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Weekly Review Assistance

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  • Weekly Review Assistance

    I am a new GTDer having jumped on board approxiamtely 30 days ago. I am having a little trouble getting around to my weekly review as my schedule is very unpredictable. My question relates to format of weekly review. I am curious about whether I should begin from the top or higher altitude views like starting with Projects or begin at the runway level like looking at my conext lists. I am curious as to what others do and /or your recommendations.

  • #2
    One way to start

    I'd start by going through your project list item-by-item and make sure you have at least one next action for each project. Personally I go through and it's a lot of, "yep, got it, yep it's there". Don't stop to do any of those things though, you're just taking inventory.

    I also keep a piece of paper nearby so if something occurs to me I write it down, but don't stop going through the project list.

    Then, I go through all my next action lists. Some I've already seen from my project review, but others are just single actions hanging out on their own.

    Then, I go back to the piece of paper and do a mind sweep.

    Then, I'll go back to my in-box and process items there down to zero (email & physical in-boxes). Sometimes I do in-boxes first, but going through projects first often just lightens the load for me. At that point you will likely have more bandwidth to focus on the "higher altitudes".

    The challenge for me is not making a big deal out of it so I resist and end up doing monthly weekly reviews.


    Checkout the Products link (Free Articles) for a more extensive Weekly Review list.


    • #3
      Aw shucks!

      I thought you were offering to assist me in my weekly review! The only hint I have is to make sure that you name the project and keep the name consistent on your action lists or you can't correlate them quickly. Also, I have a prefix on mine so I can tell easily tell what is professional, family, etc. This is helpful because sometimes certain projects overlap. It also makes it easier to see if I have already entered them and how I might ahve broken them down.


      • #4
        Originally posted by SavannahLawyer
        I am curious about whether I should begin from the top or higher altitude views like starting with Projects or begin at the runway level like looking at my conext lists.
        I recommend starting from your next action lists. Invariably, I get to cross some things off, delete or modify some, and add follow-ups. Then when I look at my projects, I already have some idea of where things are. If I look at projects first, I have to spend more time verifying the status of things. And starting even higher can be disastrous: by the time I get down to next actions, I am tired and my brain feels like it is holding too much. When I start with next actions, I end up feeling more in control and more effective.


        • #5
          might help to make a checklist

          Whether you go "bottom up" (starting with NAs) or "top down" (starting with Projects or higher), I've found it helpful to make a little checklist of what to do during the review. Mine is up on my wall, just in case.


          • #6
            I'd start from the bottom up. The runway is the level most likely to get out of control if not maintained, most likely to need weekly attention, etc. If you don't have time to do it all, do the runway level first and you at least won't have an even bigger hole for yourself next week.



            • #7
              The most useful part of the weekly review for me is making sure that every active project has a defined NA, so you'd think that I would review my project lists first. But no, I review the NAs first. Hmmm, maybe I should flip those around.


              • #8
                Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. I'm going to try starting from NA's and working my way up from there. This Friday will be the test run. Thanks.


                • #9
                  Let us know how it goes!


                  • #10
                    This past Friday when I conducted my Weekly Review, I started from the runway level as some of you suggested. First, I reviewed Next Actions for each context. Then I reviewed Waiting Fors and then worked my way up through my Projects list. Last I tackled my Someday/Maybe list. This worked wonderfully for me. By reviewing my Next Actions first, I was able to get a handle on where I stood at that moment with respect to current work and what I had coming up for the next week or so. The Waiting For list reminded me of some folks that I needed to follow up with and generated some additionals NAs, and by getting all of that out of the way, I was able to really focus on the Projects list. I reviewed each project and evaluated what Next Action I needed to take and since I had already reviewed the NA's, I knew if I had that on my list already or needed to add it. I added NA's where appropriate. This review also allowed me to move some things to my Someday/Maybe list that I know I will not be getting to anytime soon. Overall, I would say this is a successful method for weekly review for me. YMMV. Thank you all for your help.


                    • #11
                      Haha, I think to cure this question “where should I start” you should start anywhere. Your questioning yourself and not getting anywhere. This is not derogatory, what I mean is just start anywhere and go from there. Your “system” will then emerge from that. This is an all too common problem. Your system is your system and not the “only” system. You have to start somewhere…….then start anywhere. It doesn’t matter.