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Why is the weekly review so hard to start?

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  • Why is the weekly review so hard to start?

    I've been piecemealing GTD for the last couple of years (using the recently renamed mGSD), never doing a weekly review. Now I'm trying, but feel really weird about it. It seems too huge to be useful/doable in a reasonable amount of time. And I'm only trying to fully implement this within my work areas, before moving on to personal. Right now, instead of doing the weekly review, I'm posting a message on a forum about how hard it is to do the weekly review.

    More concretely, do I give myself a deadline and just stop after X hours? It seems like I could spend a whole week putting down everything that needs to get done.

    --
    Jeff

  • #2
    Start by getting all your inboxes empty before you even start the weekly review. And if you are in the beginning capture phase then it will take a lot longer to do the review.

    My problem is the things I think will only take 2 minutes so I try to do them then and discover 15 minutes later I'm just now finishing the task. Practice is all that will help with that problem.

    I also split up my review and do one of the items at a time then take a break so a weekly review for me happens over the course of a day or 2. As long as I get them all done at least once a week I feel I am ok and some weeks it just takes longer to do each section than others.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Jeff,

      One tip our coaches often suggest is taking it in stages. Hopefully you have the Weekly Review Checklist (in the book on pages 185+186) or in this free article. That'll give you a path to follow.

      It's essentially divided into 3 parts: Get Clear, Get Current & Get Creative. If you feel like it's too daunting to do in one sitting (I don't blame you), you could get clear one day and get current the next. Get creative is really just about what shows up next with your creativity and inspiration.

      Or, maybe try picking a step to get you started, like cleaning up your lists or making sure every project has a next action. You really can't go wrong with any of it, but you may find it's hard to put new stuff in when you have a nagging sense it's getting dropped into a system that's outdated (kind of like putting clean clothes in a dirty hamper--you won't want to do it.)

      There are tons of resources for the Weekly Review on Connect, like a Guided Weekly Review Webinar. And really, just sitting down to do it, even if you give yourself a time limit, is better than nothing. Actually, giving a 5 min time limit on each step is how I lead the free Twitter Guided Weekly Reviews, just to give people a taste of it and start chipping away at things.

      Hope that helps.

      Cheers,
      Kelly

      Comment


      • #4
        Ooh, great answers already!!

        This is what I wrote before I got distracted by twitter etc! (and had to log in again)

        Maybe you are doing it from a wrong end? For instance, I found it impossible to start until I put it this way: I can choose what I DON'T want to do this week!
        Then, I put away all the project folders that I didn't need this week - yahoo empty(er) desk!
        (Basically decluttering! place & mind )

        I was overwhelmed with too much that needed to be done at the start too - then I read some posts on the forum about not exaggerating it, and decided I can put some piles, journals and tasks into 'to sort later' or maybe/later category (as they weren't completely vital to my life).

        When you do the braindump, only list what bothers you the most and is completely essential. Then add in other stuff as you go along.
        Beware to put projects as NAs on your list (you'll do this anyway, put them to the project list and into their own folders if necessary!)
        Also, it's okay to assign time or set amount of hours for doing WR. And do the rest next day, or the next (or 'later').
        I agree there is A LOT of helpful info in the free & member resources!! So check it out if you haven't already!

        I started again the system of what I wish to have done this month, this week, and the next day - this is not 'straight GTD' but has saved me many times! In combination with other GTD practices, of course!
        Last edited by Layla; 04-14-2010, 01:13 PM.

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        • #5
          I had a similar problem when I first started GTD-ing - I didn't know where to start on my Weekly Review. As mentioned above, if you follow the plan in the book, that makes things much much easier.

          These days, I actually look forward to my weekly - doing it on Friday and then going home for the weekend knowing everything is wrapped up is a very nice feeling indeed!

          Comment


          • #6
            Why do you want to do it?

            If it is just a resistance feeling that you don't want to do it, (and not that there are rather more urgent things), then may be a change of focus will help. Ask yourself: Why do you want to do the review? What is so bad about not having it done for so long? What will you have achieved after completing it? Try to be concrete and detailed in answering.

