GTD The Weekly Review

The Weekly Review is a download you can get from the David Allen Company website that outlines a process you can do on a weekly basis to help you close out your weeks’ worth of work and prepare for the next week’s.  It basically is a pretty simple checklist you can go through in about an hour’s worth of time that you can customize to suit your own life and processes.

A few months ago I was dealing with a revolving door of tasks where items seemed to be constantly getting rescheduled or reshuffled  or frankly dropping off because I just wasn’t scheduling them by taking into account accurately the time needed in order to fit them all in.  And I think to some extent I was scheduling too many high priority tasks on a given day and not giving myself enough time to creatively work on things that were important to me – I know when I’m not balancing the things are important to me with those that are chores I have a tendency to procrastinate.

So in an effort to clear the decks I downloaded this checklist, spent some time reorganizing it to fit my life better, for example I am almost completely paperless so I skip the part about collecting loose papers and materials, and decided to commit myself to trying this for at least a month before assessing it’s value. After some tweaking I am now at about six weeks and feel I have an excellent process to keep myself on track. Here’s how I make it work for me:

  1. Review anything left over from the previous week and either get it scheduled as a high priority (meaning I book the time to get it done on my calendar) or delegate it.
  2. Update all of the projects and lists, noting anything that has a next action step for follow up and marking those on my calendar.
  3. Review my parking lot (ideas & would like to haves) items captured during the week, prioritize them and then either schedule or delegate them.
  4. Clean my office – Takes maybe 15 minutes to wipe everything down, clean the white boards and dump any trash.
  5. Review and evaluate my current projects and goals to spot check my progress and make sure all tasks are captured.
  6. Review my task lists by day, moving around tasks to accommodate new higher priority items and time.
  7. Review my upcoming list, adding in any prep work that should be done this coming week like scheduling meetings, creating documents or plans.
  8. Review my calendar, scheduling out all high priority items and leaving some time open for last minute meetings.
  9. Set my goals by day and for the week, I aim for completing five every day and no more than 30 per week. This may sound like a lot but there are days where my most important task takes up the majority of the day and the remaining must-dos are small items that are time sensitive.
  10. White board my top must-dos and want-to-dos for the week. Then I print off a copy of my plan and my team’s plan for the next week and review it with my boss.

It takes about two hours to do all of the above (including the meeting with my boss), which may sound like a lot of time but I have more than doubled the number of tasks I get done and I’m oddly less stressed on a daily basis. That alone in my mind makes it worth it! I’ve also noticed that I’m far less likely to have to reschedule a task, which makes my boss happy.

Bottom line – If you’re looking to make your work life a bit more organized, reduce some planning stress and have a clear roadmap for the upcoming week, this process is perfect.

One Response to “GTD The Weekly Review”
  1. Dan says:

    For implementing GTD you can use this this application:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

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