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No weekly routine possible in my job/life!! Weekly review gets difficult to schedule

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  • No weekly routine possible in my job/life!! Weekly review gets difficult to schedule

    Hi all,

    my work week is different every week: I travel from not at all to the whole week (all variations in between are possible!). Working from a home office increases the challenge.

    And my personal life is no routine either, as my partner is like me in terms of travels and his two kids (patchwork family) 14+19 also do not have a 100% routine in their weeks.

    Therefore I did not find yet a practical solution for my weekly review. Started doing it on sunday later afternoon, but many times we decided to do something else spontaneously (cinema for example). No weekly review then. Monday the whole stress starts again and I see no possibility of doing it during the week.

    Does anyone have a life like this and could give me a hint in how to solve it? I need to do the review, I feel that it is important. Without it the whole motivation for GTD is disappearing...

    Thanks!

  • #2
    You aren't alone!

    Sonia,
    Lots of people have lives that are very crazy and demanding. Whether it be travel for work, kids, working from home, or any combination of the above pretty much one thing is true: either you're going to control your circumstances or your circumstances are going to control you!

    That said, if you choose to make the weekly review important to you, then perhaps the spontaneous movie won't happen. You can always say no, assuming nobody has a gun to your head.

    But since weekend afternoons may just lend themselves to temptation, why not try getting up early on Saturday or Sunday morning--before anyone else in the house is up--and do it then? Another trick you might try is to split the review into two parts: get your inbox(es) and email to zero on day one and do the actual review on the next day. Or you could even get that part of it done on the weekend and then do the rest while you are traveling. Or go to a library or Starbucks to do your review...you have lots of options. But you are not a helpless victim of your circumstances unless you choose to be.

    Best of luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Loner here, so I don't talk from experience, but a couple of ideas out of the bat in case they might be helpful:

      *I remember someone saying that, whenever they felt confused, "they did a weekly review". It was a lightbulb moment for me: the weekly review does not need to be at a fixed time. It doesn't even need to be weekly. You use it to regain control and perspective from the daily grind.

      *I used to do very long wr and I crashed. Then I worked my way back 'organically': a 20mins wr with the absolute very basics: an index cards with things you want to move ahead (a.k.a. projects). I prefer a sustainable practice of 20 mins once a week than doing a perfect wr but then being burnt out and procrastinating it for a month. On a further stage, once the basic practice is anchored, you start to add valuable stuff (for example, reviewing someday maybe, etc...)

      Hope it helps.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for your ideas

        Thanks for your ideas.

        Waking up in the morning is never easy for me, but this is worth a try! And splitting it is an additional very good idea that I will for sure try.

        I ve already read that we should not look for a 100% perfect WR but that we have to get it started. Once you are in, you add and improve, like vic_lh said.

        And you are right Barb, we have all the tools in our own hands. Thanks for remembering me. I will report on my progress

        Comment


        • #5
          Practice what I preach!

          Ha! It's Sunday. It's 5 a.m. I just poured my first cup of coffee and I'm reading the forums while I wake up. And yes...I'm up early to do my weekly review.

          I love this quiet time to myself. My husband will sleep for hours more and all is quiet outside. When it gets closer to sunrise, I will do part of my weekly review on my patio. It's a great time of the morning to be outside, if you can.

          And a little later today, I'll take a nice nap. Those are allowed on Sundays too. The whole day and the whole world runs at a slower pace.

          Comment


          • #6
            Inspiring...

            Hi Barb,

            that sound inspiring... makes me want to wake up early... But too late for today (I am in France and we already had lunch). You describe what my husband tells me every day, he is an early bird like you.

            Enjoy your sunday nap

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes!

              Originally posted by sonia13de View Post
              Hi Barb,

              that sound inspiring... makes me want to wake up early... But too late for today (I am in France and we already had lunch). You describe what my husband tells me every day, he is an early bird like you.

              Enjoy your sunday nap
              I look forward to it...and my weekly reviews..like you wouldn't believe. I think the trick is to make it a ritual that inspires you, something you won't find repelling. Maybe it's music, or a latte or a special place (shouldn't be hard in FRANCE!)--just someplace that feeds your soul.

              I'm almost half way finished and heading outside now to enjoy the morning and finish up.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Barb View Post
                I look forward to it...and my weekly reviews..like you wouldn't believe. I think the trick is to make it a ritual that inspires you, something you won't find repelling. Maybe it's music, or a latte or a special place (shouldn't be hard in FRANCE!)--just someplace that feeds your soul.

