the work you got done, the conversations you had, the people with whom you interacted, even the breaks you took — with your plan for what you wanted to have happen. Then ask yourself three sets of questions:
- What did I learn today? About myself? About others? What do I plan to do — differently or the same — tomorrow?
- How did the day go? What success did I experience? What challenges did I endure?
- Who did I interact with? Anyone I need to update? Thank? Ask a question? Share feedback?
This last set of questions is invaluable in terms of maintaining and growing relationships. It takes just a few short minutes to shoot off an email — or three — to share your appreciation for a kindness someone extended, to ask someone a question, or to keep someone in the loop on a project.
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If we don't pause to think about it, we are apt to overlook these kinds of communications. And we often do. But in a world where we depend on others to achieve anything in life, they are essential.