The Last Five Minutes

Brad M. Griffin | Jan 6, 2011

I dont know about you, but my last five minutes in the office are often spent figuring out what I can put to rest until later, what documents or websites I can close and still remember tomorrow, and what paper I can get off my desk.

Oh yeah, and one last look at email.

This week on the Harvard Business Review blog, Peter Bregman offers a different approach, one that somewhat resembles the prayer practice of the Ignatian examen:

Every day, before leaving the office, save a few minutes to think about what just happened. Look at your calendar and compare what actually happened the meetings you attended, the work you got done, the conversations you had, the people with whom you interacted, even the breaks you took with your plan for what you wanted to have happen. Then ask yourself three sets of questions:

  • How did the day go? What success did I experience? What challenges did I endure?
  • What did I learn today? About myself? About others? What do I plan to do differently or the same tomorrow?
  • Who did I interact with? Anyone I need to update? Thank? Ask a question? Share feedback?

Bregman argues that this helps us learn how to learnfrom ourselves, our mistakes and successes, and our relationships. Id add that this kind of reflection could also help us become more aware of Gods presence and activity in our day, even when we were rushing along too quickly to notice it at the moment.

How do you spend the last five minutes of your day?

Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, blogger, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of Faith in an Anxious World, Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and the series Can I Ask That?: 8 Hard Questions about God and Faith. Brad and his family live in Southern California.


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