1 June, 2021

What Did You Learn? Purposeful Reflection | Video

Deliberate practice and purposeful reflection. These are the two most valuable tools for developing your skills.

We looked at deliberate practice in a recent video: Getting the Best Value from Experience (and the Myth of 10,000 hours).

Equally important is purposeful reflection. It is another deliberate activity.

This video is safe for viewing in the workplace.

This is learning, so, sit back and enjoy

Purposeful Reflection

You set aside time to reflect specifically on what happened during your practice. Focus on the things that happened, and understanding why some things worked and some did not.


Wisdom is hard to define. And, it’s harder still to acquire. A good few years ago, I wrote a book about how to become wise, called ‘Smart to Wise: The Seven Pillars for True Success’.

One of the things I learned while researching it is this. The people whom others regard as wise do one thing systematically. They reflect on their experiences, and try to understand them.

These are the people whom others look to for pointers to difficult decisions, for advice, and inspiration. Wouldn’t you want to be seen as wise one day?

Get Wisdom

If you do, start a practice of purposeful reflection. Spend time thinking about what has happened and how it came about.

  • What decisions did you make?
  • How did you make them?
  • How did they turn out?
  • What events made a difference?
  • How did they influence things?
  • What indications were there, before they happened?

And what can you learn from these musings?

Take some Time for Purposeful Reflection

Set aside a good hour. Just you and a notebook and pen (or whatever device suits you). Somewhere quiet and private. Or, somewhere public and away from your usual places (like a coffee shop). Anywhere where you can do some quality thinking.

Look back over the year so far. Think about the events, big and small. The choices you made. How things worked out. And what can you learn from them.

Above all, it’s the purposeful reflection that matters.

It matters far less whether you make lots of notes or none. Even whether you draw profound conclusions or feeble insights. Trust that, if you direct your attention, your mind will find something golden amongst the rubble.

Carefully curated video recommendations for you:

What Kit does a Project Manager Need?

I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own. 

Check out the Kit a Project Manager needs

Note that the links are affiliated.

Learn Still More

For more great Project Management videos, please subscribe to the OnlinePMCourses YouTube channel.

If you want basic Management Courses – free training hosted on YouTube, with 2 new management lessons a week, check out our sister channel, Management Courses.

For more of our Project Management videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management.

For more of our videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management

What Did You Learn? Purposeful Reflection | Video Share on X

Never miss an article or video!

Get notified of every new article or video we publish, when we publish it.

Mike Clayton

About the Author...

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Never miss an article or video!

 Get notified of every new article or video we publish, when we publish it.