We often hear people saying we should self-reflect but it can be hard to answer how long should we do it. Knowing how to do self-reflection is just one piece of the puzzle. The duration of how long we should self-reflect is also important. The reason for this is that we do not want to achieve nothing by reflecting too fast or to waste time by doing it for too long. So how long should we really self-reflect?
As a general rule, reflections should only take 5 to 15 minutes if a person decided to self-reflect every day. It is ideal to start small as it would turn things into a habit. Furthermore, since it will only take a few minutes to finish reflection, it provides ample time to work on their other life goals and work.
However, there are various types of reflections to talk about. If you decided to reflect weekly, how long should you reflect? If you decide to reflect yearly, then how long should you reflect? We have answered daily reflections but there are still numerous questions that need to be answered.
How long should you self reflect?
You should reflect for about 5 to 15 minutes if you decided to reflect daily. However, if you want to reflect weekly, then you need to reflect for at least 30 minutes to have ample time to plan for your week. If you reflect yearly, then it is ideal to take at least an hour to have concrete plans for the year.
It can be hard to give the perfect duration for self-reflection since we all have different frequencies of self-reflection.
For daily reflections, it should only last 5 to 15 minutes. More than that could waste our time and we can reflect too much.
We would talk about too much reflection later but for now, you should know that if you plan to do daily reflections, do not overdo it and just 5 minutes a day is enough.
That’s why you need to be time-efficient on how to reflect. You need to achieve more in just 5 minutes.
If you need a guide on how to do that, then I have a blog post you can read. In there, I’ve provided a detailed guide so you can save some time doing some reflection without sacrificing results. Here is the link: How to reflect on your day
Here is a video guide on how to reflect daily.
However, as I said, it doesn’t end there.
There are people who reflect weekly and there are also people who reflect yearly. We can’t just say that we should reflect for just 5 minutes especially if we are talking about yearly reflections.
Yearly reflections are what most people call their new year’s resolution. The truth is, they are similar to each other.
In a new year’s resolution, a person decides what to do to achieve their goals. To decide, they are checking their past and what their current life is.
That is the same as doing some reflections.
But I can’t say that a 5-minute reflection session is enough for a new year’s resolution.
That is just not enough to have a concrete plan for a year.
That’s why if you plan to reflect yearly, then it is important to have more time. At least an hour to prepare your timeline, goals, and your daily tasks to achieve it.
That’s the same with weekly reflections.
If you are a very busy person and don’t have time to do daily reflections, I perfectly understand.
In fact, I also believe that weekly reflections are optimal for personal growth and development.
It is very good especially for people who only have a single day where they will be free from work.
If that’s the case, you could not prepare for a whole week in just 5 minutes.
To prepare everything including your to-do list, daily schedule, weekly quota, and progress reports, you should give yourself at least 30 minutes to do so.
That is enough if you want to make sure that you cover everything for the week.
Here is a table summary of the frequencies of reflection relative to the optimal duration.
|Frequency||Optimal Time Needed to Finish|
|Daily Reflections||5 to 15 minutes|
|Weekly Reflections||at least 30 minutes|
|Yearly Reflections||at least 1 hour|
If you want a guide on a comparison between doing reflections twice a day, once a day, and weekly, you may check this blog post: How often should we reflect?
Can you self reflect too much?
You can self-reflect too much which can cause stress, hopelessness, and anxiousness. This is because of the law of paradoxical intent which affects our pursuit of happiness with reflections. That’s why it is important to know how often and for how long are we going to self-reflect for optimal results.
Reflecting too much has been well documented in science.
In a study by Dr.Tasha Eurich, it was found out that too much obsession with self-reflection can cause us to be less happy. It also makes us feel hopeless in our situations.
That’s why it is important to have some balance and that’s why this blog post was made.
But how exactly does self-reflection causes us to be less happy?
This comes with the law of paradoxical intent.
The simply states that the more you pursue something, the more you’ll think you lack it.
For example, constantly pursuing money can make us feel that we really lack money.
Constantly pursuing fame, makes us think that our fame is not enough.
Constantly seeking happiness with self-reflection makes us think that we are not happy enough.
That’s why it is important to know how to properly reflect.
In my self-reflection tutorial, one of the parts of my self-reflection is finding things that I am grateful for.
This prevents the feeling of unhappiness or the feeling that we aren’t enough.
We can learn to be satisfied while working on our goals and that’s what the reflection tutorial is all about.
So, even if there is such thing as too much reflection, as long as you know how long should you reflect and how often, you don’t need to worry about that.
Furthermore, I also made sure that if you followed my tutorial on reflection, you would build contentment in life because I’ve taught you how to write things that you’re grateful for.
“Only the things I love.“
ongjason.com is reader-supported. When you buy through links on the site, I earn an affiliate commission.
If you’re following me, you’ll know that I believe it is essential to have some tools, whether it’s for personal development or lifestyle in general.
So, here are the things I love.
If you want to learn things for free, then I recommend you to watch my YouTube Channel. Click the Button Below to go straight into my Channel. 🙂
Okay, let me first explain my Channel.
I believe that I really can’t explain everything too well on my blog. That’s why I created a YouTube Channel so I can easily explain a lot of things. Plus, I believe that Video Sharing is the future.
The next thing is books. Books are, for me, one of the cheapest ways to get invaluable information. We can learn personal development, finance, career, relationships, and many more from books.
Here, I will be listing my favorite books in different categories.
- For Beginners – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – Personal development has a lot of concepts and ideas to learn. Thus it can be really hard for beginners to know where to start. Thus, I recommend this book since all the basic concepts of personal development are here(except finance, check what I recommended for that)
- Productivity – The One Thing by Gary Keller – This book teaches us the power of focusing on one thing which is the ultimate source of productivity. The concepts taught are what I am using to constantly publish YouTube videos while maintaining this website.
- Busy? – Make Time by Jack Knapp – This book teaches us how to make time for the things we love. The concept is really simple but I think that makes it a book worth reading.
- Health – Lifespan by Dr.Sinclair – This Book teaches about the latest scientific research on lifespan. In his book, he has shared numerous things he is doing to slow down his aging process. This can be as easy as eating less which he recommends.
- Finance – The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason – Perhaps one of the first books I’ve read about Finance, this book for me is the best if we are talking about learning basic finance such as basic saving and investing. The concepts are very simple but effective.
Take this advice as a grain of salt.
I don’t recommend buying Audiobooks one by one. I mean, audiobooks can be quickly finished by listening while working out or doing some mindless tasks.
So here is to save you some money. Just go for a monthly subscription to Audible. I believe that you will save a lot of money with that plus, they usually give freebies to anyone starting.
My Audiobook Recommendation will always be the same as my book recommendations, but I personally like The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. I like how she is so casual while reading her book.
Eurich, Tasha. “The Right Way to Be Introspective (Yes, There’s a Wrong Way).” Ideas.Ted.Com, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2 June 2017, ideas.ted.com/the-right-way-to-be-introspective-yes-theres-a-wrong-way.