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You're Reflecting Too Much

You read this all the time – Reflect on your day. Make notes. Jot down how things went and what you can improve on next.

I get it, it’s helpful. But doing this way too much has a few risks.

You reflect every day, on literally every interaction – that’s overthinking. It is also counterproductive. You overanalyze everything and look for insightful things from casual random interactions. Every small altercation gets to you because it’s one more moment of reflection where you think you could’ve responded & reacted differently. Every disagreement or even a healthy argument registers as a ‘moment to learn from’. This is exhausting. This need to constantly reflect on the tiniest bits turn you inwards and you forget to just be present. You’re constantly in your head, looking for something insightful to take out from every interaction.

You need to smooth out the daily / weekly spikes, and take a measured approach at ‘reflecting’. Reflections should be done in batches at longer intervals. Pick a 3-month window. Every 3 months, look back and make notes. Jot down the learnings. Ask for feedback and jot that down too.

The best learnings at work (and also in life) don’t reveal themselves in small bits every day – they do so as repeated patterns observed over months & years. It’s a lot like interval training: You sprint and when you’re sprinting, you only focus on the best sprint you can make. And then you rest and recuperate. You reflect. And then you sprint again.

Be present over days, weeks and months. Keep doing the work. Be your spontaneous best and stop obsessing about wanting to end every day with a spotless journal entry.

There will be time to reflect. But that’s not every day, and certainly not today.

Don’t mess up your run for the reflection.