In my workshops, I speak about reflection as a self-care tool, because it’s nice to invite the quiet in, calm the mind, and reflect about your life. Reflection is an important tool that often gets neglected. Without reflection, how would you know if you are heading in the right direction or if you really do like your job? There’s no one else to tell you the answer except you, but that inner voice gets silenced more often than necessary.

Nonstop calls and emails before and after work, busy days connected to the computer or spent with clients can produce employees who might be burnt out or heading there soon. When we have little down time, our minds don’t shut down or relax or simply reflect. And then we wonder why we end up where we do, as if we have been moving so fast our decisions were unconscious rather than carefully thought out with as much insight as possible.

Ponder this thought for just a moment: How do you even know about joy or satisfaction at work if you have little actual time to think about it?

Today, I challenge you to find the quiet time for reflection. For some of us, it might mean getting up ten minutes early to have coffee alone and think. It might mean you leave the iPod behind when you hike so you can have time to mentally process your life.

Find the time and then ask yourself:

·     Where would I like to be in one, two, or even five years? Here at this job?

·     What are my career goals?

·     Am I moving in that direction?

·     What brings me joy at work?

Reflection is about calming your mind so answers can come to you, if that is what you are looking for. Even though answers may not come to you during that quiet time, the pause for reflection just might get your mind thinking in a way that helps you to arrive at an idea or decision.

Julie McGrath offers workshops on job stress and burnout, dealing with difficult people and setting boundaries so employees feel passionate about the work they do and employees see increased productivities and bottom lines.