Skip to main content

You don't get experience without pausing for reflection

One my favorite professional-ish quotes (source is hazy) is
"There's a huge difference between 20 years experience and 1 years experience 20 times."
I interpret that as a few different things: the need to constantly grow, to learn new things, develop professionally etc. etc. - but for the past couple of weeks, in brief pauses while being on vacation, I've been thinking about when and how that actually happens.

We're in execution mode most of the time. We're doing things either for work or in our personal lives and we often measure how well we're doing by the sheer number of things we do. We are programmed to favor things that seem urgent over things that are important.

Learning, however, is most effective in the pauses - i.e. not when you're doing but when you have a chance to step back and review what you actually did. If we're not regularly reviewing we're not likely to improve, and even more importantly less likely to learn from our experience.

I'm trying a couple of things over the next weeks to help me formalize finding time for this a bit more during work and in life. Let's see how it goes. :-)

Comments

Gayatri said…
I will be interested in finding out the outcome of your experiment
Thanks for reading. :)
I'll try to blog about how it goes.

Popular posts from this blog

Yup - humans still lack humanity

Every once in a while, I'm reminded that humans can be completely lacking in humanity.

My wife had the following experience yesterday on her ride back home. She got on the train and found a seat. The train was unusually crowded and it looked a lot of people had to stand for a long ride. An elderly Asian gentleman carrying a few things in both hands, was looking for spot, started to complain smilingly about the train being so full and stood in the aisle at the back of the carriage some seats away from her.

She expected someone closer to gentleman in the aisle (lots of younger people on the train) to give him their seat.

No one did.

The train started, and it was clear the man was having a lot of trouble standing up. Then at the next stop there was actually an announcement saying the train was full so please give up your seats to people who needed them.

Still nobody moved.

My wife got up walked to the end of the train and asked the gentleman to go over to her seat. She still couldn&#…

Whimsy when I changed my profile picture...

I changed by profile picture at work.



Later in the day, two people on my team had changed their profile pictures to these.. :-)



It made my day!

I changed my profile pic again today. Let's see how fast anyone catches on this time. :-)

Measure f-ing everything, and assume f-ing nothing!! - Or how mentoring ruined lives :-(

I've been really enjoying the Freakonomics podcast of late. This episode and the lesson we should take a away from it, was a stark reminder of one of the most important things we should be doing - but often don't - in building products or making any decisions: measuring the impact of absolutely everything we do, including the things that seem obviously good.

I recommend listening to the podcast if you have the time, but here's the summary. Stephen Dubner describes the Cambridge Sommerville Youth Study. The impact of social intervention programs in general is hard to measure and so they seldom are. This was the first attempt at measuring the impact over a long period of time.

It's a great story and there are a few good take-aways, but here's the main one: troubled or at-risk youth that received mentoring (good mentoring!) had worse life outcomes across every dimension than the kids that were left alone. Despite the recipients saying that the mentoring was incredibl…