IMG_9612Do you get sometimes get goal focused to the point of missing something?

I do quite often. But when I very occasionally bite somebody’s head off because of it, it requires a good dose of humble pie.

Last week was a brilliant week. But in amongst it all, many little, unrelated things came to roost on the same day, despite hindsight.  And under pressure and being goal focused, I misjudged something and snapped out unfairly.

I apologised of course, but that doesn’t make it ok. Humble pie is called for.

By coincidence, that day was the day I started a “learning diary”. I bought a nice little Moleskine from a stationery shop and started to make daily notes. Not like my day book, which records what’s happening as it happens, or what to do. This new book is to cause me to take time out after the working day, to reflect on what happened that day.

It’s an experiment in thinking differently.

Normally I observe, process and store in real time. I reflect later. Usually when doing unrelated things such as running, driving, playing guitar. And a good deal when in conversation with my wife and friends or when writing ( like this ).

Everybody is unique and thinks differently. People process information in different ways and in different timescales. Some people spot patterns across time and space, some do not. I connect and think quickly so as a result my reflections come quickly.

This will be an experiment in adding another way of thinking and seeing what comes slowly.

What’s the connection?

Well, spotting the need for humble pie, that wasn’t a new discovery from using a diary. In 5 minute sessions at the end of 3 days there were two main discoveries:

a)  observing just how many things added up during each day that I could choose to do better and

b)  the  time and notes helped prioritise what to work on in the pursuit of results (in the broadest sense, be they personal, interpersonal or project ).

The connection was I decided to prioritise the humble pie, rather than leave it in the busy queue. Useful. It put a decision on the table and made it more important.

Evidence is for the power of learning diaries or journals is mixed. For example this case says the correlation between academic learning and journals is “limited”. A bit of googling shows lots of opinions for why it’s useful to reflect. The hypothesis for using reflective practice is that experience alone does not necessarily lead to learning; deliberate reflection on experience is essential. This wikipedia piece tells you more if you are interested. This other piece purports to rate how well different methods works in education.

You can make your own mind up.