Don't Neglect Your Rearview Mirror

I don’t disagree with some of the (many) articles, quotes, and blogs out there that talk about looking at life through this lens or that lens. I certainly have utilized the metaphorical “windshield of life.” You know, looking at the big picture and the future and not worrying about the past.

Yes, do that. But don’t forget about that rearview mirror.

I’ve been utilizing that “rearview mirror” more and more these days. I’m looking behind not as an effort to dwell and stay stuck in the past, but rather as a tool and a diary of sorts.

As I look back, I gain clarity on things that worked (and didn’t work) in the past and things that I can (and should) change today.

Long-term remembrances continually remind me of the thing I have overcome in my life and what the Lord has brought me through; things that seemed so far out of reach that I have accomplished both personally and professionally.

On a daily basis, we face obstacles, doubts, and criticism from all angles. As much as I feel like I have all of the tools to push through, sometimes the reflection of the past and all I’ve conquered give me that extra push to know that I got this.

The “short-term rearview” is one of my newer and more regular tools. Do you have those weeks when you think you were so stinking busy but didn’t really accomplish anything? I may have had one or two of those (or ten or ninety or...you get the picture).

Do you use a calendar or a planner? Do you utilize it? Consistently? I put almost everything on my calendar, and I time block like crazy. And while I would love to be able to say that I follow it even 90% of the time, I don’t. But I do hit the mark so much more often than I ever did before by utilizing time blocking and focusing on one task at a time.

So, here’s why the rearview mirror is perfect to help you change your productivity…

Look back at those weeks that you feel “got away.” Where did you fail? Where did you succeed? Now, look at what you can do in the upcoming week to improve.

It could be a simple adjustment, like switching up when you do certain tasks or changing the way you start your day.

One of the biggest improvements I made in my schedule was about six months ago when I made a slight adjustment to which days I did certain things. Moving a few recurring tasks from Mondays to Wednesdays made a huge difference in how so. many. other. things. got accomplished.  

I often look back and realize there are certain things I shouldn’t do at a particular part of the day because of how my concentration will be affected. I don’t write well in the afternoon; it’s just how I operate. Sometimes I lose my words after 6pm, especially if I’ve done a lot of coaching or teaching that day.  

I love mantras and banner waving like most people, I just like to look at things with a new perspective sometimes.

Stay open to new ideas. Some of the oldest mantras were new at one time.

Live big. Review. Adjust. Repeat.

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