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Splitting weekly review according to area of focus?

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  • Splitting weekly review according to area of focus?

    I very often miss to do my weekly review weekly - it very often happens only once a month. As a result - and maybe this is also the reason for deferring it - it often takes a long time (couple of hours). Therefore I consider to split the weekly review into smaller pieces and look at specific areas of concern separately (company, university, private, etc.). What are your experience with this approach? Does this make sense? Thanks for your comments.

  • #2
    I think a couple of hours is the "standard" amount of time a weekly review is supposed to take so I'd say you're doing fine.

    I do tend to split it up myself, by accident rather than design as I never seem to have a big enough slice of time to do it all. For example I'll spend an hour or two making sure each project has a next action, then some other time I'll check all the next actions with a view to weeding out the ones which are done, the ones which are stupid, the ones which are actually projects. Then another time I'll check the calendar for the last week to see I haven't missed anything and a week forward for a heads up on what's about to happen. Then (sometimes) I'll have time to look at the someday list which has grown to enormous proportions.

    The point is I split the weekly review by the different parts which make up the weekly review, rather than by subject or area of focus. Whether this is better than doing it all in one block of time I can't say because I've never managed to regularly acheive this.

    One thing I would say is that I find it's desirable to be in a good mood when doing the weekly review so if there's a time in the week when you know you will be in such a mood then that's the time to do it (I guess this is why David suggests Fridays).


    • #3
      Originally posted by treelike
      I do tend to split it up myself, by accident rather than design as I never seem to have a big enough slice of time to do it all.
      I tend to split it up, partly because I can't do it without interruption at work; partly because I resent spending time on work planning at home; partly because I don't feel I should be doing personal planning at work; partly because I can't sit still that long; partly because I need to be in a different frame of mind to do a mind sweep than to start assigning next actions to projects; and partly because I find it helps to let things "incubate" in my mind for a while.

      I know the whole point of GTD is to get things out of your mind, but I'm also one of the people who can't process their inbox an item at a time. Even David's "if you must, have three items out" doesn't work for me: I usually spread it over the desk and pick things out as I figure out where they're going.


      • #4
        I've never thought about splitting the weekly review along the lines suggested by treelike. I just started to run through the projects in one area of my outline tool, then stopped, and lateron started with the next area. What has the advantage that the last area gets the same attention as the first - after a long review I tend to be exhaustive and eager to finish the review as soon as possible.

        But maybe, following your experience, the weekly review is a recurring project with a number of actions which can be checked off. Then it is part of the normal system, the parts (actions) can be done according to time, energy, etc., and it has to be ensured that the cycle has been finished within one week.

        In my opinion, the weekly review is a means to get the things which are out of the head again into it to. That helps to get an overview. And I believe that it is important to keep this overview inside the brain - otherwise I always have the feeling not to be ahead of things. The system outside of the mind should contain the details and help me not to forget them - and to reinforce my general overview during the review. This sounds good - but it is also hard to achieve, at least for me with so little active reviews. Hope this improves now.

        Thanks for your comments.