Wednesday, September 17, 2008

5 Minute Daily Review.

Pencils and Moleskins 04 by Paul Worthington

Ever feel like the days rush by so fast you don’t have a chance to slow down enough to enjoy them? At the end of the day do you feel like you’ve missed something important, some genius idea or perfect solution to a problem that you couldn’t take the time to investigate?

Start your own 5 minute daily review. At the end of the day as you lay in bed, relaxing your body for sleep, think of the high and low points of your day. What did you love about today? What made you feel great? What would you change or improve if you could do it again?

Your daily review is best done in silence, in a darkened room with few distractions. No one demanding your attention, nothing that needs to be done for those few minutes. When you remember situations that make you feel uncomfortable or ashamed, replay those incidents in your mind, but with the changes you would have made if you could go back.

It would also be a good idea to keep a notebook and pen by your bed. When you get a brilliant idea on how to make amends for a mistake, or a new strategy for dealing with a problem, you can jot them down for action.

Don’t feel tied to doing your review at a certain time or only once a day. Experiment and play with it. Perhaps you would do better taking 10 minutes after work, but before dinner, reviewing the majority of your day while it’s still fresh in your mind. Maybe you want to do two sessions – one in the morning to see what stands out from the day before, and one at night, and comparing the results of both.

Here are a few tips to get the most from your daily review:
  • Find a spot where you feel comfortably relaxed and unhurried.
  • Set a timer and stay with your review for the fully allotted time.
  • Keep paper and a pen nearby to write down your insights.
  • Close your eyes and take a 5-10 deep breaths, imagining your muscles unwinding and stress flowing away like water down a drain.
  • Be sure to end your session with a positive memory (even if it’s one you have changed to improve it.)

Above all, stay loose. This shouldn’t be a chore. With a positive attitude and a little flexibility this little exercise can give you creative solutions to problems you thought unsolvable, give you awareness of things you want to change, and best of all it can be a wonderful video replay of the happiest moments from your day.

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