The Daily Magic of a Weekly Review!
Popularized by David Allen in Getting Things Done
(2001/2015), the Weekly Review is your opportunity to get everything out of your head; update it; and look for new ideas and momentum. In Getting Things Done
parlance, these steps are Get Clear, Get Current, and Get Creative.
The weekly reset gives you the daily freedom of knowing that your system is up-to-date and that you're working on the right thing at the right time.
Set aside one hour weekly for this exercise, noting that you'll need additional time if you're behind on email and paperwork. Most people schedule their weekly reviews for Thursday or Friday to plan ahead for the upcoming week and to assure freedom and peace-of-mind for the weekend.
A weekly review has three major steps (see the Additional Reading and Listening list, below, or Arena, for detailed checklists):
- Get clear. Capture open items from your project list, software package, paperwork, and head. Make sure your project list reflects your current commitments in the world, noting that anything with more than one step is a "project." Check each software application, especially team collaboration packages, email, calendar, everything.
- Get current. Look at your next actions and upcoming appointments: Detail the work and the timing of the work so that you know how to do it and when to do it. If you have questions about the how or when, add an action to get into communication with whomever has those answers. Thinking your work through in this weekly review leaves you with the peace-of-mind that you're ready to succeed.
- Get creative. Reflect on other work you want to begin, initiatives that need your attention, or places where momentum is needed. Add those into your project list and next week's actions.
So what's the daily magic of a weekly review?
As you build this weekly review habit, you will find a daily peace-of-mind and ease because you know that you're working from the latest projects and tasks. Better, the moment you notice a lack of focus, it's time to run your weekly review. If you notice a loss of focus and it isn't time for the weekly review, even a mini-review helps and can be accomplished with just five minutes and a piece of paper. For each of the following, capture today's items on the paper and add the remaining items into your system:
- Get clear (mini version). Sort through papers, your inbox, and your head.
- Get current (mini version). Look at your project list and your calendar.
- Get creative (mini version). Pause, and then capture any other thoughts or ideas.
- Get to work!