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Finishing the Weekly Review

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  • Finishing the Weekly Review

    Well, the good news is I've done 2-3 Weekly reviews so far. The bad news is that they take ungodly amounts of time, and I don't completely finish them.
    What seems to be consuming my time is that most of my projects are "unorganized," so in addition to the normal weekly review tasks, I'm doing the organizing thing. Part of this is starting GTD "In Media Res" so to speak.
    How do other people get around this? When do you do the organizing for your projects (I'm talking about the bigger projects)? Do you just log a task during your weekly review called "Brainstorm ideas for project X and organize" and go on? Something else?

  • #2
    Keep them separate

    This is a trap I've fallen into many times. I have two suggestions that might help.

    First, during the weekly review, when a new project rears its head, don't stop your review. Generate the ideas and next actions you can come up with quickly, each on a seprate sheet piece of paper, and put them in a file with the project label. Set a next action to work on definition and organization for that project, get it on your list, and move on.

    If you're comfortable assigning it a date and time and putting it on your hard landscape at that point, go for it. If not, leave it undated for the moment and catch up with it at your next opportunity (see below).

    Second, consider doing a daily review. I spend about 15 minutes every morning reviewing my lists, looking for undated actions I can move to my hard landscape for the day. I've found that this daily review has made my weekly review much more efficient and productive and a lot less time-consuming (I schedule 1.5 hours every Friday for the full weekly review).

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    • #3
      Thanks! My last review took 5 hours (no kidding).
      On a strange aside note, I've discovered that my own organized project plans, and the official project plans I work on for the team, don't correspond 1:1. I think there's a thesis there (don't touch it, it's mine!).

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      • #4
        While doing the weekly review, I keep my project list open and note any new projects at the time, not stopping the review. Folders are there to add the papers etc and placed in a small pile to the right. Then I do the bad thing, once the review is completed I label the folders (top one first and so on) then file properly.

        Worst case if I am too tired, or it is too late in the day , all projects are listed and waiting for the next action when I return - label and file of course.

        Makes for two sometimes three steps / passes. The good thing for me is I do not break my stride or focus when reviewing.

        Is there a better way?

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        • #5
          OK hands off... for now ;^)

          Originally posted by furashgf
          Thanks! My last review took 5 hours (no kidding).
          On a strange aside note, I've discovered that my own organized project plans, and the official project plans I work on for the team, don't correspond 1:1. I think there's a thesis there (don't touch it, it's mine!).
          Ok, I'll let you take point on that discussion. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you that it's a topic near and dear to my heart. There's a tremendous delta between the group dynamic and personal planning a la GTD. I'm actually developing a book proposal based on the idea

          So, I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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          • #6
            The biggest problem I find in completing the weekly review is applying the two minute rule. Things that I think should take two minutes very often take 5, 10, or even 15 minutes, which drastically slows down my progress through the in-basket.

            I’m thinking of not using the two minute rule for a while. It may take me two minutes to write down the fact that I have to do the thing, but at least I know this will not take me MORE than two minutes.

            The other problem that I have noticed is that if I really trawl through all the open loops in my mind, and all the bits of paper and notes etc etc, I can come up with a lot of things that I know I will probably never get around to doing.

            This ties in with my post on Esquire’s prioritisation thread. As DA says, our psychic RAM cannot distinguish between the smallest and the most vital of open loops. So, we need to get them all out on the page. But this can produce things like “write to favourite actor before he dies of old age”: now where on Earth will I get the time to do that?

            So, maybe some culling of these items is needed. I’m not sure how, but I think a bit of ruthless efficiency is called for.

            Dave

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Busydave
              The other problem that I have noticed is that if I really trawl through all the open loops in my mind, and all the bits of paper and notes etc etc, I can come up with a lot of things that I know I will probably never get around to doing.

              This ties in with my post on Esquire’s prioritisation thread. As DA says, our psychic RAM cannot distinguish between the smallest and the most vital of open loops. So, we need to get them all out on the page. But this can produce things like “write to favourite actor before he dies of old age”: now where on Earth will I get the time to do that?
              These kinds of things sound like "Someday/Maybe" actions to me. Write them down and put them in that list. I have some really weird stuff in my "Someday/Maybe" list. It always makes me smile to go through them.

              As for writing your favorite actor, that sounds like the perfect thing to do while at the beach or on a long flight. So don't despair! I guarantee that a few of your "Someday/Maybe" actions will get done someday, but they'll never make it unless you put them on the list first.

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              • #8
                I'm discovering that one of the reasons my weekly reviews take so long is that I use that time to process my inbox. If I make a regular habit of processing my inboxes to zero, this significantly cuts down on the time I need for the weekly review.

                Here's a great article by Meg Gott on the same topic:
                http://www.davidco.com/coaches_corne...article30.html

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