Episode #7 – Guided GTD Weekly Review

Date: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 by GTD Times Staff

Ever wonder what it would be like to have a David Allen Company coach guide you through an entire GTD Weekly Review®? Now, in this interactive session, Senior GTD Coach Meg Edwards takes you through the entire process step by step. As you get clear, get current, and get creative, you’ll quickly see why the Weekly Review is considered *the* critical success factor in maintaining an integrated life management system.

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GTD Weekly Review®

GET CLEAR
Collect Loose Papers and Materials
Gather all accumulated business cards, receipts, and miscellaneous paper-based materials into your in-tray.
Get “IN” to Zero
Process completely all outstanding paper materials, journal and meeting notes, voicemails, dictation, and emails.
Empty Your Head
Put in writing and process any uncaptured new projects, action items, waiting for’s, someday maybe’s, etc.

GET CURRENT
Review Action Lists
Mark off completed actions. Review for reminders of further action steps to record.
Review Previous Calendar Data
Review past calendar in detail for remaining action items, reference data, etc., and transfer into the active system.
Review Upcoming Calendar
Review upcoming calendar events–long and short term. Capture actions triggered.
Review Waiting For List
Record appropriate actions for any needed follow-up. Check off received ones.
Review Project (and Larger Outcome) Lists
Evaluate status of projects, goals, and outcomes, one by one, ensuring at least one current action item on each.
Browse through project plans, support material, and any other work-in-progress material to trigger new actions, completions,
waiting fors, etc.
Review Any Relevant Checklists
Use as a trigger for any new actions.

GET CREATIVE
Review Someday/Maybe List
Review for any projects which may now have become active, and transfer to “Projects.” Delete items no longer of interest.
Be Creative and Courageous
Any new, wonderful, hare-brained, creative, thought-provoking, risk-taking ideas to add into your system???

 



6 Responses to “Episode #7 – Guided GTD Weekly Review”

  1. Eric Jones says:

    Hey GTD Crew,

    I’m an aspiring GTD practitioner – not necessarily a novice, but definitely not a master. Was introduced to GTD back in 2007 or so. Took me a while, but have finally gotten the “Desired Outcome, Current Status, and Next Action” themes ingrained in my way of daily thinking.

    As with many who aspire to effectively and efficiently use the GTD methodology – you sometimes fall off the wagon, and new events help you recognize the need and value of getting back on. I’ve had a couple of those lately, and just wanted to share a few thoughts:

    1. In November of 2014, I stepped into a new role. Lots of change – a good bit of turmoil – and a much faster environment. Things like that help you to immediately recognize the need for a system. I felt very much prepared because I had a “system” (at least I thought I was prepared).

    2. After a few months in the new role, I realized how much my “system” was tailored to my previous environment. It became evident that what worked well for me before wasn’t going to work well for me now. That was a significant (not monumental – but significant) challenge. I had to learn what pieces of my system would work “as is”, what pieces needed tweaked, and what pieces needed overhauled.

    3. As I continue to refine my system, I started (re) reading GTD (the 2015 version). I should add that in the midst of all the above, I got a new manager. Here’s where one of the big light bulbs went off. I have long recognized the value of the weekly review, but mine can be a bit draining – and time consuming. I try to be thorough – and if I haven’t touched a particular project in a while, that can add to the challenge and time required for a weekly review. In preparation for a 1-on-1 meeting with my new boss, I spent about 3 hours doing a good weekly review – capturing current status and next action on 20-30 projects. That structure worked well. I think my boss appreciated the structure and the thoroughness – and has asked me to continue that practice. At the same time, I read a key statement in the 2015 version of GTD:

    “A complete and current Projects list is the major operational tool for moving from tree-hugging to forest management”.

    That practice has (and will continue) to help me. So what’s the next action? I’ve decided that the tool I was using to capture my weekly review needs to change. I’m very visual – so I love the practice of doing a weekly review on a big whiteboard – the issue is the time it takes to transfer the results from “being in the zone” at the whiteboard to something more portable. I used to use “One Note” as a tool for weekly review (still do use it for general capture) – but am now working on a master projects list in Excel. Will share some of the secrets if it helps others – once I get the kinks worked out.

    Keep up the good work!!

  2. GTD Times Staff says:

    Awesome post Eric. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Michelle says:

    I’m just getting started with GTD and am in the middle of reading the new edition. The weekly review was one that just baffled me. This podcast has helped tremendously in spelling out very clearly what to do in the weekly review and the option for some flexibility. Extremely helpful.

    Thank you!

  4. Michael Lindsay says:

    Since I began using GTD, I’ve always found the Weekly Review to be a challenge, this tip of separating the get clear and get current phases I know will make a huge difference. Thank you!

  5. Cynthia Earle says:

    Thank you for this hands on workshop. It was very helpful and provided a great follow up practical step for implementing what the book taught.

  6. DTraylor says:

    Thanks so much for this workshop and all the comments. I also found it key for me is to turn off all distractions – put phone on mute or turn off; turn off wifi if possible (so I am not tempted to “do” my next actions); and any other ways to ensure I do not get distracted.

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