Keeping track with weekly reviews

Do you have lots of things going on in your life? Do you find it difficult to keep track of everything? Is the amount of stuff you want to do overwhelming?

Imagine knowing exactly where you stand on all your projects. Imagine being on top of your work and your personal life at the same time.

How can you get to such a magical place?

Enter the weekly review. This tool comes from David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) method, but anyone can use it without learning about GTD.

Here’s how to do a weekly review:

  1. Once a week, sit down and list all the things you are working on or want to achieve (projects/goals).
  2. For each project/goal, ask whether you still care about it.
  3. If you still care about it, ask whether you want to do it soon or later.
  4. Also ask whether you’d be better off delegating this project.
  5. If you still want to do this thing, or achieve this goal, and you want to do it yourself soon: list the one next step that you could take to move this project forward, or to move towards this goal.

That’s it. You don’t need a sophisticated task management system such as OmniFocus to do a weekly review. Just grab pen and paper.

The idea is to get information out of your head. It’s easy to slip into keeping copious mental to-do lists, and that can leave you feeling overwhelmed. It can also make it difficult to see what next step you can take to make progress on a specific project.

Finally, a note about balance. Weekly reviews can keep you organized and lower your stress. But you can take them too far. Making lists and checking off to-do items in itself won’t make you happy. So use weekly reviews, or any other task management tool, to work towards things that’ll make you happy.

And while weekly reviews are great for getting organized, it also helps to accept that you can’t control everything. Sometimes it’s better for your sanity to accept the way things are rather than to try to change them.

I’d love for you to try a weekly review—maybe do it this weekend. Just reply and let me know how it went.

Yours,

— Peter

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