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  • Writer's pictureSusan & Renée

How 10 Minutes Can Change Your Life

When we hit the weekend, most of us want to decompress and forget about what went on during the week. Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, authors of Designing Your Work Life suggest taking 10 minutes at the end of your work week for a brief reflection. Setting aside this short snippet of time will help you feel renewed and may provide insights that will be helpful as you plunge back into work the following week.

They call it the 7th Day Reflection.

It’s more than just casually thinking about what happened. It’s a process that can lead to long term life and work satisfaction.

It starts with setting aside 10 minutes in your day and finding a quiet, comfortable place to ponder.

Then you begin a Savoring Reflection. Think about the experiences of your week and re-engage in the experiences that come to mind. This re-engagement leads to deepening the experience, securing it in your memory and expanding your understanding of why the experience was valuable. You can document the process in a journal, which can lead to even more understanding. This process is not just for what happened at work. It can be used with any type of endeavor be it social, educational, athletic or work related.

This short, simple exercise can lead to an Insight Reflection. Insights are more of an ongoing conversation with yourself leading to understanding about what gives an experience importance.

It may begin with asking yourself:

Why does this experience pop into my brain? Why does this experience matter?

The authors give this example:

One of the authors was away at a conference. While he was gone, he sent his wife flowers. When he got home he was met with a huge hug and kiss and expressions of how much the flowers meant to her.

While he was doing his 7th Day Reflection this interaction stood out to him. He savored how it made him feel, making the experience so much sweeter. He was reminded of all of the reasons he loved his wife.

This led to an Insight Reflection: In the hustle and bustle of all the big and exciting things that had happened since he wrote this book, he had lost track of the little things.

His take away from his Insight Reflection was:

“The emotional value of things is not proportional to their size. Simply put - never forget the little things!”

While this was a personal reflection, it could have just as easily been a reflection about something that had happened at work.

Reflection is a practice that will grow and change over time. Give the reflection exercise a try for a couple of weeks and then take a moment to reflect on the practice itself to see how it is working for you.

10 minutes to increase your life and work satisfaction? Sounds like it is worth your time.

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