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  • Why Do I procrastinate Doing the Weekly Review?

    This seems to happen every week. Friday rolls around and i'll avoid it in anyway that I can, from tackling minor available actions to ac-hoc making lunch plans with friends. And the most interesting part of all this is that the times when I do finish up the Weekly Review, after doing it I always think to myself that it wasn't really that bad.

    I know the the spontaneous plans I'll make going out with friends or "taking a quick power nap" is all me avoiding the real problem but it happens every week and I hate it.

    What I find so odd is that the Weekly Review helps me out immensely throughout my week. It makes everything go smoother and more productive yet perhaps hate looking at my OmniFocus inbox and having to process everything and correspondingly update it with what projects already exist...

  • #2
    I know where you're coming from...

    I think there's an air of 'mysticism' around the weekly review - as it's so critical to the GTD process so you can get things out of your mind, there's almost a feeling of 'but what if I do it wrong' that makes me put it off.

    I've found that linking it with a set time (and place, and 'treat' - for me it's a Bacon Roll at the village cafe) has helped. Well, sort of helped (as I didn't do it yesterday). But I'm certainly doing more regular reviews now. To quote a well known brand - Just Do It

    I do find myself doing top line daily reviews though - I think that has helped - certainly in terms of knowing what I don't have to try and remember.

    As with any task you put off, you build it up as worse and worse until you do it - and then once it's done, you wonder what the fuss was all about

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    • #3
      Do you even know how to do it right?

      I found myself procrastinating too, and then realized I didn't know exactly what to do lol!
      I then watched a webinar about it in GTD Connect and my eyes opened - yup, it's simpler than I thought, there's a checklist to 'cover all the bases' and well, you don't have to do it all at once either - working in 10 or 15 minute increments of time to just 'prune'the too-long lists can be okay! Or cleaning inbox to zero in advance, a day before or so!
      /This may help with a longer and more 'in-depth' review later..)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by HappyDude View Post
        This seems to happen every week. Friday rolls around and i'll avoid it in anyway that I can,
        Is Friday the best day to do it for you? Might it be better to plan for Monday morning or over the weekend?

        I do my reviews Sunday afternoon. No pressure and I find it works better to know what's coming up over the next week or so.

        Or try doing one piece of the review each day. Barb suggested getting in to empty before the review and I found that if I start with a very small or nearly empty in the rest of the review goes more easily. I had to find more time to do processing during the week, if you save all the processing to the weekly review (my initial mistake) it was overwhelming. Now I process maybe 1-2 hours a day and it goes much faster. I am very slow processing too. I am slowly getting better but it's a hard skill to learn.

        Even a partial review is better than none but the real key is regular processing of the inbox so it's not just a huge pile of stuff to finish.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HappyDude View Post
          This seems to happen every week. Friday rolls around and i'll avoid it in anyway that I can, from tackling minor available actions to ac-hoc making lunch plans with friends. And the most interesting part of all this is that the times when I do finish up the Weekly Review, after doing it I always think to myself that it wasn't really that bad.
          Partially I think it's because the weekly review is a lot of work that, while important, is not really urgent. I know I sometimes have trouble mustering the energy for it on a Friday afternoon; and of course the longer I go without doing one, the bigger the task becomes and the more likely I am to resist it. I've heard some people suggest breaking up the steps of the weekly review and doing them throughout the week so that it's not this massive task.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
            Is Friday the best day to do it for you? Might it be better to plan for Monday morning or over the weekend?

            I do my reviews Sunday afternoon. No pressure and I find it works better to know what's coming up over the next week or so.
            Sunday at 4PM has worked great for me. The weekend is winding down, and you've also still got energy to map out the upcoming week.

            In one of David's productivity newsletters, he says if things are so hectic, you may need to do Weekly Reviews daily. I found myself having to do that once when I let several Weekly Reviews go. In order to not have to go through that again, I've made Sunday at 4PM sacred.

            Experiment with different times in your week to see what works for you.

            Also, see whether you're more motivated by what you do with your Weekly Review vs. regret if you don't do it. Sometimes negatives are bigger motivators, e.g.,
            Pos = by paying taxes, I support roads and schools
            Neg = by NOT paying taxes, I go to jail

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            • #7
              Thanks for all the quick replies. I'm happy to have great advice to read upon waking up this morning.

              Personally I don't think I'd like to drag out the weekly review. I'd love to just close my door and tackle it all at once, usually taking no more than an hour and fifteen minutes.

              Here's the checklist I go through to do my weekly review:

              Note: No Distractions During Weekly Review

              1. Collect: Empty My Head, Brainstorm Actions, Projects and Somedays
              2. Just Mind Sweep Ideas into my inbox, If I Put them into my system now i'll find myself processing and organizing rather than still collecting.
              3. Review past weeks calendar to trigger other ideas/actions
              4. Review next week's and months calendar for actions
              5. Review on-hold projects, any ideas to make active? to delete?
              6. Process: Integrate all my notes from my Inbox in bedroom to OF system
              7. Review Action Lists
              8. Review Waiting For Lists - Reminders Needed?
              9. Review Someday/Maybe - Anything to Bring To OF?
              10. How's my Balance?
              11. Review All
              12. Place Weekly Review Date Reminder a Week from Today

              I also have Morning and Evening Reviews to help me get through the day, though admittedly the morning review is what gets used more than the evening or weekly review. I currently believe because I have these morning and evening reviews as reoccurring actions in my OmniFocus system, which I;m considering getting rid of since in the morning upon looking at my entire available actions list the action of "Checklist Morning Review" is lost in the sea of other available actions.

              The Morning and Evening reviews go similar along the lines of the checklist I just wrote out like the Weekly Review, only more focused on the day and emptying email inboxes, etc.

              *Credit to those checklists go to Curt.Clifton over at the OmniFocus support forums.

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