The greatest gift that returning to school to become a PhD has given me is the obligation and therefore license to reflect. One classmate described it so beautifully as she fought for her moment in the bathtub. “I’m working” she cried as her husband questioned her actions. Yes, those moments of reflection are equally and often more precious in terms of time well spent. Opening up our eyes to the world around us, the people around us and to ourselves. In slowing down long enough to reflect, I have improved my productivity and results.
I look at my clients that have to-do-lists a mile long, full of important things, schedules packed with meetings, balancing on a thread and missing their treasured moments that pass unnoticed or un-recognized. I to do this, but am given a moment to pause and think about where I create value and what creates value for those around me before I leap. I take a moment to reflect, and am thereby giving myself a chance to make better decisions about how to use my time.
Break it down to efficiency: my cost per hour, versus the cost to hire someone to do it (ie. fixing computer issues, bookkeeping, doing laundry, cleaning the house). Others need work too, they can get it done faster and cheaper when I put these things into equations. By the way, my weekends are worth much more than my office days as there can be no price put on quality time with my family and friends.
So I reflect and I even dream a bit about innovative and crazy ideas that would make life, mine and the world, better. What is my role in this and how do I make it happen. I imagine this is what Trine Grönlund means in her GoSlow Family movement. Being crazy may not be required, but a little out of ordinary thinking might help. I guess we could ask Simon Kyaga who looks at whether creativity comes from madness or is socially derived. But I do think my best ideas come from reflection (often in the bathtub, in the car or in nature). Perhaps this goes back to my Emersonian roots. Either way, I am sure that there is a great deal of value to reflection, rather than reaction.