                I'm almost half way finished and heading outside now to enjoy the morning and finish up.

                I agree! If possible, I try to do mine outside with a cup of Ovaltine before anyone but the dog and I are up. It's very relaxing. However, it is possible that night owls might want to do it late at night.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Barb View Post
                  I think the trick is to make it a ritual that inspires you, something you won't find repelling.
                  I think this is absolutely right. One thing to consider for those who are not quite the early bird, is getting to bed well the night before. So in that case, Sunday morning may not be the window of time you want - as you'll have a hard time if you're up late on Saturday. I'd be more inclined to find somewhere between Friday lunchtime and Sunday evening to do a clear out of your inboxes, and then make a ritual of some sort on Monday morning to do the review side of the WR. That way you'll always start the week in a really good spot.

                  Conscious that you mentioned you travel a lot - if that includes being in transit Monday morning and you simply can't do it then - then do it on the plane (or whatever you're travelling on). Not nearly as ideal, but better than not doing it at all.

                  Good luck!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mattsykes View Post
                    I think this is absolutely right. One thing to consider for those who are not quite the early bird, is getting to bed well the night before. So in that case, Sunday morning may not be the window of time you want - as you'll have a hard time if you're up late on Saturday. I'd be more inclined to find somewhere between Friday lunchtime and Sunday evening to do a clear out of your inboxes, and then make a ritual of some sort on Monday morning to do the review side of the WR. That way you'll always start the week in a really good spot.

                    Conscious that you mentioned you travel a lot - if that includes being in transit Monday morning and you simply can't do it then - then do it on the plane (or whatever you're travelling on). Not nearly as ideal, but better than not doing it at all.

                    Good luck!
                    Yes, thanks a lot for the ideas.

                    For sure I will split it: down to zero and review itself. Late night might work better for me than early morning. With a nice glass of wine maybe? Will do down to zero till sunday night and then the review.

                    It sounds like a good plan, as during the week I do not have the time to work on my inboxes as regularly as I should and making the review sunday night might give me a great plan for the week. Even after the cinema

                    Ok, it is anchored in my calendar now! NO excuses any more Will report back! Thanks again

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with Mattsykes: do it on the plane. Since you travel a lot, find ways to make your systems portable so that you can do a good weekly review while sitting on a plane or waiting in an airport. I've done part of mine while waiting in line at the bank, waiting for a bus or riding a bus.

                      I've organized my "weekly planning" into a list of steps, logically organized into 5 categories and put in an order such that if I only get around to doing the first few steps, I will have done the most essential things to keep me going until the next week, for example setting up reminders to make sure I don't miss appointments. I've pretty much memorized the list of steps, as well as having them written in my pocket notebook. I believe that having them memorized makes it just a little more likely that I'll move smoothly from one step to the next rather than deciding to do something else -- partly because I find the act of memorizing challenging and fun. I've also pretty much memorized what notebooks and stuff I need to have available for each category of steps.

                      I've pared down my "weekly planning" to contain only things I think are pretty important.

                      I've also designed my "weekly planning" to be relatively easy and attractive to do. It begins with things that are easy to do anywhere, has a section in the middle that moves from more difficult to less difficult, and ends with a few rewarding activities. I aim to begin on Thursday or later each week, and to finish by noon on Sunday, and I have a reminder at 10:30 Sunday morning. I don't always do it.

                      For a while I was trying to do 5 minutes of weekly review immediately upon arriving home from work each day. I didn't keep that up. However, I do have a pretty good habit of paying the phone bill as soon as I arrive home, if one has arrived, so things like that are possible.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I second a lot of the ideas here, especially the idea of reviewing while in the air: I've learned over time that even though I am generally strapped for cash, that $10 for in-flight wi-fi can be a a fantastic investment when it comes to getting things done. I'll add another: pick several times that work. I work retail as well as keeping a full schedule as a grad student and freelance writer, and I have about three times when I may be able to squeeze in a weekly review during the week. If I'm scheduled to work on Friday afternoon, I'll try to do it Sunday evening. If Sunday evening is a wash, I'll shoot for Saturday morning. Usually, one of these three times works. Those very well may not be your three times, but I'll bet you can find three or four times that would work, and make it a discipline to sit down during one of those.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Weekly reviews are a bit of a strange beast, in my opinion. It contains a number of different pieces which are not really related to each other, except by virtue that they're all things you should probably be doing at least once every seven days or so. Just so that we're all on the same page, these are the pieces I'm talking about:

                          1. Collection and Processing clean-up. If you're really on top of your system, this might not take very long at all. If you're often traveling away from your 'real' system, with a skeletal traveling system, it might take longer to get everything in sync.

