David's tips for establishing the review habit


Staff member
In a recent Q&A, David offered some tips for getting into the groove of reviewing your system regularly.

Why do so many people resist this process? One reason is that we know it requires us to think and make decisions. This is more difficult than most people realize, and it's the same reason people procrastinate about many activities—they're not sure how to engage appropriately with them. Thinking is hard work.


Great tips thanks!

This part stood out for me:

I do a review because, if I don't, I experience a creeping ambient anxiety about my commitments, and I can't tolerate that.

Because most people are willing to live with that subtle but very real stress that results from trying to track commitments in the mind, they don't do what it takes to eliminate it. What's the cure? Learn to love a "mind like water." Then you'll notice when you've lost that presence of mind, and you'll do what you need to do to get back to it.

I've been on a good run lately with regular reviews and I'm experiencing the benefits of that in terms of being present and feeling quite a bit of relief from that vague creeping anxiety.

Definitely one thing that has helped make the reviews seem manageable is that I got my unclarified stuff under control a few weeks ago when I was on holidays but staying at home. However I started my regular reviews even when I still had a lot of "ins" backed up in my system.

I'm finding now that when I feel like things are a little out of control or I have something on my mind, I have all these choices available for how to respond with agency. And those choices are represented by the five phases of workflow: capture, clarify/organise, review and engage.

I don't wait for the weekly review to look ahead at my calendar for tomorrow or the upcoming week. Or to review a list or two, especially my projects list.

And when I do pick something to engage with, it feels less like a shot in the dark. I feel more confident in my choices.
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