If you go to the gym you end up getting a lot more out of it if you approach your workout with a plan in mind. The same thing happens with work. If you go every day you will inevitably get better but if you come in with concrete goals and ways to push yourself you’ll be in a much better position. It’s not as easy to measure your performance at work compared to the gym but just taking the first step and realizing that you want to improve is already beyond how most people approach work. Just by thinking about your performance you improve your ability to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Doing this on a consistent basis gets you into the habit of being introspective and improves your self-awareness, which is necessary to improve.
I’ve approached this problem by jotting down notes and thoughts throughout the day and then having a non-disruptive, scheduled time each week for me to go through and digest it. Some weeks are slower than others but more often than not I gain valuable insight on what I did well and what I can improve. Writing these notes has become a habit and I don’t even need to focus on it anymore. The value of these is that over time you end up having a log of your improvement and can acknowledge how much you’ve grown as well as how much is still left. I’ve also discovered themes from week to week that have helped me improve as an engineer and a manager. If you haven’t been approaching work the way you approach the gym you’re losing valuable time and opportunity to improve yourself. You’re already spending at least 40 hours a week at the office so you should make it as valuable as you can.