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Bog Down in Weekly Review

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  • Bog Down in Weekly Review

    I started GTD in the spring of this year. I am working on my files and have implemented the system with Outlook and my iPAQ, but I find I have two problems:

    1. I can't seem to get through a weekly review. It either seems to be taking too long, I get interrupted or it just doesn't get done.

    2. I have items on my next action list that sit there for weeks. They need to be done and they are next actions, but I just can't seem to get to them. Should I put them back in someday/Maybe under their project or what?

    Any suggestions? Thanks.

  • #2
    About your frustration with your Weekly Review.

    I have a VERY complex job and I have similar issues with my review. I recently did a review in 1.5 hours and that is a record. My longest ever was 3.5 hours and that is awful

    #1: The more you do them, every week faithfully, the shorter they get. i don't think I will ever get under 1.5 hours, but I get a huge amount of value from it.

    #2: Do not use Weekly Review for a "dumping ground". Don't ever say, "I'll deal with that at my review". Process everything as it come in EVERY day.

    #3: Your review is your safety net to catch stuff that fell through the cracks. The ideal is, as you do your review, you should be saying "Yep, did that. Yeah, all covered. Super, that project is moving right along."

    that is how my reviews go now and it is a great feeling. But the only way to get there is by doing #1 and #2 all the time.

    I need to go and get some work done, but I will post some ideas later for you about your "Next Action" concern. I think I just got that beat as well...


    • #3
      RE: next action problems.

      One of the creators of lifebalance mentioned this problem in a post on their board. Her observation is that actions that do next get done fall into one of three categories:

      1. it is truly a someday/maybe

      2. It is not getting done because you don't know how to do it. This could be because

      A. you need additional information
      B. you have not identified the true next step

      3. You are sabotaging.


      • #4
        1. I think of this as time well spent compared to the time I waste when I've gone off track from GTD. Make sure it's uninterrupted time. I sometime leave the wife and kids at home early in the morning and go to a quiet coffee shop to get it done.

        2. If it's been on your list that long, then's it probably something you want to do but have not committed to doing. As a result, it's probably a someday/maybe.


        • #5
          Re: Bog Down in Weekly Review

          Originally posted by pshammer
          2. I have items on my next action list that sit there for weeks. They need to be done and they are next actions, but I just can't seem to get to them. Should I put them back in someday/Maybe under their project or what?

          One thing I started doing a while back was what I call "changing the verb." Really, there are times when an Action stays on my list through a couple of reviews...when I notice that that's happening, I change the first word of the to do. This way, I've found it easier to start!

          For example: "Write" often becomes "Brainstorm;" "Buy" turns into "Look online for a company that sells;" or "Purge" becomes "Donate 2 items from..."

          Again, the weekly review takes as long as it takes, but by calling the next actions the "real" starting points, there might not be so many on your list next week!



          • #6
            This is where I run into problems, too. It's been really hard for me to break out of the "Daily Planning" mentality. At least when I planned daily, even if I ended up way of track, I started of with a road map and an idea of where I was headed for that day. Now, I just "play it by ear", and items that should get done wind up sitting on my lists for weeks.


            • #7
              to jkgrossi

              You still have the road map in front of you. It's in the form of your Calendar and your @Context - Next Actions lists, assuming you are reviewing them daily. Why don't you try moving at least one item from your @Context lists onto your calendar daily, thereby increasing your odds of getting it done.


              • #8
                Who's doing a review TODAY!?!?

                It's Friday (morning here on the west coast).

                I wanted to send a supporting e-mail to those who are planning a weekly review today.

                Might I suggest, before you start your next Weekly Review, you read over this short note:


                Good luck and happy weekend!


                • #9
                  Thanks for the encouragement


                  Thanks for the encouragement. The article was a good review. I think I sometimes make it too complicated and being patient is important.

                  Thanks again,


                  • #10
                    Re: Who's doing a review TODAY!?!?

                    Originally posted by Jason Womack
                    I certainly appreciate the cited article. While I understand copyright issues present themselves, it would have been courteous to have allowed cutting and pasting on the pdf file noted above so that one could do as David Allen did, and insert the weekly review guidelines directly into one's Palm.



                    • #11
                      Hey thank you Cosmo!