How often do you reflect upon what went well in a given day?

Today is March 3 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you reflect upon what went well in a given day?" Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino and her colleagues asked workers to spend 15 minutes at the end of their workdays writing about what went well that day, and they found that the journaling employees had 22.8% higher performance than those who didn't ponder on their workday.

As the researchers indicated, “taking time away from training and reallocating that time to deliberate learning efforts improved individual performance.” It's worth noting that study participants didn't simply think about what went well, but wrote their responses down. "It's very easy to deceive yourself if you're just thinking about it," Gino notes, "but when you write things down on paper, it's easier to identify what's helpful."

This technique resembles what Benjamin Franklin used years ago when he began and ended each day with a question: "What good shall I do this day?" in the morning, and "What good have I done this day?" in the evening. At the end of the day how often do you reflect upon what good you did that day or what went right that day? Spending the 15 minutes to reflect can afford you an opportunity to emphasize something positive or good. Doing so sets the stage for the next day.

As 18th century French philosopher Denis Diderot noted “There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge available to us: observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination. Our observation of nature must be diligent, our reflection profound, and our experiments exact. We rarely see these three means combined; and for this reason, creative geniuses are not common.”