            Of course, this is in addition to all the posts above.

            Regards,
            Abhay
            Last edited by abhay; 04-14-2010, 08:55 PM. Reason: spelling

            Comment


            • #7
              Hide chocolate in the deep bottom of the inbox/es. Seriously.

              Comment


              • #8
                Are you doing a Daily Review too? I do these everyday. It helps when coming to the weekly review. Also I have a checklist for both which acts as my guide making the reviews MUCH easier.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jwardlaw View Post
                  I've been piecemealing GTD for the last couple of years (using the recently renamed mGSD), never doing a weekly review. Now I'm trying, but feel really weird about it. It seems too huge to be useful/doable in a reasonable amount of time. And I'm only trying to fully implement this within my work areas, before moving on to personal. Right now, instead of doing the weekly review, I'm posting a message on a forum about how hard it is to do the weekly review.

                  More concretely, do I give myself a deadline and just stop after X hours? It seems like I could spend a whole week putting down everything that needs to get done.

                  --
                  Jeff
                  Jeff,

                  Your might find this post that describes how I got my weekly reviews down to under 90 minutes. I look at the weekly review as "shaking the tree" and collecting what falls. I then process and organize those things *after* the review. Aside from marking things off as "done", I don't make updates directly to my lists during the review.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The "Aha" moment with my weekly review happened when I went with an all paper system. My 3-4 hour reviews went down to an hour. I eliminated all the jumping around from application to application, and veiwing everything through the "digital keyhole".

                    Plus, I could pick up and take my ENTIRE SYSTEM anywhere.

                    =================================================
                    J.D. Iles
                    Hyatt's All Things Creative

                    Equipment and Software / Sales and Training
                    On-Line Training Coordinator


                    direct line or text: (603) 348-7658
                    voice: (800) 234-9288 ext. 862
                    fax: (603) 962-8522

                    jdiles@hyatts.com
                    PO Box 299
                    Lincoln NH 03251
                    =================================================

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a file folder labelled "GTD" where I keep a weekly review checklist. It's the checklist from the book plus my own checklist items. I don't do weekly review on my paid job as it's interrupt-driven and there's nothing to review on a weekly basis. But I try to do a weekly review for my home projects in my home office. My only problem is interruption and it's hard to find two solid hours to sit down and actually do the review. But it feels great when you do it and you know you are on top of things.
                      Last edited by chris345; 05-01-2010, 01:21 AM.

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                      • #12
                        "It takes too long"

                        On one of the podcasts, I forget who said it, but the point was made that if you don't schedule your weekly review, you'll wind up doing it ad hoc all week.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's not about everything that needs to get done.

                          Remember, it's not about planning every step that needs to get done on every project. Focus first on only the very first concrete action. You will feel a great relief just doing that properly. If after you've done that for every project you notice that something in particular is still on your mind then focus on just those projects a little further, but that part can be done later when you notice you still need to clarify a project a little more. And definitely don't put yourself in a box with an arbitrary deadline, that just creates more stress and resistance to the Weekly Review.

                          The Weekly Review should be fun because if you do it right because you'll know how great it feels when you're done.

                          One other thing that others have mentioned already, definitely have a checklist that walks you through the process. Oh and for heaven's sake, don't DO anything during your weekly review, even two minute things should get organized. I would say that during the review the cut off for doing something should be around 30 secs or else the review can take much longer. I take the 2 min rule to be for when stuff happens during the week, for those it's definitely worth doing them on the spot but during a review avoid doing at all costs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by El_Stiff View Post
                            I had a similar problem when I first started GTD-ing - I didn't know where to start on my Weekly Review. As mentioned above, if you follow the plan in the book, that makes things much much easier.
                            I actually agree with you there. But the hardest thing in following a plan is sticking to it all throughout. Discipline is the key.
                            Last edited by kelstarrising; 05-04-2010, 08:03 AM.

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                            • #15
                              The key is to start the second, third, fourth and so on - weekly.

                              I do not think it's difficult to start the first Weekly Review. The key is to start the second, third, fourth and so on - weekly.

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