                          2. Actual 'reviewing' -- things that really are a "re-view":
                          A. Past calendar
                          B. The Projects List, and potentially higher horizons.
                          C. Other lists -- Waiting For, Someday/Maybe, even Next Actions.

                          3. Looking forward: Not really a review at all -- considering what's coming up on the calendar in the future, that sort of thing. Also new creative innovative thoughts are sort of in this bin.


                          The thing is that it's pretty easy to break these pieces out into their own things, rather than trying to do them all sequentially. There is an advantage to doing them roughly in this order -- in determining what is currently true before turning to the future. But you could spread it out over three days, say, and I would expect it to work just fine.

                          Similarly, you can rejigger the timing of things somewhat. Maybe you'll want to look at your Waiting For every day, or your Someday/Maybe just every month. That can work, depending on the requirements of your particular life.

                          In your particular case I might be tempted to approach it from the view of: what things do I want to do before I leave, and what things do I want to do when I return? Anything that's left over has the potential to be "things to do while I'm on the road" which may or may not work out for you.



                          Cheers,
                          Roger

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Love the idea of having three alternative times for WR

                            Originally posted by jesig View Post
                            I second a lot of the ideas here, especially the idea of reviewing while in the air: I've learned over time that even though I am generally strapped for cash, that $10 for in-flight wi-fi can be a a fantastic investment when it comes to getting things done. I'll add another: pick several times that work. I work retail as well as keeping a full schedule as a grad student and freelance writer, and I have about three times when I may be able to squeeze in a weekly review during the week. If I'm scheduled to work on Friday afternoon, I'll try to do it Sunday evening. If Sunday evening is a wash, I'll shoot for Saturday morning. Usually, one of these three times works. Those very well may not be your three times, but I'll bet you can find three or four times that would work, and make it a discipline to sit down during one of those.
                            Like pretty much the idea of having 3 alternatives during the end of the week to do the WR. Will try it this week. Thanks!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks Roger... loved "strange beast"

                              Originally posted by Roger View Post
                              Weekly reviews are a bit of a strange beast, in my opinion. It contains a number of different pieces which are not really related to each other, except by virtue that they're all things you should probably be doing at least once every seven days or so. Just so that we're all on the same page, these are the pieces I'm talking about:

                              1. Collection and Processing clean-up. If you're really on top of your system, this might not take very long at all. If you're often traveling away from your 'real' system, with a skeletal traveling system, it might take longer to get everything in sync.

                              2. Actual 'reviewing' -- things that really are a "re-view":
                              A. Past calendar
                              B. The Projects List, and potentially higher horizons.
                              C. Other lists -- Waiting For, Someday/Maybe, even Next Actions.

                              3. Looking forward: Not really a review at all -- considering what's coming up on the calendar in the future, that sort of thing. Also new creative innovative thoughts are sort of in this bin.


                              The thing is that it's pretty easy to break these pieces out into their own things, rather than trying to do them all sequentially. There is an advantage to doing them roughly in this order -- in determining what is currently true before turning to the future. But you could spread it out over three days, say, and I would expect it to work just fine.

                              Similarly, you can rejigger the timing of things somewhat. Maybe you'll want to look at your Waiting For every day, or your Someday/Maybe just every month. That can work, depending on the requirements of your particular life.

                              In your particular case I might be tempted to approach it from the view of: what things do I want to do before I leave, and what things do I want to do when I return? Anything that's left over has the potential to be "things to do while I'm on the road" which may or may not work out for you.



                              Cheers,
                              Roger
                              Thanks for your thoughts. All this could work, if my weeks were all the same. Also what others proposed. But the problem is that quite spontaneous I will have to book a flight and travel (from friday booking to monday flying, sometimes staying abroad longer than one day). That makes it quite challenging for me to have a "fix" WR plan... I started thinking that I am not so flexible as I thought....

                              Comment

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