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Need some weekly review cheerleaders

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  • Need some weekly review cheerleaders

    Okay, it's Sunday afternoon, it's raining, it's a perfect time to do a weekly review.

    I confess that, although I've been doing GTD for over two years, I've never really done a thorough weekly review. All of the ones I've done seem to be little more than "process the inbox and glance over the projects and action lists."

    So, any cheers from the sidelines would help. Also, should I think of 'process inbox' as part of the review? I've been trying to make stronger distinctions between the five phases as it seems to be a current weakness. Yet the weekly "review" seems to include processing and organizing. Is that correct? I've read the book at least five times, but it's currently out on loan to a family member.


  • #2
    Weekly review is not meant to include processing or organizing.

    processing or organizing during weekly review makes it longer and tidious.

    note what stragazer_rick wrote here

    esp. note his remark

    Note that everything down to the Palm Desktop piece is
    normally done everyday and is just part of getting
    ready for the weekly review and not actually part of
    the review itself

    good luck.


    • #3
      That's good, then. It makes it seem much less overwhelming since I process my inbox almost every day - that's one part I have internalized pretty well.

      Although I guess I'm still going to have to do today's 'check tickler file' and 'process inbox' before I jump in to the weekly review... so I suppose it's really a matter of whether I consider them as their usual daily selves or as the front-end of the weekly review. It seems reviewing before having an empty inbox wouldn't be as helpful.

      Okay, I'll go ahead and process those and then hopefully I'll still feel like doing the review...


      • #4
        EZ - Thanks for posting this and saving me the typing!

        Murt - I actually live in Thomasville and work in Winston-Salem. If you would like to meet and actually discuss GTD in person sometime, just send me a personal message and I'll get all my contact information to you.


        • #5
          EZ, I would have to disagree with this one comment of your's:

          Weekly review is not meant to include processing or organizing
          On pp. 185-187 of GTD, David says that to get to a thorough weekly review we must go through loose papers and "[p]ut it all in your in basket for processing." He then states that one must "Process Your Notes....processing all notes and thoughts relative to interactions, projects, new initiatives, and input that have come your way since your last download, and purging those not needed." He continues to tell us that we must process our previous calendar data, process our upcoming calendar data, empty our head, review "pending" and support files to trigger new actions, completions and waiting-fors.

          Obviously the weekly review will take longer doing this, but the purpose of the weekly review is (as DA says on p. 187) "to keep a clear mind and a sense of relaxed control." This is precisely why I've had problems doing a weekly review on a regular basis--it takes a long time. I suppose if we are doing the system perfectly we would have very little that needs processing.

          What I've started today is a daily review system. I have a calendar event set to repeat Monday through Friday with a reminder that triggers 30 minutes before the end of my work day that reminds me to:

          (1) Process physical in-box
          (2) Get email in-box to zero
          (3) Process Palm in-box
          (4) Quickly review projects for next actions
          (5) Prepare for tomorrow
          (6) See what must be done to compile and release a build
          (7) Log down build release notes

          The above list is in the notes section of the calendar event. I am hoping that by following this procedure of processing my in-boxes and reviewing projects for next actions (this is just a quick, cursory review though) will help me when it comes to the weekly review because most, if not all, of my processing will be finished, thereby making my weekly review much shorter than it has been.



          • #6

            You can do your in-box collection and processing as part of your weekly review (which is what DA suggests) but as you aptly noted it is very difficult to finish the weekly review if we try incorporating collection and processing as part of weekly review.

            It is better that we get our in-box and email empty on a daily basis. This gives us the leverage to use the WR time effectively. Ricky's post mentioned above is a good place to read about the nuts-and-bolt of implementing the WR.

            The daily review idea is not bad. Could let us know how successful you were with this review? Bracketing out half-our everyday seems daunting to me.



            • #7
              David lists the processing/organizing piece at the top of his Weekly Review checklist but says that it isn't part of the weekly review, but just part of getting ready for the weekly review. David lists this stage because you can't do a weekly review without having all of your stuff already processed (according to the workflow diagram).

              I greatly resisted the weekly review before I realized this because I had so much to process at this time. Once I realized that I needed to process everything down to zero at least once every 24-48 hours the weekly review wasn't nearly as intimidating and I get to actually reviewing instead of processing.


              • #8
                Well, I did it. It took about an hour an half, which was actually much less time than I had imagined before I began. My normal inbox processing takes around 45 minutes per day, so I was thinking the weekly review would probably take much longer.

                Of course, I processed my inbox before the review, but it only took three minutes since it was Sunday, so I think this will work out well.

                I did not address longer term outcomes in this review. I figure once I get the basic review established as a firm habit, I can expand it as needed.

                I previously imagined that I did a good job of keeping my lists up-to-date as I go along throughout the week, but amazingly enough I did uncover quite a few things that were stuck/not quite right during the weekly review. So I now can really see the benefit. For some reason, though, both daily inbox processing and the weekly review are mentally draining to me. The daily inbox processing is a firm habit, and I don't regret it at all, but I always enter into it with some dread.

                Any ideas for reducing the drain? I don't mind doing it; just wish it didn't make me so tired to do it.

                Hey, Rick, glad to see another GTD'er in the area. Maybe we'll hang out some time and compare lists.