In the neverending pursuit to breathe new life and energy in to our professional lives, I’ve stumbled across yet another idea to boost creativity and productivity.
If you haven’t yet read my previous blog post, In Need of a Creative Boost?, please do! In that post, I outline a few ways to rejuvenate after a long winter. Things like rearranging your work space and joining a LinkedIn Group are small steps that can inject discovery and the new perspective that you’ve been waiting for in to your workday.
One way that we are constantly stretching our professional muscles at Intero is through writing. We create our own content via the very blog you are reading right now, we create LinkedIn profiles and company pages for our clients (including writing summaries) and we craft all of our own business communication in a way that the recipient can connect with.
Writing is a powerful business skill that can set you apart from the crowd. Writing can help to:
- Make your thoughts and experiences more concrete
- Expand your vocabulary and develop ideas and concepts about your business
- And, if you’re posting and sharing your own content through social media, writing can allow you the opportunity to connect with other professionals, as Colleen recently explained here.
So, what if there was a simple, free-form writing exercise that you could do at the end of your workday that would help you to be more productive and more successful at work? Harvard Business School has recently published their initial findings on one such exercise, proposing that “purposeful reflection on one’s accumulated experience leads to greater learning than the accumulation of additional experience.”
This purposeful reflection is achieved by using the last 15 minutes of each workday to write about the professional experiences you had that day. You can read an overview of the study in Fastcompany.com’s, Why You Should Keep a Journal at Work.
If you’re interested in giving it a try, but might need some ideas on how to get started, try considering these 5 questions:
- What went well today and why?
- What did I learn today?
- What are the current tasks and roadblocks that I feel stumped by?
- What resources am I keeping in my toolbox? Do I need to explore or implement additional resources in order to be better at my job?
- What praise or recognition did I receive today?
And then just write! Write for 15 minutes before you pack up your things and shut down for the day. If you take public transportation to and from work, that’s a bonus — You can write while you ride!
Try it for a few weeks, then measure your results. Are you more focused? Have you made significant observations about your company, your work or who you are as a professional? If so, keep going! Let us know how things are progressing in the Comments section below.