A few weeks ago, while trekking through an airport during a holiday trip, I spotted a special edition of the Harvard Business Review on a newsstand. The theme of the issue, “How to Learn Faster and Better,” caught my eye. I bought the magazine.
As impulse purchases go, this turned out to be a good one.
I found an article titled “How to Move from Self-Awareness to Self-Improvement” particularly compelling.
“It’s natural to behave in ways that feel good and familiar-to not self-manage-and yet, if we did this all the time, we’d never get better at anything… Effective leaders move beyond self-awareness to self-management” writes Jennifer Porter.
She suggests this four-step process that can help us resist our preferences and habits be more productive:
1. Be present
We hear this one a lot. But we all can do a better job of living in the moment. Why fixate on what happened minutes, hours, days, or even decades ago? What’s the point? The same goes for worrying about what has yet to happen. Be here now.
2. Be self-aware
Being in the moment opens the door to greater self-awareness. Pay close attention to what are you seeing, hearing, feeling, doing, saying, and considering.
3. Identify a range of behavioral choices
What do you want to do next? What are the possible consequences of each action? What feedback have you gotten that might inform your choices? What are some alternative choices you can make — even if they’re not what you want to do or what you usually do?
4. Intentionally choose behaviors you believe will be the most productive
Be aware that the behavior that comes easiest to you may not be the one that generates the best outcome.
I’ve resolved to use this template to be more productive this year. Maybe it could work for you, too.
Have a great year!