Our month of practical, hands-on, and real-life organization and time management posts is nearing its end. Thank you so much for following this 31 Days to GTD for Homemakers series. GTD is an acronym referring to David Allen’s books and system, Getting Things Done. And if anybody needs to get things done, it’s mothers managing a home.
Previous Post: The Daily Review
What & When: Weekly Review
The weekly review is really the key to GTD-magic.
Allen recommends 2 hours set aside at the end of your work week to update your lists, do a brain-dump and processing routine, and generally evaluate how things went and what needs to be done next week. Look at your past calendar, transfer anything you need, look at what’s coming up for the next week and the next month, jot down any notes the overview inspires.
Establishing the Habit and Ritual of a Weekly Review
The weekly review will sharpen your intuitive focus on your important projects as you deal with the flood of new input and potential distractions coming at you the rest of the week.
You’re going to have to learn to say no — faster, and to more things — in order to stay afloat and comfortable. Having some dedicated time in which to at least get up to the project level of thinking goes a long way toward making that easier. […] Whatever your lifestyle, you need a weekly regrouping ritual.
Think “restorative,” “clarifying,” “reflective,” “mindful.” How can you set up a scenario that can encompass those adjectives? Coffee? Tea? Wine? Scone? Biscotti? Chocolate? (FYI: all these freeze well and you can pull one out at a time to save them for this “special occasion”) Soft light? Bright task light? Expanse of clear table? Cozy chair with a notepad? Outdoors on the patio? Scented candle?
This is work, to be sure, but it is supposed to be building peace of mind, so the environment you set up should reflect that.
If you have a sense of where you are and where you’re going and what you have going on, you’ll be able to make better on-the-spot decisions about commitments and responsibilities and ideas that come at you throughout the week. Allen goes so far as to say, “The real trick to ensuring the trustworthiness of the whole organization system lies in regularly refreshing your psyche and your system from a more elevated perspective.”
Restore: The Weekly Review Process
This review process is common sense, but few of us do it as well as we could, and that means as regularly as we [need to, in order] to keep a clear mind and a sense of relaxed control.
So, here’s what Getting Things Done says you should go through weekly:
- Gather all loose papers and stick them in your inbox.
- Process your inbox & any notes; review any journal or calendar entries.
- Enter any actions, events, ideas, or projects culled from inbox or a review of your notes & calendars into the appropriate lists.
- Look through your read/review pile — cull and reorder.
- Review your calendar, both previous and upcoming.
- Evaluate the status of all your projects, renewing as needed. New actions to your lists? Move some back to “someday”?
- Renew your next actions list — is it current and up to date?
- Review checklists — have you been forgetting anything?
- Glance through your someday/maybe lists for inspiration, activation, and deletion.
GTD® and Getting Things Done® are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company.