Jun 02, 2021 | by Budi Tanrim
Reflect: Learning through experience
“Budi, how do you reflect? Do you have any format?” Asked one of my Instagram followers.
It’s a shame if we don’t identify what we’ve learned or opportunity to improve.
I do it every day—every 5 pm. It’s when my memory of the day still fresh and it’s easier to recall what went well and what I would love to improve. I don’t have format per se. But, here’s how the ritual looks in general:
One: Pulse check
I will always start my reflection with this simple question: How do I feel today? The answer to this question will lead to the rest of the reflection.
I’ll put my pen down onto the notebook. Describing how I feel.
If I feel great today, I will elaborate and, most importantly, understand why—it improves my ability to know how I can reproduce this small success in the future. Vice versa, if I feel “gross” today. I want to understand what went wrong and why—to prevent me from repeating the same mistakes.
This will be my first short section. I reflect on what happens on that day and appreciate all the small details.
Two: Working on my long-term goal
One thing I notice about myself is that I had an ego problem back then. I work hard to get better at it. You can use your reflection to work on a few things you want to get better at in a long-term manner.
There was a time when I always reinforce my opinion when someone came up with a different opinion. It was terrible. Instead of finding the best perspective to move forward, I want to win the argument.
My tip is to write down your reflection as if you’re a 3rd person. For example, I’ll write down: “Today, Budi talked with Maria. Budi wasn’t necessarily respectful during the discussion…”
It’s weird. But based on science—it’s known as self-distancing. You detach yourself, and this can lower down your ego. It helps me to be more objective and see my weak spot.
Three: Outstanding questions
There are times where we don’t know what we don’t know. In this condition, I will write down questions. For example: “How can I evolve the design system without any people dedicated to it?” This is the most exciting part because I know I will uncover new learning.
All in all, my reflection is simple—and you must keep your simple too.
- I pick a certain time for this ritual
- I use a simple tool
- I start with a simple question
- I write it with a 3rd person view
- Sometimes, I write questions
- I do this with one intention: to get better
How is your approach?