Why moms need a weekly review

Weekly reviews are a common business practice. Did you know moms need them too? Set your week up for success with this process.

A weekly review is a common business productivity recommendation, the best tip for how to organize your life, and a practice I encourage in my course Simplified Organization. It is a time to reorient yourself to what you have on your plate and renegotiate your commitments. You take some time and look at your calendar, make fresh to-do lists, decide what your biggest responsibilities are this week and then make sure those stay in front of your face so they can get done.

Moms need a weekly review just as much as a business executive. We have sports practices, volunteer dates, meals, and so much more we must accomplish in a week. The process of evaluating everything that’s upcoming in a calm manner beforehand helps us meet our commitments with peace and preparedness.

But it is hard to discipline ourselves to set aside the time. It’s more likely that we just keep on going as we’ve been going without pausing to reflect and set ourselves up for a solid, focused week. But it is only our own peace of mind and sanity we are sacrificing when we skip a weekly review.

There are two things we must have in place if we want to learn the habit of the weekly review: a checklist and reserved time.

Weekly reviews are a common business practice. Did you know moms need them too? Set your week up for success with this process.

Moms need a weekly review checklist

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SO014: Why Moms Need a Weekly Review

When there’s something we know we need to do, but we aren’t quite sure how exactly to go about it, we’re sure to encounter resistance and procrastination.

The best way to beat that sort of procrastination is to have a super-clear list written out and clearly visible. Make it short and to the point, with a verb as the first word of each item on the list. Limit yourself to 3-5 items on the list, or you’ll be too overwhelmed by how long the list is to even start.

My checklist for a weekly review looks like this:

  • Open calendar, Omnifocus, Evernote, and Word; Pull out clipboard, index card, and pens.
  • Look at calendar and add any tasks that need to be done this week based on what’s coming up.
  • Go through Omnifocus review; flag up to 5 tasks for the week.
  • Review Evernote project notebooks, file inbox items, and scan last week’s lists into records.
  • Update weekly overview sheet with habits & goals; print.

Starting is the hardest part of any process, so make starting as easy and simple as possible. I try to create a trigger situation to help myself get into a groove.

That first item on my list could be something I take for granted and don’t even bother listing out. But if I sit with my computer, clipboard, and coffee, then see my weekly review checklist, that first action item list is easy to do, takes no thought, and then once all that is open and in my face, it’s smooth to move on down the rest of the list.

Make that first item on your list something that is very easy to accomplish and you’ll conquer resistance to your checklist.

Moms need a weekly review appointment

The other point of resistance that moms encounter when we try to incorporate a weekly review into our calendars is finding the right time for it, and then sticking to the plan when we do decide on a time.

More than motivation for a process like this, you need a reserved time for it in your week. It is fastest and simplest to do it while alone, so if you can reserve a coffee date with yourself Saturday morning (out of the house or before anyone else is awake in your house) or Friday afternoon, you’ll be much more likely to sail through your checklist without having to continually shift your focus back and forth from future-thinking to wipe-a-running-nose and admonish-the-children modes.

But even when we reserve a time slot for a weekly review, we are still left with the problem of disciplining ourselves to follow through on it.

Unfortunately, there’s no secret shortcut past forming that discipline. We can set reminders for ourselves so we can be less likely to forget. We can find someone else to be accountable to and learn to form the habit together with our husband or friends. But, ultimately, it’s up to us to learn the habit of following through on our decisions and just doing it.

The more you do that, the easier it will become over time. And the weekly review will help you with all the other follow through you have in your life, because it is a time set aside to look over those commitments and make sure you’re ready for them.

If you want to work on forming self-discipline, a regular weekly review is a good place to start.

How to organize your life

Learn how to organize your life at this ultimate resource page.

A weekly review is the secret to making plans happen.

This free checklist will walk you through completing a weekly review and make it a habit.

15 Responses

  1. Kelly Cook
    | Reply

    I love the thought process behind this and the wording of your checklist. My problem is the set time each week. My kids are 7, 8 & 9 and mostly able to entertain themselves so I can have a few moments, but kids seem to have this 6th sense of when NOT to interrupt and that is precisely when they DO! My husband has a variable schedule, so even when we agree to a somewhat regular routine, it has to be flexible to accommodate his work needs. For fun, throw in the fact that I don’t have a dedicated workspace right now and it gets a bit more challenging. However-I’m going to try putting this into practice. We already try to look ahead at the calendar together at the beginning of the week, but even that has to be flexible. It’s hard on this “I love to have a routine” mama!

  2. Robyn
    | Reply

    As a homeschooling mom to an 8, 7 and 5 year old – with a 2 year old just for funsies! – I’ve done a “school” version for the weeky review for a few years now. Review/order library books to supplement science and history, glance through worksheets and math books to gauge what’s coming up, check for field trips or dentist appointments that might interrupt the regular week’s lessons, that kind of thing.

    The idea of adding in regular household review is brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that? I’ve taken your ecourse (and loved it!) and was inspired to begin a bullet journal and it’s been going swimmingly. I’m so pleased. I’ve discovered that my weekly review time happens best on Sunday afternoons. Baby naps, older kids have quiet time, and I nestle in and get organized for a smoother week ahead.

    I also use that time to plan my own personal sources of inspiration and relaxation. I peruse my “Books to Read” list and order my own books in from the library as well. I spend fifteen minutes with water colours. I copy my favorite quotes from my reading in the past week into my art journal. I come out of my planning session refreshed and motivated and organized for brand new week. It’s been glorious!

    • Michele Cherie
      | Reply

      Thanks for the inspiration, Mystie and Robin! I also love taking a quiet Sunday evening to review and prepare for the week ahead, and especially for meal planning. I like the idea of taking that time to reserve library books and preview the week’s learning/lessons as well!

  3. […] my recent post Why Moms Need a Weekly Review, I used the term […]

  4. […] the end of the week (I do it during my weekly review on Saturday morning), I snap a picture of the completed weekly checklist (cough after finishing filling it out quickly) […]

  5. […] I wrote about the process with steps in this blog post: Why Moms Need a Weekly Review […]

  6. Gena Ferguson
    | Reply

    I’m just getting to know your website and love the practical tips. I was hoping to watch the video you can download on the weekly review, but I keep getting an error. Is there another way to see this short video?

    • Mystie
      | Reply

      Hi Gena, welcome! I just changed the post to include the video so you don’t have to enter your email address to view it anymore.

  7. […] do need to write down our goals, but then we also need to look at them regularly – during a weekly review and during our interval planning […]

  8. […] week, during your weekly review, duplicate the template and fill it in with that week’s […]

  9. […] Why Moms Need a Weekly Review […]

  10. […] scan the previous one, make any adjustments, and print a new one on Friday afternoon. This is like a weekly review for our homeschool specifically. Sometimes it doesn’t happen until Saturday evening or Monday […]

  11. Nynke
    | Reply

    Hi Mystie, thanks for sharing your ideas. I’m new to this and really interested in your Checklist for the weekly review, but the download button isn’t working for me. How can I get access to the checklist? I’ve been doing things without a checklist, but like you mentioned it makes it more difficult to get started and to know what to do. So I’m excited to give this a try.

  12. […] same strategy applies to a Weekly Review, that nemesis for many of you. If we just have a vague sense that we ought to do a weekly review, […]

  13. […] We can’t stay organized without looking at our plans and keeping our systems on track. A weekly review is my top tip for how to organize your […]

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