Just the act of jotting something down is an act of discipline that affects how we think about our actions, and bolsters our resolve to modify our own behavior.
Women face tough challenges in accessing leadership opportunities. Just look at the numbers. While women make up 51.4% of middle managers, they account for a mere 4.2% of Fortune 500 CEOs.
During law school, I participated in a clinical program where students work in the field while receiving practical training and guidance. While discussing a self-evaluation written after a client interview exercise, I noted that I’d been pretty hard on myself, commenting lightly, “Well, who thinks they do everything great?”
“Plenty of people do,” my supervising professor replied. “And they’ll say so, even when they’re not.”
While the extremes of egotism can be awfully distasteful, there is something to tooting your own horn. Among the complex reasons for the self-promotion paradox that women face, including harmful gender stereotypes and perceptions, is a lack of confidence in communicating achievements, in saying so even when they actually are awesome at what they do.
In this modern age of gizmos and gadgets, the best productivity app is you.
Benjamin Franklin, that historical grand master of productivity who did pretty well without an iPhone, knows why:
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
Our capabilities for self-analysis, awareness, and perception are what separate us from robotic worker drones, punching in and punching out without rhyme or reason. But our limited notion of productivity ignores those capabilities, focusing simplistically on output and end results, on just doing it and getting it done. We know the destinations in our work are important, but all too often, we ignore the journey and the process. We ignore ourselves.