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Reviewing more than weekly?

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  • Reviewing more than weekly?

    I'm a relatively new GTD'er, having read the book full through 1.5 times and practicing for about a month now.

    My problem is that right now, I'm at a place where I'm not quite comfortable with my system, thinking I've misplaced stuff, and abandoned projects. In short, I'm not trusting my system, at the moment.

    This keeps nagging at me, and I've even put a Next Action, along w/ a checklist of the processes I need to take for my weekly review.

    Still, I can't help but feel that right now, this very instant, I need to be reviewing GTD so I can get my bearings, more than once a week.

    Soo… I'm asking, is there any reason *not* to do this? Does this violate some holy GTD principle I just don't get? My gut is that I need to do this so I can concentrate on cranking widgets, but since I'm a scardey cat, and don't have time to re-read the book again, I figured I'd ask you experts.

  • #2
    As often as you like (or need)

    I do a daily review (about 10-15 minutes) before I do anything else.

    Have been for a few years.

    It makes me feel so much more on top of things as I begin each day and it also shortened my Weekly Review by 30-45 minutes as an added bonus (which makes it much more likely that I get it done each and every week without fail).

    There is no "right" way to practice GTD – only the right way for you IMO. With the provision that you are doing a weekly review. I'm a firm subscriber to the notion that if you're not doing a Weekly Review, you're not doing GTD.



    • #3
      When in doubt, review.

      Learning to trust your system takes time, especially if it was untrustworthy before. Feel free to do whatever you need to do to build that trust.

      Reviewing never hurts. Certainly reviewing more often than strictly necessary hurts much less than not reviewing often enough.

      Good luck!



      • #4
        It takes practice...

        I too review my lists as often as I need to. Some weeks I have been in and out of them so regularly that my weekly review is a quick assessment. Other weeks I have to spend a longer period of time reviewing the lists on Friday because I've been actively doing so much during the week and have had less time for ongoing review. As you trust your lists (and their contents) you'll find your own ebb and flow in terms of the need to interface with them.

        When I have a lot of moving parts I find I do a cursory 10 minute review of many of my lists before I go to sleep. I may not add or subtract...but I put my mind at ease so I can sleep knowing it's all there.



        • #5
          In addition to the great advice to review as often as necessary, I've found that doing a mind sweep as needed is very helpful. I find myself doing these at night trying to fall asleep. If a lot's on my mind, I'll just keep writing until I've captured it all, in other words, I do a mini mind sweep. Helped cure my insomnia! Of course having a Super Spy Night Pen and a pad of paper nearby is tres cool (I give them out to clients).


          • #6
            Building the trust.

            Building the trust between GTD system and your mind requires time and discipline. Be patient and consistent.


            • #7
              "Weekly" is just a protocol, not a rule. Think of reviewing like showering. By convention it's a daily ritual, but there are many cases where an extra shower later in the day is called for (after gardening, for instance).

              If your week is extraordinarly busy, with a workload mounting faster than your system is tracking it, you'll feel out of sorts until you get off the merry-go-round and regroup. A full review might not be necessary. Just getting Ins to empty, doing a mind sweep and scanning your calendar and action lists will probably be enough.


              • #8
                GTD p 182

                "People often ask me, 'How much time do you spend looking at your system?' My answer is simply, 'As much time as i need to feel comfortable about what I'm doing.'"


                • #9
                  Look at your lists every day!

                  To chime in with many others and DA himself: do whatever you need to do in order not to need to think about your stuff.

                  At the risk of being very obvious: you should be looking at your list of actions for the context where you are every day or as often as you have an opportunity to do some of the predefined work that you have stored on it. That is what the list is for: you need to look at the list because you do not keep stuff in your head!

                  The weekly review is when you turn off the doing and tighten up the lists: marking off things that are done, sharpening actions that are not clear and attractive, checking that there is a next-action for every one of your active projects. You probably do not need to do that more than once a week.

                  Good hunting!


                  • #10
                    I pop up my Projects list every morning, just to remind myself of higher-level purposes than my down-and-dirty daily actions.