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15 minutes a day to increased performance

Decision Making

Who wouldn’t enjoy a quick and easy way of increasing their performance? Well, according to a new paper from the Harvard Business School, this can be accomplished by setting aside a mere 15 minutes at the end of the workday.

In a series of experiments, a group of researchers discovered that reflection leads to better performance. In fact, employees who reflected on their work days reported almost 23% higher performance than those who did not.

As explained by researcher, Dr. Francesca Gino:

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When people have the opportunity to reflect, they experience a boost in self-efficacy. They feel more confident that they can achieve things. As a result, they put more effort into what they’re doing and what they learn.


While it may seem counterintuitive that working less could actually lead to greater performance, the effect is indeed real.

To begin putting this into practice, be sure to make an appointment with yourself at the end of every workday to reflect on the day’s successes and failures. This can be done by asking yourself the following four questions:

  • • What happened?
  • • What was expected to happen?
  • • What went well and why?
  • • What can be improved and how?

After reflecting, take the extra step and write it down. This will codify your new knowledge. Afterwards, try to consciously incorporate those lessons into the next workday.

For more information, please see the original research article.