Regular review is the absolute key to maintaining a sense of organization. You have to look at your lists to make them happen, and that looking over is called a review.
What is a Weekly Review?
A weekly review is applying common sense to our weekly rituals. What do we do before leaving on an extended trip? Clean up, close up, clarify, and wrap up decisions needing to be made. A weekly review is a time to do that every week instead of once or twice a year.
It is by a regular weekly review that we can keep a clear mind and a sense of relaxed control in the midst of a crazy and full life.
It is tempting to think a weekly review is feasible only in the office workplace setting. You know, someplace where you can close the door and easily have space and time alone. A place not at all like home. But it is precisely because our work at home threatens to deluge and overwhelm us at all hours and every day that we need to carve out a time and space to strategize, to regroup, and to be refreshed.
I bet we can all find 30-45 minutes somewhere once a week without interactions or other demands — the difficulty is in choosing to use it this way instead of zoning out on random internet searches or Pinterest-browsing. We must be both savvy and disciplined enough to know the value of sacrificing the seemingly relaxing for the truly refreshing & rejuvenating, creating our own islands of time and space for some version of this process.
The key is finding the time, and carving out that time regularly, and performing this clarifying and ordering ritual.
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5 Ps of a Productive Weekly Review
So, once we have the time designated, what exactly do we do?
I’ve broken it up into five steps for reclaiming peace and productivity in the midst of our seemingly-mundane tasks and to-dos.
Trust me on this and try it out for a month. You will be amazed at the clarity and direction you feel as you go through this process regularly.
Peace: Get set.
Set yourself up for a productive time by setting aside space and time. The atmosphere of your weekly review matters.
Find a quiet, clear place to think and plan during your review. Clear your desk or table space, get something to drink, and maybe even light a candle. Breathe, pray, and start with calm.
Process: Take care.
What has collected in your email inbox or countertop paper-collector? Your weekly review is your time to get things put away – whether it’s tangible papers, mental notes, or digital reminders. File it, toss it, add it to a list, or put it on the calendar.
Plow: Do it.
How many 1 minute or less tasks did you come across as you processed? Take care of those. Just plow on through as many as you can and avoid procrastinating. If you have a lot, set your timer and see how many you can get done in 10-15 minutes.
Populate: Get ready.
Print and prepare your lists and notes for next week. Whether it’s a weekly checklist, a digital task manager app, or a notebook, clear it of last week’s completed items or papers or lines and make sure it has what you need for the upcoming week.
For myself, I look at my interval task list, add weekly task goals to my weekly plan based on that, and then print my weekly evaluation page and my weekly homeschool checklist and add them to my clipboard so I’m ready to roll Monday morning.
Position: Prepare mindfully.
The final thing you should do during your weekly review is to prepare mentally for your upcoming week. You want to remember your motivation, feel inspired, and see the big picture so you don’t stay bogged down in the details.
Look over inspiring quotes or a vision statement, read over your current goals, and maybe even copy out a motto or quote for the week onto your weekly planning sheet.
Also, look at the calendar both a month out as well as one week out. Notice the appointments you have this week and what’s on the near horizon. Make notes on what you need to do to be ready for your various activities during the week and month. See where you are and orient yourself. Then you will be prepared.
A weekly review time will pay dividends on the rest of your time beyond the hour or so you give it once a week.
It’s a time investment worth making.